Disgraced monk charged with killing bishop found lying in pool of blood in Egypt

A disgraced monk has been charged with killing a bishop found lying in a pool of blood at an Egyptian monastery.

Bishop Epiphanius, 64, died from head injuries at the Abu Makar Monastery in Wadi Natroun, around 68 miles northwest of Cairo.

Investigators suspected he had been hit with an object as he left his monastic cell.

The killing sent shockwaves through the Coptic community, the largest Christian community in the Middle East.

And Egypt’s public prosecutor has now charged ex-monk Wael Saad with the July 29 killing, his lawyer Ameer Naseef said.

Saad was formerly known as Isaiah al-Makari before he was stripped of his religious title.

The church previously said Saad had been investigated and expelled over alleged violations of his duties as a monk but had not been suspected of the killing.

Bishop Epiphanius’ death prompted the church to impose a clampdown on its clergy.

Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic church, launched sweeping measures to combat what some Christian figures have described as violations of the principles of poverty and chastity.

The measures include a freeze on accepting new monks and a ban on monks leaving monasteries without official permission.

Social media use by the clergy has also been banned.

Tawadros II and other clerics have closed down their online accounts since the measure was announced.

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