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Egypt Sentences Coptic Priest Killer to Death


An Egyptian court sentenced to death a man who was convicted of murdering a Coptic priest near Cairo last year. 

The Cairo Criminal Court said Monday that Ahmed Saeed attacked 40-year-old Samaan Shehata with a knife in October, wounding the cleric and another priest. 

Monday's verdict can be appealed. 

This attack is just one of several that have occurred against Christians in recent years. 

Last April, Islamic State militants attacked two Coptic Churches near the Easter holiday, killing at least 47 people. The twin bombing forced Egypt to declare a nationwide state of emergency. 

Egypt is a predominately Muslim nation and Christians are a minority in that country.

Egypt ranks number 17 on the Open Doors World Watch List. 

"Severe restrictions on building or securing places for communal worship prevent Christians from gathering together, in addition to hostility and violence towards believers who do manage to gather. Christians, particularly women, also face discrimination and abuse in their workplaces and the public square. Radical imams regularly incite hostility and violence towards Christians, resulting in the deaths and injuries of many believers in the past year alone," the organization says on its website. 

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