Egyptian Coptic priest killed by stabbing in Alexandria

Egyptian Coptic priest killed by stabbing in Alexandria
An Orthodox Christian priest was stabbed to death in the Egyptian city of Alexandria and the motive remains unclear
2 min read
08 April, 2022
Coptic Christians make up 10% of Egypt's population [Getty]

A knife-wielding man mortally wounded an Orthodox Coptic priest during an attack at the popular seaside promenade in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria on Thursday evening, Egypt's interior ministry said.

The ministry said the priest died while being treated for his wounds at a military hospital.

The suspected 60-year-old attacker was caught by pedestrians who turned him in to the authorities, according to a statement posted by the prosecutor general’s office on Facebook.

Prosecutor general Hamada El-Sawy ordered an immediate investigation into the incident adding that the suspect was currently being interrogated. 

The priest was identified by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria as Arsanious Wadid, 56, who served at a local parish in Alexandria.

Christians make up approximately 10% of the population of Muslim-majority Egypt and sectarian violence is not uncommon in Egypt.

Most of Egypt's Christians are Coptic Orthodox and they are  among the world’s oldest Christian communities.

Violence between communities occasionally erupts, mainly in rural communities in the south. Islamist extremists have also targeted Christians in the past.

Ahmad El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest Sunni Muslim institution, condemned the attack.

He warned that such acts “could instigate religious wars among people belonging to the same nation.”

“The Grand Imam affirms that homicide is a major sin that arouses God's wrath and is punishable in the afterlife,” read a statement posted on Al-Azhar's Facebook page.

The motive behind the assault remains unclear and the alleged attacker’s religious affiliation has not been made public yet.

Agencies contributed to this report.