Egyptian Coptic priest stabbed to death on Cornice of Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt — A Coptic Church source revealed that on Thursday, a person stabbed Father Arsanious Wadid, a 56-year-old priest of the Church of the Virgin Mary in Alexandria, Egypt. Wadid was taken to the hospital, but he succumbed to his wounds upon arrival.

Father Wadid played a large role in establishing the Virgin Mary Church in the Muharram Bek area and was active in service in the Karmouz area.

The stabbing took place while the priest was leaving the beach, accompanied by a group of youths as they were on a recreational trip. When Father Wadid headed towards the tour bus, a 60-year-old man attacked him with a bladed weapon, stabbing him in the neck.

The sources state that the people there restrained the perpetrator until the police arrived. With the culprit in custody, the security services are now attempting to uncover the motives of the assailant.

Religious pages on social media reported that the priest was killed while walking with his family on the Corniche of Alexandria in the Sidi Bishr area at the Iftar time.

Christians constitute a little over 10% of Egypt’s mostly Muslim population and incidents of sectarian violence are not uncommon. Violence between communities occasionally erupts, mainly in the rural communities in the south of the country. Islamic extremist groups have also targeted Christians in the past.

The Coptic Orthodox minority are believed to be among the world’s oldest Christian communities.

Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyeb, who heads Egypt’s Al-Azhar — the highest institution of Sunni Islam in the Muslim world — condemned the attack, indicating that such acts might instigate religious wars.