Martyrdom of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya One Year Ago

12717472_10153351151718144_1384525524307004071_nFor over a thousand years, followers of Islam have been waging genocide against anyone who disagrees with them.  A little over a year ago, some of these followers murdered twenty-one Coptic Christians in Libya on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.  We remember these particular victims because their murderers made a video.

They died with the name of Jesus on their lips.  Because of the video, they were able to confess Christ to the world.  Christ will remember them.  (Luke 23:42-43).  Christ will remember us all.  (John 6:37-40).

Some give their lives to Christ in one bold act of confessing his name at the edge of a sword, while others give their lives through countless acts of service to others.  All Christians must give their lives because Christ gave his.  Christ gave his life, and we must follow him.

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.  For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

— Luke 9:23-25, ESV.

President Harrison of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod made a short video commemorating the anniversary of the martyrdom of the twenty-one Coptic Christians:

For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.

But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day:
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on His way.

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

— “For All the Saints,” LSB 677:1-2, 7-8.

Notes:

Remember Their Names

Martyrs1aBelow are the names of the twenty-one Christian men martyred for bearing the name of Christ.  They were Coptic Christians originally from Egypt, but were murdered in Libya.

Thousands of Christians are being murdered across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, but these men garnered some attention because they were featured in an Islamic State video.  In the video as their heads were being sawed off some could be heard to say, “Lord Jesus Christ.”

They were martyred for Christ.  They were murdered for being Christian.  May we remember them in prayer.  May we remember their names, the same names that on earlier days were spoken: as they were baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Milad Makeen Zaky

Abanub Ayad Atiya

Maged Solaiman Shehata

Yusuf Shukry Yunan

Kirollos Shokry Fawzy

Bishoy Astafanus Kamel

Somaily Astafanus Kamel

Malak Ibrahim Sinweet

Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros

Worker from Awr Village
(name unknown at this time)

Mina Fayez Aziz

Hany Abdelmesih Salib

Bishoy Adel Khalaf

Samuel Alham Wilson

Girgis Milad Sinweet

Ezat Bishri Naseef

Loqa Nagaty

Gaber Munir Adly

Esam Badir Samir

Malak Farag Abram

Sameh Salah Faruq

Jesus remembers their baptisms, and he remembers yours.  He will not forget.  (Mark 16:16).

The man crucified next to Jesus said, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  And Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”  (Luke 23:42-43, ESV).

Kyrie eleison!

Coptic Christians immerse their babies in baptism.

Additional Resources:

Obama’s Terrorism Blind Spot

254EF51800000578-0-image-m-24_1423520104864The Islamic State burned a man alive in a cage, then at the National Day of Prayer, President Obama told American Christians to get off their high horses.  Said Obama, “People committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Muhammadans murdered people at a kosher deli in Paris.  In response, President Obama called it random violence.

The Islamic State kidnapped 21 Christians, took them in another country, and beheaded them along the Mediterranean Sea.  In the same video, they also threatened to spill the blood of every single Christian in the world.

What should our response be?  Should we get off our high horse, and not judge?  Are all Americans and Christians just a bunch of hypocrites because of the Spanish Inquisition?

Thanks for the history lesson, but no thanks, Mr. President.  Christians, especially, know that we are not perfect.  Our own sin and the universality of sin is an integral part of our theology.  But we strive against our sin, we strive to do better, and we strive against evil in this world.

However, how can we strive against evil until after we have identified what is evil?  And how can we defeat evil if we do not know what is causing it?  What is motivating the terrorists?  What is causing this world wide convulsion of evil?  Obama seems to think this is just unmotivated random violence, in other words, it is just violence for its own sake.  He says, Islam is not the motivation.

But the terrorists disagree.  They say they are justified by the teaching of Islam.  And they are often very specific about just what teachings of Islam justify their behavior.  Should they be believed?  I do not know, but the fact is that their arguments are convincing Muhammadans around the world.

Therefore, we need to have a real discussion about Islam.  These boilerplate bromides from our leaders about how all religions are peaceful is not a debate or even a discussion.  Such bromides are just stupid.  The Aztecs sacrificed hundreds-of-thousands of people to their gods by cutting out their still beating hearts, and then rolling the bloody human bodies down their pyramids.  Is that a religion of peace?  By the way, that religious violence no longer takes place because Christians got on their literal high horses, and put an end to it.

How about the worship of Kali?  Was or is that a religion of peace?  (The Guardian).

These terrorists are trying to start a world war, and every day their movement gets bigger and more violent.  Why is this happening?

Obama’s blind spot is that he does not understand what motivates the terrorists.  But if he wants to effectively lead against this evil, he first needs to know what is causing it.  What are we striving against?  What is the threat we are facing?  Is it world war and global jihad?  Or is it just some unmotivated random violence?

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