The shrine to the 21 Christian men beheaded by ISIS on a Libyan beach in February 2015 will hold an exhibition on Feb. 15, honoring the men and marking the fifth anniversary of their death.
Twenty of the men were Coptic Orthodox Christians from Egypt. The 21st victim was a Christian from Ghana. They have been declared martyrs by the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The exhibition documents the men’s story, from the time of their abduction to the return of their bodies to the village of Al Our, in Egypt’s Minya province, where the shrine is located.
Visitors will be shown the orange jump suits the men wore when they were beheaded, tools with which they were caught, some sand on which their blood was spilled, and the specially made coffins that hold their remains.
In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, the mother of two brothers, Samuel and Beshoy, 22 and 24 years old, who were among the 21 martyrs, said: “I’m the mother of martyrs, I’m proud of them. They intercede for me and their father in heaven.”
She said she is praying for ISIS followers, calling on “God to give them the light and open their eyes to the truth and the good.”
Before the release of the ISIS video “that showed the killing of my brothers and their colleagues, our family and the church in our village of Al Our had spent 45 days praying for them, as we knew of their kidnapping,” said Basheer, the brother of Samuel and Beshoy.
He added that “God talked through their cries of ‘oh Jesus,’” as recorded in the video.
“Our martyrs were praying before they died; it was obvious that they were calling on Jesus. That gave us comfort and made us proud.”
“Those 21 were fortunate to be martyrs for Christ and our community is honored” to have custody of their bodies, Basheer said.
Read more at Aleteia