The Coptic Church in Sudan has disclosed the details of the kidnapping of the Coptic monk Ghabrial al-Antony in the Sudanese town of Nyala in Darfur. Fr Ghabrial, who serves at the Coptic Orthodox church of the Holy Virgin in Nyala, is a Sudanese of Egyptian origin; he took orders at the monastery St Antony and Anba Moussa al-Aswad in Khartoum.
Father Boulos Fouad of the Coptic Church in Khartoum said: “We were all amazed by the news of the kidnapping of Fr Ghabrial. He was working with his brother on a farm that belongs to the church in Nyala when three unknown men attacked him, tied up his brother, seized Fr Ghabrial and fled. We don’t know who they are or why they kidnapped him.”
Anba Eliya, Bishop of Khartoum, is closely following up the case with the Sudanese government which, Fr Boulos said, is doing its best to find Fr Ghabrial and has promised he will be brought back soon. He asked the congregation and reporters to avoid any escalation in the matter because the Sudanese government, he said, was being very supportive and there was no need to sour relations between the government and the Coptic Church. The kidnapping had already made the headlines in some Sudanese papers.
There is no accurate number of the Copts in Sudan, since a considerable number of them had been leaving for South Sudan since it gained independence.
The Coptic Orthodox Church in Sudan is the oldest Church there. It constitutes two large parishes: the Khartoum, South Sudan and Uganda parish under Metropolitan Anba Eliya; and the Um Durman, Nuba and North Sudan under Metropolitan Anba Sarapamon.
17 April 2016