Copts remember the sixth anniversary of the massacre of Coptic martyrs in Libya
Today we remember the 6th anniversary of the massacre of twenty Copts in Libya in the company of their Ghanaian workmates from jihadist terrorists linked to the so-called "Islamic State" in February 2015.
On the evening of Sunday the 14th of February, in the village of al-Awarm in Minya province, a vigil took place at the shrine dedicated to the Martyrs of the Faith and of the Fatherland, where their mortal remains are kept. The liturgical commemoration presided over by Anba Pavnotios, Coptic Archbishop of Samalut, was attended by various priests and a consistent representation of the martyrs’ families, among others.
Last year, the 5th anniversary of the massacre of the Coptic Orthodox martyrs of Libya was solemnly celebrated at the al-Awar shrine from the 1st to the 16th February through liturgical celebrations, lectures, guided tours of the museum and prayer meetings. This year, however, large crowds had to be avoided as a result of the pandemic.
The twenty Egyptian Copts and one of their Ghanaian work colleagues were kidnapped in Libya in early January 2015. The video of the beheading was posted on jihadist websites the following 15th of February. Just one week after the news of the massacre, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II decided to include the men executed by IS as twenty-one martyrs in the Coptic Church’s book of martyrs and to celebrate their commemoration on the 15th of February.