COPTIC COMMUNITY GRIEVES PRIEST’S MURDER
The recent attack on Egypt’s Coptic community has once again shaken Christians and non-Christans alike. SAT-7 addressed the brutal murder of Coptic Priest Fr Samaan, lifting in prayer and extending condolences to his grieving family.
Fr Samaan Shehata was viciously stabbed to death on Thursday 12 October. This tragedy comes after a year of violent attacks on the Coptic Christian community – over 100 people were killed in church bombings, shootings, and stabbings since December 2016.
Father Samaan was from Beni Suef in Upper Egypt, but a pastoral visit brought him to Cairo. As he was returning to the church after visiting a family, he was chased down and repeatedly stabbed by a man wielding a knife, killing him in cold blood.
A MAN FILLED WITH THE LOVE OF CHRIST
On SAT-7 ARABIC’s program Keep on Singing, condolences were extended to the family of the late Fr Samaan. The team lifted them to God in prayer, asking Him to fill them with His peace. Hymn singer and choir leader Samuel Farouk said that he knew Fr Samaan personally – that he was a man full of the Lord’s grace.
“He had the love and humility of Jesus Christ. I thank the Lord that He allowed me to meet with Fr Samaan and spend time with him. I saw the love of Jesus in him in an amazing way.”
The program reflected on the incident through Romans 14:8:
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die we die for the Lord.
Farouk then closed the episode with a prayer for the late priest’s family: “We pray for heavenly condolences to fill the house of late Fr Samaan. Bring grace and peace to his family and to the Church who are grieving.”
PAIN AND OUTRAGE ARE ADDRESSED
The Freedom Meeting in the Brethren Church, Heliopolis, broadcast on SAT-7 ARABIC, also had a time of reflection. Dr Farid Zaky recognised that many people were affected by this incident, as well as the previous attacks against the Christian community in Egypt. “His killing has undoubtedly caused considerable pain and outrage in many,” Dr Zaky said. “Jesus taught us that His words are in the hearts of His followers, and we will continue to pray even for those who hate us.”
He then reflected on Romans 12:19:
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay.’
CRYING OUT FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
SAT-7 Founder and CEO Dr Terence Ascott comments:
“A righteous anger is growing in Egypt, and among Coptic Christians around the world. When will we see equality and justice for all citizens in this beautiful country?”
His Grace Bishop Angaelos, head of the UK Coptic Orthodox Church released a statement on the same day of the attack:
“I am sure that I am not alone in my anger, but that it is shared by every law-abiding person of any belief and indeed of none, who has witnessed this vicious and inhumane attack. In the midst of this anger and sadness, I continue to pray. This anger is not void of forgiveness, but cries out for accountability and justice.”
SAT-7 stands in solidarity with the Coptic community of Egypt and prays for God’s protection and peace during this troubling time.