Editor’s note: This piece is part of our series on Christian Unity.
On October 6, 2017, the Libyan police found the bodies of the 21 Coptic Christian Martyrs. They were murdered by Islamist Jihadists on February 15, 2015. The last words they uttered were words of prayer and praise.
What’s happening to our Christian brethren in the Middle East and North Africa is true martyrdom, Christian martyrdom. The English word, martyr, is from a Greek word which means witness. The Christian Church has always proclaimed the shedding of one’s blood in fidelity to Jesus Christ is the final witness to the Christian Faith.
Few of us in the West know this kind of martyrdom. Still, we are called to bear witness, together, to a culture that has forgotten God and wanders aimlessly in a new land of Nod. (Gen. 4:16)
Unfortunately, our divisions weaken our capacity to do so.
The Blood of Martyrs
The jihadists who murder as an expression of their religion see Christians as enemies. Their media company produced a video titled, “A Message Signed with Blood to The Nation of the Cross.” In it, they boasted of the beheading of our Coptic Christian brethren. A spokesman proclaimed:
All praise is due to Allah the strong and mighty. And may blessings and peace be upon the ones sent by the sword as a mercy to all the worlds. Oh people, recently you have seen us on the hills of Al-Sham and Dabiq’s plain, chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time, and today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another message. All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes especially if you are fighting us all together. Therefore, we will fight you all together. The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.”
Then, as they beheaded the 21 Christian martyrs, they showed their blood flowing into the sea. As the footage unfolded, the spokesman proudly and defiantly proclaimed: “And we will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission, the promise of our Prophet, peace be upon him.”
Read more at the Stream – https://stream.org/in-the-face-of-terror-lets-help-restore-the-body-of-christ/