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Coptic Christians in Egypt fear martyrs are being forgotten

AL OUR, Egypt – The last body of the 21 people beheaded by ISIS on a Libyan beach in 2015 will soon be reunited with the rest of the 20 Coptic Christian martyrs in a newly built shrine honoring their memory in one of most prominent hotbeds of Christian persecution in the country.

Libya’s ambassador to Egypt has agreed to the transfer of the body, marking the latest development in a saga that horrified the world with the release of a video by the Islamic State in February 2015 showing the beheading of 21 men – 20 of whom were Coptic Christians from Egypt, along with a Ghanaian Christian companion – handcuffed and dressed as prisoners in orange jumpsuits.

As they were killed, the men were said to be chanting Christian hymns and praying to Jesus.

After their bodies were discovered in 2017, the 20 Egyptians were transferred back home in 2018. Now, the Libyan government has agreed to transfer the body of the Ghanaian, Matthew Ayariga, which has until now gone unclaimed, to the Martyrs of Faith and Homeland Church, built as a shrine to the 21 men who sacrificed their lives for the Christian faith.

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