#BreakingNews 3 Monks Mysteriously Killed in an Attack at an Orthodox Coptic Monastery

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt lost three of their monks who were "brutally murdered" in a monastery in South Africa. The victims are p. Takla Moussa (head of the diocese of South Africa), Fr. Minah ava Marcus and Fr Youstos ava Marcus, killed on March 12th in morning in the monastery of Saint Mark and Saint Samuel in Johannesburg in still mysterious circumstances.
The local police have started investigations, the Egyptian ambassador in Johannesburg also visited the site in recent hours. Even the leader of the Coptic Church Pope Tawadros II, explains a note, "is closely following all the details of this incident, waiting to be informed about its causes", while the Coptic community expresses "its profound anguish" for what happened .

Sources close to the investigation, reported by the BBC, report the arrest of an Egyptian member of the Church as a "possible suspect".
 "Our pain and sadness - we read in the note - cannot be expressed in words, but we know that they rejoice in paradise in the bosom of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob". Archbishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church of London called the murders "sad and shocking".
The death occurred yesterday in the monastery of St. Mark and St. Samuel the Confessor, located in Cullinan, a small town 30 km east of the capital Pretoria. Provincial police spokesman Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi told Reuters that all three murdered monks were found with stab wounds. One survivor told police that he was hit with an iron stick, but managed to escape and hide.
Investigators are still trying to determine the motive and the assailants, who "hastily left the crime scene without taking any valuables" as stated by Colonel Nevhuhulwi. A detail that might to exclude the origin of the robbery.

The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox community, also saw a previous murder at the end of July 2018 of Bishop Anba Epiphanios, abbot of the monastery of Saint Macarius, for which an Egyptian court sentenced two former monks to death: Wael Saad and Ramon Rasmi Mansour, better known by the name of Faltaous al-Makari, who allegedly acted due to "differences" with their superior.

On the evening of July 29, the 64-year-old prior of the monastery of Saint Macarius in Wadi Natrun, about 110 km north-west of Cairo, was found lifeless and with deep head wounds inside the institute located in a desert area. Following his death, the leaders of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church imposed a ban on the use of social media for monks and a one-year block on new entries into seminaries.

Among the reasons that led to the sentence there is also the fact that the two perpetrators had no "scruples" in committing the act and that they "did not take into due account" the advanced age and spiritual stature of the victim. Source: Asia News IT

Official Statement by Pope Tawadros II of the Orthodox Church:

H.H. Pope Tawadros II on the Martyrdom of the Three Monks in South Africa: A painful incident and we are following its details moment by moment. There is a delegation of the bishops who will travel to Johannesburg

March 13, 2024
H.H. Pope Tawadros II referred to the incident that occurred yesterday in our Coptic monastery in Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa. This came before the start of his sermon at the Wednesday meeting this evening, which was held in Saint George’s Church, Heliopolis.

Regarding the incident, His Holiness said: “It is with great pride that we bid farewell to our sons who were martyred in Johannesburg, South Africa. We have a monastery named after Saint Mark the Apostle and Saint Samuel the Confessor in Johannesburg. It is the only monastery of ours that bears the name of Saint Mark. It was established in 2007 by His Eminence Metropolitan Antonious-Markos, metropolitan of South Africa. It was recognized in 2013 and its development began. We sent monks there, including Father Takla El-Samuely, who was martyred with his brothers the monks, Father Yostos Ava Marcos and Father Mina Ava Marcos.”

He added: “The South African authorities are carrying out their role regarding the criminal incident. There are many rumors, but so far the truth of the situation has not become apparent. Therefore do not listen to any information said from any source. When we are certain, we will issue an official statement with the full details.”

He continued: “I thank the Egyptian Islamic and Christian institutions that offered condolences and condemned the incident. I also thank the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its continuous follow-up of the incident, as well as the Egyptian Embassy in South Africa and the Egyptian ambassador there, Ahmed Al-Fadali, who was present at the monastery immediately upon his knowledge of the incident.”

Regarding the upcoming arrangements, His Holiness said: “Until now, the date of the funeral has not been determined. They will most likely be buried in one of the monasteries in Egypt because a monk must be buried in his monastery. We console their families, we console the Church there, and we console ourselves. When a monk is ordained, the funeral prayers are prayed over him. He wears a black tunic, symbolizing the color of the ground in which a person is buried. God permitted for them to be martyred so they obtain the crown of martyrdom alongside the crown of monasticism.”

He added: “May God console us all. There is no doubt that it is a painful incident. We are accustomed to thank God in every condition and for every condition.
We are following the situation moment by moment, and there is a delegation of bishops that will travel to South Africa. We have assigned one of our priests who previously served in Africa to travel ahead of the delegation and prepare arrangements. We will announce all the details once things become clear.”

He concluded: “Pray for the martyred fathers and for the stability and peace of the service in South Africa, for their brothers in the service, and for their families here in Egypt.”