In Egypt, Coptic Christian Priest Slaughtered in Broad Daylight

Another Coptic Christian clergyman, a Coptic Christian priest, was killed in cold blood in Egypt on April 7. Local Christian media reported that Fr. Arsenius Wadid was repeatedly attacked in the neck by a bearded man. He died.

Fr. 56-year-old Arsenius was the head of the Church of the Virgin Mary, Muharram Bay, and then the Saint Paul Church of Alexandria. In 1996, he was ordained.

The details are not clear and often contradictory. Sources claim that Arsenius died immediately in the street, right in front of his traumatized family members and youth group. Others say that he was taken to hospital, but died shortly thereafter from his injuries.

Witnesses to the crime reported that the assailant was captured and turned over to police. One source claims that preliminary investigations are expected to show the suspect to be mentally unstable to allow him to escape justice.

Egyptian media will undoubtedly try to portray Fr. Wadid’s death as a bizarre and unanticipated incident. It is actually part of a continuing continuum in which extremist Muslims in Egypt target and attack and sometimes slaughter Coptic Christian clergymen.

A Muslim man killed a Christian bishop on October 12, 2017, in a very unusual and similar incident. Video footage from security cameras (previously viewable here), shows a man using a large knife to chase and stab Bishop Samaan Shehata through the streets of Cairo.

Ahmed Saeed Ibrahim, who was not related to Bishop Shehata, said that he had “begun praying on the street, shouting loudly, and calling Christians infidels,” and one other woman added that Ibrahim’s father was “more terrorist than his son.” Ibrahim “used to stop children returning from church and say to them, “You are multiplying, may Allah destroy all your houses and burn you all.” You have contaminated our neighborhood with filth.

The Egyptian authorities are now positioning themselves to call the murderer of Fr. Wadid was described as “crazy” — just as they did with Ahmed Saeed Ibrahim in 2017, the murderer of Bishop Shehata. One Copt was compelled to wonder, “Why is anyone who kills Christians crazy?” Crazy was the person who murdered two Christians on a train. We have come to terms with this and we expect Ibrahim to be released soon. We don’t mean to be harsh to anyone but Ahmed Saeed, who is a religious extremist, isn’t crazy.

You can think of more: in 2013, Mina Cherubim, a Coptic priest, was killed as he fled his church in al-Arish in North Sinai. But the point of Fr. Arsenius and his motivations should now be obvious.