Christians around the world have expressed their condemnation of the tragic death of 21 Coptic Christian men in Libya in February. The Egyptian church continues to be an unwavering light in the midst of this dark situation. A Christian leader in the country writes:
“I stand in awe before the one who once taught us to love beyond what is reasonable according to human logic. By teaching these words, our Lord Jesus has truly introduced a new hope to humanity that didn’t exist before. Hatred is obviously embedded into the human nature since the fall of mankind described in Genesis 3. However Jesus’ call to show love and forgiveness to enemies and persecutors caused victory over that fallen nature.
“The Egyptian church is praying for the IS terrorists who recently beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in Libya. These martyrs refused to deny their faith to stay alive. The sound of prayers requesting mercy and life, not revenge and destruction, calling on God’s name to come and change the hearts of the killers, is loudly heard across Egypt.”
In honouring the 21 Coptic Christians who were recently beheaded in Libya by a jihadist group linking themselves with the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS – formerly known as ISIS), an Egyptian Christian leader wrote this powerful poem. One million copies were printed in Arabic, and are being distributed in Egypt by the Bible Society.
Two rows of men walked the shore of the sea,
On a day when the world’s tears would run free,
One a row of assassins, who thought they did right,
The other of innocents, true sons of the light,
One holding knives in hands held high,
The other with hands empty, defenceless and tied,
One row of slits to conceal glaring-dead eyes,
The other with living eyes raised to the skies,
One row stood steady, pall-bearers of death,
The other knelt ready, welcoming heaven’s breath,
One row spewed wretched, contemptible threats,
The other spread God-given peace and rest.
Who fears the other?
The row in orange, watching paradise open?
Or the row in black, with minds evil and broken?
Pray with us for our brothers and sisters in Egypt. Want to know more about Christian persecution? Find out at www.worldwatchlist.org.au