Egypt charges defrocked monk for killing bishop

Last Updated: Sun, Aug 12, 2018 09:36 hrs

Cairo, Aug 12 (IANS) Prosecutors in Egypt have charged a defrocked monk with the murder of a Coptic Christian Bishop at a desert monastery, the media reported.

Bishop Epiphanius, 64, was found dead at Saint Macarius Monastery in Wadi Natroun, north-west of Cairo, on July 29, reports the BBC.

Wael Saad, who had been a monk at the monastery, told prosecutors on Saturday he used an iron pole to bludgeon the bishop to death.

The possible motive is not yet clear.

The murder of Bishop Epiphanius shocked the Coptic Church, whose adherents make up about 10 per cent of Egypt's population.

Saad, who as a monk was known as Isaiah al-Makari, was stripped of his religious title following the bishop's death.

In the wake of the bishop's death, the Coptic Church instituted a crackdown on clergy behaviour and froze the recruitment of new monks for a year.

Monks were ordered to close their social media accounts.