(International Christian Concern) - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that families of the Copts killed by ISIS in Libya are preparing to place their deceased loved ones at the Church of the Martyrs of Libya in
Construction of the Church of the Martyrs of Libya began with the intention of memorializing the faith and courage of the 21 Coptic men who were brutally massacred by ISIS militants along the Libyan coast in February 2015. The militants
Thirteen of the men killed were originally from
The brother of the two martyrs Bishoy and Samuel told ICC, “A great state of joy prevailed in our village [Aour] after the publication of pictures of the bodies. Our feelings are indescribable. They are mixed
According to the families, the bodies of the men are currently in a Libyan morgue where they are being prepared for the return to the families. Social media has been the primary source of information for the families throughout the process, and they have received only limited communication from the authorities on the progress of the investigation.
The families’ hearts are “hungry to see the remains of our martyrs,” according to Malak Shokry Younan, the brother of the martyr Youssef. The mother of the martyr Mina Fayez Aziz shared with ICC, “Before the news of finding the bodies of our martyrs, I was comforted and blessed. But now, after hearing the news of finding the bodies of the martyrs, I’m comforted more than before. I will be very happy when I see them and will visit them every day at the church. We pray that God
Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “For over two years, the families of these Christians have had to wait at home with no opportunity for closure. Both the Libyan and Egyptian authorities must do everything possible to ensure that the bodies are returned to their loved ones and buried with dignity according to their Christian faith. At the same time, we must not forget that these victims were originally in Libya because of a lack of opportunity in Egypt for Christians. We pray that these families will experience healing from this tragedy and for the safety of those Egyptian Christians who continue to risk their lives for the sake of their families’ welfare.”