Egypt: Church leaders close ‘unsuitable’ social media accounts

Coptic Church leaders in Egypt yesterday announced that they will be closing their social media accounts following the assassination of Bishop Amba Epiphanius, head of the Monastery of St. Abu Makar in Wadi Al-Natrun.

Bishop Epiphanius’ murder sparked great controversy, church sources believe that the incident was related to the conflict between the “reformers” close to Pope Tawadros and Epiphanius, and the movement of the late Pope Shenouda.

In light of this, the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt issued a statement, Thursday, in which it adopted 12 decisions concerning monastic life. These included granting monks one-month to close any social media accounts as these “are not suitable for monastic life”.

Following Bishop Epiphanius’ murder last week, Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church suspended the practice of “aetikaf” (self-imposed isolation) for a one-year period.

“Aetikaf” is an orthodox Christian practice in which priests or monks spend prolonged periods in isolation from the outside world – usually in a remote monastery – for the purposes of worship and contemplation.