A Coptic Orthodox bishop has dedicated a church to the 21 Christians who were beheaded in Libya in February by members of the Islamic State.
Shortly after the murders, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church declared that the slain Christians would be venerated as martyrs.
“We are extremely proud of our martyrs,” said Bishop Paphnutius of Samalut, the home diocese of most of the slain Christians.
“Although they were forced to kneel before their executioners, they were the stronger,” he added, according to Aid to the Church in Need. “Their murderers were the weaker, despite their weapons. Why would they have concealed their faces otherwise? It could only have been because they were afraid. Our sons by contrast were very strong and called on our Lord until their very last breath.”