Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church confirmed that Orthodox Bishop Epiphanius was found dead inside a monastery in the desert northwest of Cairo. Epiphanius was the Abbot of Makar Monastery near Wadi el-Natroun in the coastal Beheira province where his lifeless body was discovered in the early hours on Sunday morning, July 29th.
The Bishop appears to have succumbed from a massive blow to the head by a heavy object, although circumstances surrounding his death are still under investigation. Christians constitute around ten percent of Egypt’s predominantly Muslim population. Sectarian violence erupts occasionally, mainly in rural communities in the south. However, Father Shenouda, a monk at the monastery told Coptic television channel CTV on Monday they had “ruled out” the possibility that the incident was an act of terrorism.
Vatican News confirmed that Coptic Orthodox Patriarch, Pope Tawadros II, has dispatched delegates to the monastery to obtain information on the Bishop’s horrendous death.