The bodies of 20 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by Islamic State terror group militants in February 2015 were finally laid to rest in Egypt’s Minya province, more than three years after they were kidnapped.
“Everyone stood beside the martyr that belongs to him and cried a little, but they were tears of longing, nothing more,” said Bishri Ibrahim, father of Kerolos, one of the victims.
“But we are happy and joyful that they have returned to the village. This is a blessing for the country and to all Copts all over the world,” he added.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that the funeral service at a church in the village of al-Our in Minya province was made possible after Libya finally flew back the remains of the believers earlier this week.
The victims, 20 Egyptian Copts and one Ghanaian Christian, appeared in an IS video in 2015 lined up on a Libyan beach in orange jumpsuits, before they were executed.
They reportedly were asked to renounce their faith in Christ to save their lives, but refused to do so.
“I wanted to see Milad come back from Libya on his feet after his struggle and hard work to earn a living in a harsh life abroad,” said 55-year-old Zaki Hanna, the father of one of the victims.
“But thanks be to God, he died a hero, did not beg anyone to spare his life and he and his brothers, the martyrs, did not abandon their faith or homeland.”
The victims have been declared martyrs of the Christian faith, with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi himself ordering the construction of The Church of the Martyrs of Faith and Homeland in their honor.
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Source: Christian Post