Five years ago this month, ISIS executed 21 Christian men on a beach Libya. Their masked executors stood in all black behind the men, who knelt in a line wearing orange jumpsuits. After the Islamic State released a video of their murders, images of this massacre of Coptic Christians reverberated around the world.
While this particular act of violence caught the attention of millions around the world, Egyptian Christians have long experienced persecution, says Archbishop Angaelos, who serves in London.
“The interesting thing is, we live it with a sense of resilience, but we have never fallen into a state of victimhood or triumphalism,” he said. “We realize that it is the cross of Christ. …It's not the end of the road because there is a resurrection that comes after the cross and the empty tomb. And so it is in that hope that we continue to live. And it's in that hope that we continue to carry that cross, knowing that it will be removed from us.”
Archbishop Angaelos, who still remembers the day he learned of the news, joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Daniel Harrell this week to discuss why this act of persecution so greatly impacted the global church, the identity of the only non-Egyptian martyr, and whether the church will experience the same decline as it has in the rest of the Middle East.
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