Slain Copts hailed as martyrs for Christ
February 16, 2015
Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak of Alexandria has described the 21 Copts slaughtered by the Islamic State as “martyrs who gave their lives for the faith.”
The Coptic prelate's words echo a public statement by Pope Francis. “Their only words were: ‘Jesus, help me!’ the Pontiff said. “They were killed simply for the fact that they were Christians.”
The Pope added:
The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard. 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. As we recall these brothers and sisters who died only because they confessed Christ, I ask that we encourage each another to go forward with this ecumenism which is giving us strength, the ecumenism of blood.
The Coptic Catholic patriarchate of Alexandria, in a statement released to the Fides news service, said that the beheading of the 21 Orthodox Christians had drawn together the Christians of Egypt. In fact, a spokesman said, the event “is uniting the entire country, Christians and Muslims. If their aim was to divide us, they have failed.”
The Coptic Patriarch praised Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al Sisi for taking immediate military action against the Islamic State in response to the killings. Although the beheadings took place in Libya, the victims were Egyptian Copts.
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- Udienza al Reverendo John P. Chalmers, Moderatore della Chiesa di Scozia (Riformata) (Holy See Press Office)
- Egypt bombs Islamic State targets in Libya after 21 Egyptians beheaded (Reuters)
- 21 Copts kidnapped and murdered by jihadists in Libya are “martyrs for the faith” says Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac (Fides)
- Pope Francis: The blood of murdered Copts a "witness that cries out (Vatican Radio)
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