The Coptic Orthodox Church around the world responds today with mixed feelings. On the one hand, She mourns the loss of twenty one young men, who were killed at the hands of the Islamic State terrorist group (IS) in Libya. On the other hand, She feels proud that She is still fruitful and offers every day new martyrs for the sake of Christ.
Those brave men were praying till the last minute of their lives. Once the knives touched their skin they shouted “My Lord Jesus Christ”. Not one of them was shaking or begging for his life as they focused on the better life ahead.
The Coptic Orthodox Community in WA, though sad for this great loss, feels proud that they belong to the Church which still gives a strong witness to Christ.
We offer our prayers to all Muslims around the world to find peace during this harsh times. Special prayers are offered for all the evil terrorists and their supporters so that they may find mercy on that Day. We assure them of our forgiveness and prayers.
We pray for the families who have lost their beloved ones and praise their faith; they teach us how to be joyous when you offer that which is most precious and valuable to you to Christ.
We also pray that the world which is controlled by the devil may come back quickly to their Creator.
In this occasion we offer our condolences to the whole church, to His Holiness Pope Twadros II, Pope and Patriarch of the great city of Alexandria, to our honorable bishop His Grace Bishop Suriel, Bishop of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions, the Holy Synod and specially to the families of the martyrs.
We present our gratitude to the Egyptian Government headed by General Al Sisi for the swift reaction to protect the borders of our beloved country, Egypt. His visit to the Cathedral to pay his personal tributes to HH Pope Tawadros II is invaluable. His instructions to build a new church named after the martyrs, and to call streets after their names is historical.
We also thank and value everyone -churches, organisations and individuals – who shared their feelings with us and paid tribute to our martyrs.
May the Lord rest their souls and have mercy upon us.