The terrorist group known as ISIS has used social media to broadcast their horrific acts of torture and murder, particularly aimed at non-Muslim Christians. Most recently, we have heard of the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians who refused to deny Jesus Christ.
However, it was discovered that only 20 of the hostages were Egyptian Copts. Then who was this other man who died along side these Christians in martyrdom?
Ahram-Canadian News was able to uncover that the non-Coptic man was a Chadian citizen, who was also apparently a non-believer. As he was marched out onto the beach in Libya with 20 other laborers who were working there, and knelt beside them, something happened. The Chadian man underwent a conversion, the true nature and magnitude we may never know this side of heaven. What we do know, is that in the experience of the Coptic men’s self-sacrificing faith, he decided to accept that faith. When the terrorists asked him to deny Jesus Christ as God, he said; “Their God is my God”.
In what he called, “the ecumenism of blood,” Pope Francis stated;
“The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard,” said the Pope. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ.”
Beshir Kamel, the brother of two of the martyrs (Bishoy Astafanus Kamel and Somaily Astafanus Kamel) is thankful that the name of the men’s Savior was not edited out of the video. In the face of his great loss, Kamel is able to quote the Bible verse about loving his neighbor and blessing those who curse him.
It becomes clear that Kamel and his brothers received their incredible faith from their mother. He relays what his mother said when asked what she would do if she could meet the men who executed her sons. “My mother, an uneducated woman in her sixties, said she would ask [him] to enter her house and ask God to open his eyes because he was the reason her son entered the kingdom of heaven.”
I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to say who I am more moved by; the sons or their mother. Two young men faced martyrdom in the most heroic way, with their brother Christians. The mother of those men, who is left to mourn and grieve, lives a martyrdom of love, rather than allying with hate. Thank you for your testimony, your faith, and now for your prayers!
21 New Egyptian Martyrs of Libya
Abanub Ayad Atiya
Maged Solaiman Shehata
Yusuf Shukry Yunan
Kirollos Shokry Fawzy
Bishoy Astafanus Kamel
Somaily Astafanus Kamel
Malak Ibrahim Sinweet
Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros
Girgis Milad Sinweet
Mina Fayez Aziz
Bishoy Adel Khalaf
Samuel Alham Wilson
Worker from Awr village (name unknown at this time)
Ezat Bishir Naseef
Gaber Munir Adly
Esam Badir Samir
Malak Farag Abram
Sameh Salah Faruq