The Coptic Orthodox Church Recognized the Martyrdom of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians - REUTERS
SHARE: The Coptic Orthodox Church has announced that the murder of the 21 Egyptian Christians killed by the so-called Islamic State in Libya will be commemorated in its Church calendar. Pope Tawadros II announced that the names of the martyrs will be inserted into the Coptic Synaxarium, the Oriental Church’s equivalent to the Roman Martyrology. This procedure is also equivalent to canonization in the Latin Church.
Listen to Junno Arocho's report: According to terrasanta.net, the martyrdom of the 21 Christians will be commemorated on the 8th Amshir of the Coptic calendar, or February 15th of the Gregorian calendar. The commemoration falls on the feast day of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.
Militants of the Islamic State released a gruesome video entitled “A Message Signed in Blood to the Nation of the Cross” in which they released a warning saying they were “south of Rome.” They then proceeded to behead the Christian men, some of whom were seen mouthing the words “Lord Jesus Christ” moments before their death.
While the killings have stirred fears of the Islamic State’s close proximity to Europe, they have also strengthened many in their faith.
In an interview with Christian channel SAT-7 ARABIC on Wednesday, Beshir Kamel, brother of two of the Coptic martyrs, even thanked the Islamic State for including their declaration of faith in the videos before killing them.
“ISIS gave us more than we asked when they didn’t edit out the part where they declared their faith and called upon Jesus Christ. ISIS helped us strengthen our faith,” he said. Beshir said that he was proud of his brothers Bishoy and Samuel, saying that their martyrdom was “a badge of honor to Christianity.”
Kamel’s interview with SAT 7-ARABIC went viral, receiving over 100,000 views within hours of its posting online. When asked what his reaction would be if he saw an Islamic State militant, Kamel recalled his mother’s response.
"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,” Beshir said.
WARNING: The following video is gruesome, graphic and not for everyone.
Please pray first and ask the Lord to give you His eyes and heart before you watch. It will change your life forever. This is not for the skittish. This is the video produced by ISIS. it shows the march to the shoreline, the resolution of the executioners and the leader of the executioners. There is one executioner per Christian. they are all decapitated at the same time. Heads are then placed on the shoulders. my description should be enough. It took me weeks to process the strength and faith to watch this. Needless to say I had a sleepless night. It is important for all of us to understand what our faith in Jesus involves. Sometimes there is the grace given to be martyred for Christ's sake, the Church and the world. When we see the love and peacefulness of the martyrs we see heaven's light upon them. St. Paul describes it as the ultimate Communion with Christ. "That I may know Him in the power of the resurrection, the fellowship of His suffering conformed to the image of His death." Perhaps before considering watching true martyrdom from this year's headlines have a look at the stories of the first martyrs of the Church:
ISIS Warning: Message Signed In Blood Coming Soon To ‘Nation Of The Cross’ Speculation as to who is the ‘nation of the cross’ spans from Denmark (flag with cross) to ‘community of Christendom' (all Christian nations). This announcement came after the Denmark attacks..
In August of last year, the leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi, called the U.S. the ‘Defenders of the Cross’. That might seem a truly ironic designation to us, but the U.S., and the Western coalition in general, is usually referred to as “Crusaders” by ISIS.
Denmark had received threats after the Paris attacks and before the attacks yesterday.
Yesterday they released a nine minute video named “A Message to France”, threatening France and Belgium, claiming ISIS-linked elements are stationed throughout the two European countries awaiting instructions to launch attacks.
ISIS also makes the direct threat to fly its flag over the Vatican.
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" The Jesus Prayer
These all died willingly for the glory of Jesus Christ because they all shared the Creed of Our Faith. In CommunionFire we now make a common proclamation of the Apostle's Creed before we sit down at the Table of the Lord. It is our personal declaration of faith; our spiritual 'tattoo' so to speak.
Jesus died, rose and revived to bring us to His Table. Have the 'daily bread' (qurbana is the Coptic name) and drink from the cup of the new and everlasting covenant. We need revival every day is we want to have His life inside us. Jesus said, "If you do not eat my Flesh and drink my Blood, you have no life in you." To live for Jesus we are totally dependent on having His life in us, for without Him, we are as nothing.
There is no alternative to Communion the way Jesus told us. We sit with Him by His invitation to feed on Him, His Flesh and Blood, so that we might feed on His presence where He shares His love and life in new and fresh ways every day and shares His daily message with you. What He shares with you is the Living Bread and the Spirit of Life and it is personal. Then we can share with each other what He shares with us. That is where we experience true Communion with Him and by him with one another.
Eye has not seen nor ear heard what Jesus has prepared for those who love Him. Give all our heart and all your life to Jesus. He gave all He had because of His great love for you. His arms are open and ready to embrace you.
Bob Bonnell Communion Pastor
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