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San Edigio founder says terrorists are not martyrs

 The founder of the Rome-based St Egidio lay movement has criticised the use of the term 'martyrs' in connection with Islamic terrorists. One of Europe's most prominent lay Catholics, Andrea Riccardi said the word martyr "is used too often in our language today". He argued that suicide bombers are engaged in a bloody activity that is the direct opposite of Christian martyrdom. In the Christian understanding, Riccardi said, a martyr is someone who testifies to the faith, even at the cost of his life. But the Christian martyr does not desire death in itself, nor would he ever desire the death of others. He was speaking yesterday at a Rome press conference for the unveiling of a comprehensive new study of the European martyrs of the 20th century. The book: 'Faith and Martyrdom: The Eastern Churches in Twentieth Century Europe; (Proceedings of the meeting on contemporary Church history, Vatican City, October 22-24, 1998), was launched in the Vatican yesterday. It documents efforts to suppress Eastern-rite Catholic communities in Ukraine, Romania, Slovakia, and Ruthenia. See following story: New book charts history of Eastern Churches in 20th Century Source: VIS