The Coptic martyrs on Minya: poignant accounts of their final moments

May 31, 2017 by

from Aleteia.

While celebrating the liturgical feast of the Lord’s Ascension into heaven, as they made their way to the monastery of St. Samuel, 200 kilometers south of Cairo, dozens of Coptic pilgrims were murdered in a bloody ambush carried out by the Islamic State.

At least 29 persons were killed, and 25 wounded, as the terrorists opened fire on the pilgrims. It was the fourth attack against Christians in Egypt since December to be claimed by the ISIS, and comes in the wake of the suicide bombing on two churches in Cairo, in early April, that killed 45 Copts.

According to several witnesses, in the case of the Minya attack everything seems to indicate that the Egyptian Copts who were killed on Friday — many of them children — died as objective martyrs of the Faith. After robbing the pilgrims of their money, their jewels and other precious effects, witnesses say the terrorists told them to apostatize and pronounce the Islamic profession of faith: the shahada. The captives, kneeling, categorically refused. According to reports, they were immediately shot in the neck, head, throat or chest.

The French daily, the Libération, on Monday published the poignant account of its special envoy in the village of Nazlet, a town that is mourning seven victims:

“A dozen masked and armed men cut us off and asked us to renounce God. They were told no; there is no question about it, so the massacre began,” one woman said.

Fr. Pernaba Fawzi Hanine, who serves parish priest in Nazlet, used the term “martyr” without any hesitation:

“We must be proud of our beloved dead. None of them denied God. They died as believers. They are our martyrs.”

Read here 

See also: Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement



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