Thinking, Feeling, and Praying in Light of 21 Christian Martyrs

Given the times in which we live, it didn’t take long for the story of Islamic terrorists murdering Egyptian Christians to make its way around the internet and, therefore, around the world.  For some this is just another string of recent ISIS killing. These twenty-one men were merely innocent Egyptians. But for others of us, we see this as the slaying of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  They weren’t just Egyptians. They were disciples of Jesus Christ.

Yet, because such things happen far from our normal lives, we might struggle to process such events. How ought we think, feel, and pray about these things?  Below are some recent resources that will help.

“A Biblical Meditation on the ISIS Execution of 21 Christians” by Thomas Schreiner. This short article is a wonderful place to start when thinking about this specific event and the issue of Christian martyrdom in general.

“The FAQs: Islamic State Beheads 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya” by Joe Carter.  The FAQs series is helpful in pointing out missed facts as well as dispelling myths. Here, Carter puts the recent murders into a larger context of ISIS activities, Coptic Christianity, and the geopolitical response.

“What ISIS Really Wants” by Graeme Wood.  This article demonstrates that, contrary to the current political line, ISIS is a group of religious zealots with clear religious and political aims.  This is a great article to get you up to speed on ISIS’ beginning and future plans.

“You Are in the Same Body: Remembering the Persecuted Church” by John Botkin.  This is a sermon I preached last year from the letter to the Hebrews.  I try to layout a view of seeing ourselves as members in the global Church and how that should affect our reaction to the persecution of believers in other countries.

“The World Was Not Worthy of Them” by Ramez Atallah. This post includes the testimony of a young believer was encouraged by the martyrdom of these with reflections by the Egyptian author on Hebrews 11.

“Should we pray for the defeat of ISIS, or their conversion?” by Russell Moore. Want to know how praying for justice and praying for salvation are not mutually exclusive? This is the post for you.

Finally, here are the names of the men who were martyred for their faith.  Pray for their families and churches that will grieve their loss in the coming weeks and months.


UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect the publication of more helpful articles in the last two days.

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