I was really moved by the story of the 21 Coptic martyrs. They were 21 Christian men who were kidnapped in Libya by ISIS (the Islamic State). On Feb. 15, 2015, the Islamic State released a video online, showing masked fighters beheading the men as they knelt on a Libyan beach wearing prison-style orange jumpsuits. The Egyptian government and the Coptic Orthodox Church later confirmed the video’s authenticity.
Many don’t know, but even though they are called the 21 Coptic martyrs, one of them was not Coptic, yet he showed solidarity as the lone non-Egyptian, Matthew Ayariga, who chose to be killed rather than abandon his friends. Though Matthew was not a Coptic Christian, and the jihadists told him he would be freed if he rejected Christ, he reportedly responded by saying, “Their God is my God.”
What faith and courage these 21 men had! I am Reformed which is very far from Coptic Orthodox (they reject the Council of Chalcedon), yet I recognize these 21 men as my fellow brothers in Christ. They made the ultimate sacrifice for Jesus.
“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”Matthew 10:33
These men did not deny Jesus. They could have saved their lives by renouncing their faith in Christ. Yet they chose to die for Christ! This incident reminds me of the many Christian martyrs of the early church at the hands of the Romans. The blood of the martyrs is truly the seed of the Church!
This incident also highlights the persecution and danger Christians in the Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, and other places are under due to Islam. Islam is the number one persecutor of Christians. Islam’s rise was done by the sword, through the brutal military conquest of Christian nations that had been Christian for 600 years! Many don’t realize that the Islamic Middle East used to be the Christian Middle East! I pray for the day we have once again a Christian Middle East and Satanic Islam is relegated to the dustbin of history. Muslims murdered and raped tens of millions of Christians, Jews, and Hindus in their rise to power.
Today, millions of Christians living in Muslim-majority countries face horrible persecution for their faith. The source of radical Islam is the Islamic texts! These radical Muslims like the Islamic State follow the texts the most closely. The Quran and the Hadith all explicitly call for violence against non-Muslims. They teach Muslims that they should subjugate and dominate Christians, Jews, and other non-Muslims. These texts call for Muslims to not befriend or trust Christians. And the Quran demands Christians and Jews pay a tax (the jizya) if they want to not be harassed. It establishes Christians as second-class citizens with few rights compared to Muslims. Muslims refer to us non-Muslims pejoratively as kafir.
We must unite as Christians and Jews and others and oppose radical Islam at every chance we have. Radical Islam is a barbaric religion that is predicated on hatred, violence, and discrimination. It establishes a 7th-century mindset that is incompatible with Western civilization.
Let us remember these 21 martyrs, and let their deaths not have been in vain. We must utterly annihilate every single radical Muslim who poses a threat. We must root out this terrorist scum and bulldoze the madras (religious schools) and mosques where radical Islam is preached and radicalizes Muslims. We must deter radical Muslim immigration. And impose harsh economic sanctions on radical Muslim-majority countries which persecute Christians. We must unite in the West and East to defeat radical Islam and ensure peace for ourselves, our kids, and our grandkids.
Every 5 minutes, around the world, a Christian is killed for their faith.
Here is a very moving video of the martyrdom of the 21 Christians in Libya by ISIS. Warning: this video of the actual martyrdom shows content that may be disturbing to some viewers.