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'Virtuous priest' and 'active servant' stabbed to death in Egypt

by Kelly Valencia

A Coptic priest has been killed in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. 

Fr Arsanios Wadid, 56, was stabbed to death by a passer-by in front of a popular beach club on Thursday. 

He was the priest of the Church of the Virgin Mary in Alexandria's Muharram Bek district.

It's understood Fr Arsenio was accompanying a group of boys from the club back to a bus parked nearby.

Egyptian security officials said Fr Arsanios died while being treated for his wounds. They have confirmed the suspected attacker has been arrested. 

Pope Tawadros, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, said:"We bid farewell to a virtuous priest and an active servant."

Christians make up more than 10 per cent of Egypt's 87 million population. 

In a statement, Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyeb, who heads Egypt's Al-Azhar - the highest institution of Sunni Islam in the Muslim world - warned that such acts "might instigate religious wars".

"The Grand Imam affirms that homicide is a major sin that arouses God's wrath and is punishable in the afterlife," he said. 

According to Open Doors, Egypt is among the 20 countries where Christians suffer the most extreme persecution. 

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