Tag: Coptic Church

So marveled Egyptian TV host Amr Adeeb, in the aftermath of the Palm Sunday bombings of Christians by ISIS. The forgiveness expressed by a widow of one of the victims had taken his breath away:

Stunned, Adeeb stammered about Copts bearing atrocities over hundreds of years, but couldn’t escape the central scandal.
“How great is this forgiveness you have!” his voice cracked. “If it were my father, I could never say this. But this is their faith and religious conviction.”
Millions marveled with him across the airwaves of Egypt.

It has often been said of the ancient church that the blood of martyrs was the seed of the Church. The witness of the Coptic community, which has seen numerous attacks in the past few years, has made an impact, both on the Coptic church itself, and on the wider community.

Christianity Today quoted Christian psychiatrist and former member of parliament Ehab el-Kharrat as saying, “The Coptic community is definitely in defiance. The services of Holy Week have doubled in attendance, and the churches are flowing out into the streets.”

With regard to their muslim neighbors:
“The families of the martyrs are promoting a worldview that is 180 degrees contrary to that of the terrorists,” he said. “The great majority of Egyptians now carry deep respect for the Copts, who are viewed as patriotic people of faith.”

Two churches in Egypt were attacked today during Palm Sunday services, killing scores of worshippers. Our prayers go out to our persecuted brethren.

In Tanta, news footage shows people gathered at the church, singing hymns. The video then quickly switches to bars as harrowing screams and cries echo in the background.
“Everything is destroyed inside the church” and blood can be seen on marble pillars, said Peter Kamel, who saw the aftermath of the carnage.

You can read more at CNN.

isisdeathsIn case you missed it, 21 mostly Coptic Christians from Egypt, who were working in Libya, were kidnapped, tortured, and killed by Islamic Extremists.  They were offered the chance to recant their faith but refused to do so.  They died praising the name of Jesus.

Now they are being essentially canonized by the Coptic Church.  You can read about this in Christianity Today:

The deaths of 21 Christians to ISIS will not be in vain as they will be declared martyrs by the Coptic Orthodox Church, the equivalent of canonisation in the Catholic Church.

In a statement, Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church affirmed that the martyrdom of the 21 will be commemorated every 8th Amshir of the Coptic Calendar, the feast day of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

…Despite their impending death, the Christian men could be heard continuously chanting the words “Lord Jesus Christ”, while some even screamed the name of Yeshua in their final moments.

While the intention of ISIS was to sow fear among those who do not share their beliefs, the courage of the Christians has inspired many to further profess their faith.

Beshir Kamel, whose brothers Bishoy and Samuel were among the martyrs slain by the group, said that his siblings’ martyrdom serves as a “badge of honour to Christianity.”

“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 in an interview with SAT-7 Arabic.

A new icon has been created by a Coptic American artist, Tony Rezk, and appears on the webpage of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California, and Hawaii.

Coptic-MartyrsYou can find more about this work here: here.  Mr. Rezk gave an interview to the National Review:

“My ultimate purpose was to honor them and the sacrifice that they made. Tertullian, a Christian apologist from the third century, before he joined a non-Orthodox Christian sect, said, “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.” We believe that their martyrdom will help the Church grow stronger. My other purpose was to take out my frustrations on something, as I find that the process of making any kind of art is a relaxing experience.”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/414400/what-martyrdom-looks-interview