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Salafist Leaders Celebrate Death of Coptic Pope in Egypt

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Mar 26
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March 26, 2012

As Coptic Christians across Egypt continued to mourn the loss of Pope Shenouda III last week, Islamist leaders of the Salafist movement issued a litany of insults, calling the late leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church the "head of the infidels" and thanking Allah for his death, Compass Direct News reports. In a recorded message released on his Facebook page the day after 88-year-old Shenouda died, one leading Salafi teacher said: "We rejoice that he is destroyed. He has perished. May [Allah] have his revenge on him in the fire of hell -- he and all who walk his path." After the cleric issued his statement, several others followed suit, releasing insults throughout the week. Bishop Mouneer Anis, head of the Episcopal and Anglican Diocese of Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, said insulting people after their death was considered one of the rudest things someone could do in the Middle East. Anis, a close friend of Shenouda, said the comments and actions were "very sad."