People of the Cross: The 21 Martyrs

By August 21, 2015 6 Comments

21 PEOPLE OF THE CROSSThere they were, for all the world to see – 21 orange clad men  – kneeling on a beach.

Most were Egyptians, working in Libya, trying to make some money and a future, just like the rest of us.

They were captured by ISIS, tortured and threatened with death.

Their crime?

They were “people of the cross.”

Each one was given the chance to save their life by renouncing Christianity and embracing Islam.

They chose to say, “No.”

Egyptians 21Their last words were, “Lord Jesus Christ.”

People of the Cross

24-year-old Luqa Najati, a newlywed working in Libya to build a life for his family in Egypt. Najati didn’t know his wife was pregnant when he left to search for work. He never met his infant daughter.

Bishoy and Samuel Kamel—were saving for their weddings.

Samuel Wilson was working to buy a home for his wife and three children.

26-year-old Samih Salah Shawqi left behind a wife and baby daughter.

To My Friends, The Killers

The brother of Bishoy Adel Khalaf wrote to ISIS:

“You beheaded in cold blood 21 Copts, only because they are Christians and refused to leave their God and their faith…

I want to thank you because:

  • You made them kneel not before you but rather before their loving God who is going to judge the living and the dead.
  • You did not make them see your hating harsh eyes as their last image on earth but the eyes of their kind heavenly father.
  • You made us understand the huge difference between your God and ours… in one simple fact our God would shed his blood in love for his people, and his followers would gladly gave their lives for His love.
  • You showed us that those young men were not scared…. I challenge you that you were….and that is why you masked your faces. We saw their bravery in their faces and we saw the cowardice masked in yours.
  • You allowed us to hear… their last voices on this earth…not asking for mercy…not crying for release…not screaming to say the shihada …but praying My Lord Jesus Christ

When you shed the blood of martyrs…your war now is not with earthly states or kingdoms but with the Lord of Hosts. Remember the Roman Empire…you cannot because it is not there anymore…after they martyred thousands of Christians …the Empire withered. Our Coptic Church revives on every single pure drop of blood that was shed…….

  • Perhaps I am disgusted with your lack of humanity but I don’t hate you.
  • I cannot hate you because My Lord forgave his crucifiers on the cross
  • I know you want me to fear you and hate you; strangely you failed to do both.

Here is a profile of each of the 21 men.


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Bob Jones

Author Bob Jones

Pastor at North Pointe Community Church for 27 years. Happily married to Jocelyn for 38 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three gorgeous daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring faith in Jesus through communicating, blogging, counseling and coaching. I enjoy running, reading, writing and ball hockey. Fan of the Esks and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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