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08/01/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Graver robbers in Sharouna, a village south of Cairo, targeted the tomb of a priest who died 13 years ago, according to the Watani news outlet. They initially wanted to steal his crucifix, but then also stole the body to hold as ransom.

The deceased has two sons, both of whom are also priests. The graver robbers repeatedly called and attempted to intimidate them through blackmail to pay a ransom. Instead of complying, the priests reported the kidnapping to the police. Thankfully, the body was recovered. Police are investigating the incident and reported that the robbers were actually known to them from previous interactions.

It is not yet known whether the robbers were motivated by Islamic extremism or common greed. Indeed, the religious identity of the robbers is not yet publicized.

However, there is a common misconception within the region that Christians hide away their valuables. As a result, it is not unusual for Christian sites to be looted. As second class citizens, Christians are not allowed to be buried in Muslim graveyards. This makes their graves easy to single out for desecration and vandalism.

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