(Reading time: 1 minute)
Father with a picture of his son who was beheaded
Photo: Open Doors USA

February 15th marked the third anniversary of the public beheading of 21 Christians on the coast of Libya. In the weeks leading up to that fateful day, ISIS captors had reportedly tortured the men who had travelled hundreds of miles to find work in order to support their families. When the men refused to deny Jesus Christ, the militants beheaded them and posted a video of the execution.

In honour of the 20 Egyptians and one Ghanaian who were killed, a new Coptic church was dedicated last month in Upper Egypt --The Church of the Libyan Martyrs. Built in an area that is 70 percent Muslim, opposition to the construction was harsh. Yet the building was completed with the support of the Egyptian government.

Despite the loss of these martyred men, members of the community in Egypt report that they have been bolstered in their faith. Malak, the father of one of the slain Egyptians, states: "We only knew martyrdom from films. But martyrdom was reintroduced, and it strengthened our faith because these people -- these martyrs -- lived among us."