A church dedicated to the 21 Coptic martyrs beheaded in Libya in 2015 by terrorists affiliated to the so-called Islamic State (Daesh) will be officially inaugurated this Thursday, 15 February, the day chosen for their liturgical memory.
The new church, has been built in the village of al Our, near the city of Samalut, in the province of Minya, where 13 of the 21 martyrs came from.
Many relatives of the Coptic martyrs are coming to attend the service. It is hoped that the remains of the martyrs will eventually be interred in the new church. Their bodies were found in September, in a mass grave on the Libyan coast, near the town of Sirte.
The 21 Egyptian Copts were kidnapped by IS in Libya in early January 2015. A video of their killing was was shown on jihadist sites a month later.
Just a week after their brutal act, Orthodox Catholic Patriarch Tawadros II decided to register the 21 martyrs in the Synaxarium, the book of martyrs of the Coptic Church, establishing that their memory was to be celebrated on February 15.
The Catholic Emeritus Bishop of Guizeh, Anba Antonios Aziz Mina said: "The video depicting their execution was intended to spread terror. But during their barbaric execution, the victims repeated 'Lord Jesus Christ'. The name of Jesus was the last word on their lips. As in the passion of the first martyrs, they put their trust in Him who would soon receive them. And so they celebrated their victory, the victory that no executioner can take away from them."