Friday, February 20, 2015

A Tribute to My Egyptian Brothers

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Revelation 20:4 

Praise God for the boldness of men and women around the world to stand up in the face of death for the name of Jesus Christ!

Praise God for the promise that these men and women would reign with Christ in the end!

Praise God for the "crown of life" (James 1:12) promised to those who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ!

There has been a recent increase in publicized graphic violence by Islamic extremists but let us change our focus from the persecutors to the persecuted. This persecution has been happening since Stephen was stoned to death in Acts 7, it is just that we in the western world have been blind to what is going on. 

There was a brief example in the U.S. back in 1999 when it was reported that during the Columbine massacre, Cassie Bernall was asked if she believed in God right before being shot. For once martyrdom was close to home and the entire nation was shocked. But then Christians went one with their lives mostly unaware of how many of their brothers and sisters were dying or being persecuted around the world. 

Richard Wurmbrand, founder of Voice of the Martyrs, wrote a book about his own persecution called Tortured for Christ. If you have not read it you can get the book for free here. In this book he shares a new perspective on martyrdom. He tells a story of a man who was constantly beat in an attempt to get him to deny Christ but he would not give in. Finally his captors brought this mans son and proceeded to drown his son by forcing his head in a bucket of water. Each time they brought the boy's head out of the water the boy would plead with his father not to give in, to not deny Christ. He would remind his father that he was just going to go to a better place. 

As I read this I was horrified the same way that many of us have been horrified by watching a recent video that has come out. How can such evil exist in human beings? But Richard Wurmbrand, after telling this story, made the statement, "It was so beautiful". 

Wurmbrand focused on a different side of things then the average person. He was stating that the devotion of the father and son to Jesus Christ was beautiful. Of course he thought that the actions of his persecutors were horrible but that was not his focus. 

So I had this account in mind as I watched the video. Instead of focusing on the evil of the Islamist extremists, an evil straight from Satan himself, I was able to focus on the beautiful devotion of those Christians, of my brothers. And let me say:

Hani Abdel Messihah
Yousef Shoukry
Towadros Yousef
Maged Suleiman Shahata
Milad Makeen Zaky
Abanub Ayad Atiya
Kirollos Shokry Fawzy (Kirollos Bashree Fawzy)
Bishoy Astafanus Kamel
Malak Ibrahim Sinweet
Girgis Milad Sinweet
Mina Fayez Aziz
Samuel Alham Wilson
Samuel Astafanus Kamel
Ezat Bishri Naseef
Loqa Nagaty Anees
Munir Gaber Adly
Esam Badir Samir
Malak Farag Abram
Sameh Salah (Sameh Salah Farug)
Girgis Sameer Maglee
I am proud to be your brother! 


  1. Which in turn brings to mind the question, "How devoted am I to God?" Our persecutions here in the States is generally not to the point of death, yet more often than not we falter and fail to represent Christ as we should. I stand with you in saying I am proud to be their brother.

    1. That is a good question to ask ourselves! How would I respond in the same situation?