Islamic State (ISIS) militants slaughtered 21 Egyptian Christians this week. A brother of one of these martyred Egyptians commented: ‘They kept their faith until the last moment’.
“We are proud of them”, he said on Monday. On Sunday, February 15th, a group linked to the self-proclaimed Islamic State issued a horrific video showing the beheading of the 21 Christians.
“We had a hope that they would be released,” the brother said a day after the news of their killing was released. “But the will of God was for them to be martyrs of Christ, and that is better than life. They were martyred in the name of Jesus Christ. They kept the faith until the last moment. They didn’t deny the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are proud of them.”
Yesterday, Egyptian Christians gathered in the evening in churches to pray for the families of the victims. In Upper Egypt, a memorial service was held. All the victims came from that area.
Pope Francis said in a reaction: “The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard,” the Pope said. “Their only words were: ‘Jesus, help me!’” They were killed, “only because they confessed Christ,” the Pope said. He asked them to continue to encourage one another and promote the unity which is giving all believers strength. “The martyrs belong to all Christians.”
The 21 Christians were not the first Egyptian Christians intentionally killed. By the end of December 2014, a couple and their daughter were killed, and in the beginning of 2014, seven murdered Egyptian Christians were found.
Egypt is ranked No. 23 on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
Compiled by Janelle Powers. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.