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04/12/2022 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Egyptian Coptic priest Arsanious Wadid, who was killed late last week, reportedly faced years of persecution prior to his death. Father Wadid was stabbed several times in the neck by a currently unidentified assailant with unknown motives. The timing of his murder correlates with the Muslim season of Ramadan and the Christian Lenten season of Easter.

In 2000, Father Wadid worked to begin building a new church in Karmouz. Extremists confronted him, attacked his car, and threatened to kill him. They warned him to never return. When Father Wadid first entered the priesthood, he acquired a plot of land in Ragheb and Karmouz, local districts of Alexandria, and began building a church.

Later on in his ministry, the Coptic priest left his home to attend a sunrise mass. A group of extremists was waiting around his car with knives. They put the knives to his neck and ordered him to return home and not visit the church again to pray. Under the pressure of the extremists and to prevent bloodshed and the protection of his congregation waiting for him and the church, Father Wadid returned home that morning. Because it was an unofficial church, not abiding by Egypt’s law on buildings for non-Muslim worship, no action was taken in the aftermath of the incident.

Father Wadid is one of many Egyptian Christians who face persecution for their faith as a minority in the Muslim country. As a priest, he was well acquainted with the discrimination and persecution of his Christian community. His death sparked concern for subsequent attacks during a time of heightened religious tension and observance.

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