Pope Tawadros II leads funeral of 3 Egyptian monks killed at monastery in South Africa

Ahram Online , MENA , Tuesday 19 Mar 2024

Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II led on Tuesday the funeral service of the three Egyptian Coptic monks who were killed at a monastery in South Africa last week.

funeral service
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II leading the funeral service of the three Egyptian Coptic monks on Tuesday 19 March, 2024. Photo courtesy of Coptic church spokesman.


Earlier on Tuesday, the bodies of the victims arrived by plane and were taken to the cathedral for the funeral service. 
Some 28 senior clergymen and a host of monks and people attended the funeral service.  
Anba Danial, bishop of Maadi and secretary of the Holy Synod, delivered a speech on behalf of the pontiff, sending condolence to the victims' families. 

The bishop thanked the ministries of foreign affairs, health, and aviation alongside respective officials for their great efforts to finalize all related measures.  

He also thanked the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the mufti, and representatives of different Christian sects for condemning the killing of the monks and offering condolences to their families.  
The three Egyptian monks were killed inside the Saint Mark the Apostle and Saint Samuel the Confessor Monastery, affiliated with the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, in Cullinan city in South Africa. 

The victims – Monk Hegumen Takla El-Samuely (deputy of the Coptic Diocese of South Africa), Monk Yostos Ava Markos, and Monk Mina Ava Markos – had stab wounds, according to the police. 

A fourth person was also beaten with an iron rod before escaping to safety. 

The motive behind the attack remains unknown, and the police say nothing valuable was stolen from the monastery. 

The police have arrested two men, who were charged with murder on Thursday when presented before a South African court. 

The first accused, Saeed Basanda, is identified as a 37-year-old Egyptian national, and the second, Samuel Avamarkos, is identified as a 47-year-old South African citizen, according to the charge sheet, the Associated Press reported. 

The case was postponed to 27 March for the two to get legal representation in Arabic. 

They will remain in custody until their next court appearance. 


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