Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Friday, 19 February 2021

A day to remember: They were killed “in odium fidei”

By Munir Bayouk/ : :

February 15, 2015 a day that was not like any other day. It was the day in which evil hands of extremists took the lives of 21 Copts in cold blood.


This day marked a heinous crime the like of which has been repeatedly perpetrated at different times in various parts of the world including the Middle East.


What a vicious and bloodthirsty extremists who chop off heads to satisfy their mean desire, and carry out an act they term as “heroism” at the expense on innocent and peaceful people!


These people were butchered at a time when they were working in Libya, leaving behind hungry families, and seeking to follow a noble way in life, namely to work and support their poor families living in  Egypt.


It is regrettable that at the outset of the 21st century there are still people who target innocent people and ensure the continued cycle of bloodshed instead of striving to build societies based on love, cooperation, common living, as well as on working hand-in-hand for the betterment of their societies in every field.


His Holiness Pope Francis sent a video message on Monday, February 15, on the 6th anniversary of the death of 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians killed in Libya. He said, “Today is the day I have in my heart, that February of 2015. I hold in my heart that baptism of blood, those twenty-one men baptized as Christians with water and the Spirit, and that day also baptized with blood. They are our Saints, Saints of all Christians, Saints of all Christian denominations and traditions.”


Stressing that the 21 Christians who bore witness to Jesus Christ were “ordinary men, fathers of families, men with the desire to have children; men with the dignity of workers, who not only seek to bring home bread, but to bring it home with the dignity of work,” he added, “Their throats slit by the brutality of ISIS, they died saying, 'Lord Jesus!', confessing the name of Jesus.”


The Holy Bible explicitly rejects violence, and warns that those who kill will definitely be killed sooner or later with evil boomerangs as goodness does. It states, “He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity, and he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Revelation 13:10).


From this premise, it is important be peacemakers, since the Bible says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.


On the other and, in a sober and limited way, the 6th anniversary of the massacre of the Copts in Libya was marked in Egypt. On Sunday, 14 February, a vigil took place in the shrine dedicated to the Martyrs of the Faith and of the Fatherland in the village of al-Awarm in Minya province. The liturgical commemoration was attended by various priests and a consistent representation of the martyrs' families, among others.


It is due time to educate the generations to come on the importance of sharing love and tolerance among others, and of striving to jointly build societies based on justice, love, equality so that such societies become models of progression to be emulated in various aspects of life.