A Coptic Orthodox priest was shot to death by Islamists this morning in the northern Sinai town of al-Arish. Father Raphail Moussa, 46, pastor of the church of Mar-Girgis (St George) in Arish, had just held Holy Mass at his church and was on his way home when he was shot by three men in a taxi driving by. Four shots in the head directly put an end to his life.
The Daesh-affiliated news agency Amaq declared that IS claimed responsibility for the assassination of the Coptic priest “due to him waging a war against Islam”.
Fr Raphail was ordained in March 2012 together with Fr Mina Aboud Sharubim who was also shot to death by Islamist militants in Arish in July 2013.
Fr Raphail leaves behind a wife and two children. His funeral was held this evening in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya, his birthplace. A number of bishops, among them Anba Seraphim of Ismailiya, officiated at the funeral ceremony. Anba Qozman, Bishop of North Sinai, was outside Egypt.
Pope Tawadros II offered his and the Coptic Orthodox Church’s condolences to Fr Rapahail’s family and friends, and to Anba Qozman and al-Arish congregation. He said the Church condemns all terrorist actions that target the peace of Egypt and her people.
Today, 30 June, marks three years since the Egyptian people, backed by the military, overthrew the Islamist Muslim Brother Muhammad Mursi who had become president of Egypt in June 2012, in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.
30 June 2016