By Coptic Solidarity –
This week in 2015, 21 men were brutally beheaded on a Mediterranean beach in Libya, by members of ISIS. They had been captured by ISIS a few months earlier and pressured to renounce their faith in Christ and convert to Islam. These 21 modern martyrs chose their faith and love for Jesus Christ over the opportunity to extend their mortal lives.
Twenty of these martyrs were Coptic Christians who had gone to Libya in search of work to support their families. The twenty-first martyr was from Ghana. All were given the opportunity to convert to Islam to save their lives, yet each chose the love they had for Jesus above the love they had for their families and own lives. Reportedly, the Ghanaian captive on seeing the faith of his fellow Coptic Orthodox captives chose their faith and death over saving himself.
While many associate martyrdom with the early Christian Church, there are more martyrs in our modern times than in any previous era. Copts continue to be persecuted by terrorist organizations such as ISIS as well as by the Egyptian government and the Egyptian society at large, for no other reason than their Christian faith. The faith and legacy of these martyrs is praiseworthy. Coptic Solidarity honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their faith and extends our sincerest sympathy to the families of these martyrs.
Coptic Solidarity continues to advocate and create awareness of the chronic persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the region to help them achieve equality and the ability to practice their faith fully without hindrance or fear of persecution. As we honor and remember these champions of the Coptic Orthodox faith, Coptic Solidarity dreams and works towards a future when Copts take their rightful place as equal citizens in their own country.