Egypt sentences monks to death for murder of abbot
An Egyptian court has sentenced two former monks to death for killing an abbot in a desert monastery north of Cairo last year.
The Damanhur Criminal Court, north of Cairo, announced the sentences on Wednesday for two defrocked monks identified as Isaiah and Faltaous. They can appeal.
The two were convicted of killing of Bishop Epiphanius, an abbot at St. Macarius Monastery, which dates back to the 4th century, in July 2018. They surprised the bishop as he walked from his residence to the monastery chapel, where Isaiah hit him on the head with a steel bar.
The abbot’s shocking death shook Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the oldest in the world and the one that gave monasticism to the Christian faith.
Following Epiphanius’ death, the church took measures aimed at instilling discipline into monastic life. Among them was a halt in admitting novices to monasteries nationwide for a year and a ban on monks using social media.
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