Priest’s wife found

In Minya on Friday, hundreds of Coptic Christians celebrated the return of Kamilia Shahata Zakher, the wife of Bishop Tedaous Samaan Rezq, of the Mar Gerges Church, who went missing last Sunday while on her way to her father’s home.

Father Aghabious, a bishop at the Dayr Mawwas church where the celebration took place, said security forces located Zakher. He ruled out the possibility that Zakher was absent for reasons related to her religion.

Zakher’s family originally claimed that she was kidnapped.

Father Aghabious thanked President Mubarak, Minister of Interior Habib el-Adly, and security forces for their efforts. Zakher’s husband, meanwhile, declined to comment.

Security forces did not disclose any details concerning the disappearance of Zakher or how she was found.

Investigations have so far revealed that Zakher left her home voluntarily due to family issues. She denied that she was kidnapped or subjected to attempts to convert her to another religion.

Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Federation for Human Rights, commended security forces for  managing to resolve the crisis before it could become a sectarian issue.

Gabriel urged Pope Shenouda III to issue a papal order banning priests’ wives from seeking employment outside of the church. He also called for an increase of the salaries of priests.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.


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