Churches across Egypt marked the arrival of the bodies of the 20 Egyptian Christians martyred by Islamic State in Libya at Cairo airport on the evening of Monday, 14 May.
Of the 20 martyred, 13 came from the same village. One church minister, who was uncle to two of the Christians who were killed and the cousin of another two said, “This is a great and living testimony … This is God’s peace that he poured within our hearts. At the time of martyrdom, in the first scene of the video, we were terribly pained but we thank God because their bodies came back which is something we didn’t expect. All the village is very happy and proud of their martyred sons because they raised the name of our Lord and their faith.”
The mother of Abanoub, one of those killed, said, “They’re Christ’s beloved …We are happy and proud of them. We thank God for his continuous love. May God bless our President Sisi and bless all the people of Egypt. We were greatly pained but God comforted us. They left Egypt and no one knew them but now they are returning and the whole world are watching them.”
The 20 Egyptian Christians had gone to Libya to find work, but were rounded up by Islamic State fighters in Sirte in 2015, when the group controlled territory there, and taken to a beach to be beheaded. A Ghanaian Christian was also killed with them. All refused to deny Christ, by which they would have saved their lives. Their bodies were only recovered in October 2017 and after painstaking forensic identification have now been repatriated.