News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File
AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File
AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File
AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File
World News

Egyptian court upholds death sentence for ex-monk who killed abbot

by Press Association

Egypt's highest court upheld a death sentence for a former monk convicted of killing an abbot in a desert monastery north of Cairo in 2018.

The Court of Cassation also reduced a death sentence against another former monk to life in prison.

The two were convicted of killing Bishop Anba Epiphanius, an abbot at St Macarius Monastery, during the night of July 29 2018.

Both monks were defrocked by the Coptic Orthodox pope, Tawadros II, after the killing.

The two were close friends who led a rogue faction within the monastery that undermined the abbot's authority, authorities said.

The Damanhur Criminal Court, north of Cairo, sentenced the two to death last year.

The defendants appealed against the ruling.

Wednesday's ruling by the Court of Cassation is final.

The abbot's shocking death shook Egypt's
Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the oldest in the world and the one that gave monasticism to the faith.

The Coptic church recruits its patriarch and bishops from the monasteries, and some monks are sent to serve in churches elsewhere in Egypt and abroad.

Following Epiphanius' death, the church took measures aimed at instilling discipline into monastic life.

Among them was a halt in admitting novices to monasteries nationwide for a year.

Orthodox monasteries can be found across Egypt, but those located in remote desert areas, like St Macarius, have traditionally enjoyed an elevated status because they revived the ascetic traditions of early monasticism.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.