Christianity – The Religion of Martyrs

In the face of brutal persecution, is mankind forgetting their humanity?

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Twenty-one Christians have been slaughtered in Libya. Some countries have merely denounced what happened, though world leaders, eager to be the first to speak out, strongly condemned the killing of the French cartoonists working for Charlie Hebdo.  Why is it that the murders of these Christians and the displacement of Christians in Iraq and Syria receive such little attention while the death of the Jordanian pilot demands the condemnation of heads of state? Are the deaths of these Christians seen as unimportant in political and diplomatic circles?  Even foreign newspapers failed to fully cover these murders, giving only a few lines in their papers, or in some cases, none at all.

In my opinion, as a thinker and writer, the number of Coptic Christians who were killed in Libya (the 21 martyrs) symbolizes the 21st century in which we live today. Despite all the positive inventions, the technological progress, and our overcoming many of the limits of time and space, we have begun to forget our humanity. We forget the importance of human relationships, and we forget the importance of each human God has created. The result is the death of our humanist values, as well as the death of our Christian values, so closely linked with those humanist values.

The killing of a person in this savage and brutal way, whether by beheading or burning cannot in any way be considered ‘human.’ 

In a conversation with a reporter from one of the Hungarian television stations, I said, «If these murders were motivated by religion and the perpetrators believed that they were acting in the name of God, then that religion is certainly not a religion from God. This is because God is the creator and owner of life, He is the giver of life and the person who takes another human life puts him or herself in opposition to God. Therefore the killer is not only a murderer, but also a disbeliever in God and in the grace of life”[1].

In fact, we are not sure who provides financial support for these groups that kill in the name of religion, whether ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram or others.  Why do these financiers support these brutal acts? Are those they kill not human beings? Why do they thirst for blood in this way? Are these paid killers seen as expendable?  One thing that we know, is that these terrorists lose everything the moment they die. No one will remember them. But the martyrs who died at the hands of these criminals become beloved in the sight of God the Creator, who raises them to the highest rank in heaven.  The world considers them martyrs for their courage and steadfastness, for their faith and humanity.

This is the difference between a murdering terrorist and a martyr of faith. The terrorist can lose his humanity, his life, as well as eternal life.  True martyrs earn love and sympathy and are raised to the rank of the saints.

The Christian Church and the Coptic Church in particular believes that the martyr earns the best blessings of Christian grace. As a Christian, I believe Christianity is a pure religion…Christianity is the religion of humanity, love, and sacrifice. It is the martyr’s religion.

The blood of the twenty-one martyrs

appeals to the conscience of all  still believe in human values.

This blood alarm bell is for the world today.

The lives of these martyrs were given not just for Christ,

but also for humanity. Therefore, awaken O humanity!

Awake every human conscience for if we are without a sense of the fragility and sacredness of every life, we are no longer truly human beings.


[Translation by Chery Isaac]
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Michael Adel Amen

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