Coptic bishop found dead in Egyptian monastery
Bishop Epiphanius was regarded as a ‘towering figure of the Coptic Church’
EGYPT: Coptic Orthodox Bishop Epiphanius was found dead Sunday morning, lying in a pool of blood and apparently murdered in a corridor of the Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great in Wadi El Natrun, where he served as abbot. Monastic life dates to the fourth century in Wadi El Natrun, and Epiphanius was “a towering figure of the Coptic Church, a serious scholar and a loving father,” said Egyptian scholar and Hoover Institution senior fellow Samuel Tadros.
RWANDA: A national governance board has closed more than 8,000 churches since Rwanda enacted strict new rules on houses of worship. The rules ostensibly govern health and safety but follow a general crackdown this year in a country that’s 90 percent Christian.
VATICAN: Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, formerly the archbishop of Washington, D.C., and one of the most influential Roman Catholic prelates. McCarrick is the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic official to be removed over accusations of sexual abuse, involving decades of inappropriate behavior toward minors and adults resulting in past settlements paid by at least two New Jersey dioceses.
SAUDI ARABIA: King Salman, appearing to overrule Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said the kingdom will not endorse any U.S. peace plan for Israel that does not include a Palestinian state with Arab East Jerusalem as its capital.
UNITED STATES: Almost 80 percent of the global population experiences “severe limitations” on the right to religious freedom, reads the Potomac Declaration, which was delivered at the conclusion of last week’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom hosted by the State Department in Washington, D.C. The State Department also published six statements signed by an array of the 80-plus nations in attendance highlighting specific areas of concern: blasphemy laws, counterterrorism, Burma, China, and Iran.
RUSSIA: Prehistoric nematodes have been brought to life out of the Siberian permafrost—“the first data demonstrating the capability of multicellular organisms for longterm cryobiosis in permafrost deposits of the Arctic,” scientists report.
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