Pope Tawadros II thanks Egypt's foreign ministry for following-up on monks' murder in S. Africa

Ahram Online , Wednesday 13 Mar 2024

Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II expressed on Wednesday his thanks to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its follow-up of the incident of the killing of three Egyptian monks in South Africa.

Pope Tawadros II
Pope Tawadros II speaks during his first weekly sermons in the Lent fasting on Wednesday 13 March, 2024. Photo courtesy of Spokesman of the Coptic church.


On Tuesday, three Egyptian monks were killed in an attack inside a Coptic monastery of Saint Mark the Apostle and Saint Samuel the Confessor in the South African city of Johannesburg.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is closely following the investigation into the killing of the monks, extending its deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

Pope Tawadros II also expressed his appreciation to the Egyptian embassy in South Africa and the Ambassador of Egypt in South Africa Ahmed Fadali, who rushed to the scene following the incident.

Tawadros's remarks came before he delivered his weekly sermon at St. George Church in Heliopolis.

The Pope also thanked the Egyptian Islamic and Christian institutions that offered condolences and condemned the incident, which he described as "painful."

Al-Azhar, the world’s leading Sunni Islamic institution, condemned on Wednesday what it described as "the terrorist attack," offering its sincerest condolences to the families of the victims.

“Attacking a safe person in a place of worship is a hateful terrorist act and there can never be a justification for murder and terrorism,” a statement quoted Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb as saying.

In the line of duty

“It is with great sorrow that we bid farewell to our sons who were killed and martyred in South Africa in Johannesburg," Tawadros said.

The Coptic Orthodox Church oversees the monastery named after Saint Mark the Apostle and Saint Samuel the Confessor in Johannesburg, said Tawadros.

The church had sent the fallen monks to follow up on the monastery's renovation, explained the Pope.

He said the South African authorities are doing their job efficiently to solve this crime.

On Wednesday, South African police arrested e a 35-year-old suspect in connection to the murder of the monks.

The man is expected to appear before Cullinan Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, South African Police Service (SAPS) said in a statement reported by AFP.

Coming home

On Wednesday, Tawadros announced that a delegation of bishops would be travelling to Johannesburg to follow up on the case.

The fallen monks will most likely be buried in one of the monasteries in Egypt per tradition, added Tawdros.

The Pope also expressed his sincere condolences to the monks' families.

"May God console us all. There is no doubt that it is a painful incident, and we are thanking God in every situation," he said.

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