In the wake of the killing of the two Copts Emad Kamal Sadeq, 49, and his son David Sadeq, 21, on 12 December at the hands of a church security guard in Minya, Anba Macarius, Bishop-General of Minya and Abu-Qurqas held a vigil last night at the church of Minya Bishopric.
The two men, who were construction contractors, had been supervising a job of removing debris from a demolished building across the street from al-Nahda Evangelical church, when a dispute erupted between them and the church security guard, Rabie Mustafa Khalifa, who then shot at them. According to an eyewitness, both men died on the spot. Khalifa was arrested and confessed to the killing. He has been charged with premeditated murder.
Members of the clergy as well as some 2,500 Copts among them the families and friends of the Sadeqs participated in last night’s vigil which was held under tight security. According to a tweet by Anba Macarius, there had been a call on Facebook for a protest stand to be held by Copts in front of the security directorate of Minya. “But we persuaded the Copts to participate in a vigil instead,” the Bishop tweeted.
The vigil was held to pray for the departed, for Egypt, for divine help in hard times, and for the Lord to bring peace to His Church, Minya, and Egypt in her entirety.
The prayers were particularly moving, amid tears of pain and pleas to the Lord. Anba Macarius talked to the congregation, acknowledging their pain and attempting to comfort them. He remarked that the huge participation in the vigil reflected that as we are part of the same body, the whole body aches for the pain of any of its members. “We have gathered today to send our cries to the Lord and turn our human pain into prayers; and God never overlooks the tears of anguish of those dear to Him,” Anba Macarius said reminding that Christ Himself shed tears at the tomb of Lazarus.
“It is important to feel the pain, yet our faith does not waver; on the contrary it gets stronger,” Anba Macarius said. “We cannot deny human emotions, but we must overcome human crisis.
“We are at the same time Christian and Egyptian,” the Bishop said. “We accept the pain for the sake of Christ, but as Egyptians we reject injustice, encroachment, persecution, looting, and destruction of property. We demand our rights out of a national rights perspective,” Anba Macarius said. He talked about the shooting of both Sadeqs, reminding that as much as we feel pained for the pain of their family, our faith is that they did not die but they only departed from our world, because our God is the God of the living not the dead. He said that we will all eventually depart from this world, so we must strive to be ready for when this moment comes. Anba Macarius prayed the Lord for a just trial for the culprits and for the Lord to bring solace to the families of the departed.
He conveyed to the Sadeqs and the congregation present the condolences of Pope Tawadros and the members of the Holy Synod, and remarked that all Minya officials and security are cooperative and sympathising with the pain of the Copts.
17 December 2018