Saturday, June 9, 2012

The blood of the martyrs. . .

Egypt Today displayed the shocking video of Tunisian Muslims slicing off a young man's head off for the crime of apostasy -- in this instance, the crime of converting to Christianity and refusing to renounce it. The death was extremely brutal, the crude hacking away of a small knife for over two minutes before the execution was finished.  In the video, the man does not struggle and appears almost peaceful in the face of his fate. While this is happening, an Arabic voice chants a number of Muslim prayers, mostly condemning Christianity because of the Trinity: "Let Allah be avenged on the polytheist apostate"; "Allah empower your religion, make it victorious against the polytheists"; "Allah, defeat the infidels at the hands of the Muslims," and "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger."  At the end, as the cries of "Allahu Akbar!"— Allah is greater!"—rose up from the crowd of spectators, the masked executioner holds the severed head aloft.

To his credit,  talk show host Tawfiq Okasha asks: "Is this Islam? Does Islam call for this? How is Islam related to this matter?...These are the images that are disseminated throughout the electronic media in Europe and America…. Can you imagine?" Then, in reference to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis, whose political influence has grown tremendously, he asks, "How are such people supposed to govern?"  The story is here.

I will not post the link to the video.  The brutality is beyond belief and the celebration of such a brutal death is as shocking as the actual details of the brutal death.  This was not an isolated incident but representative of the persecution and murder of Christians and the limitation of their rites and stealing of the property of the churches in Muslim lands.  Christianity has its own brutal past, there is no denial, but such brutality is readily condemned both when it happens today and the events of history.  Where are the Muslim voices to condemn such brutality now?  Or, are we to assume by the silence, that this has become the face and practice of Islam?

Pray for those Christians who live under the threat of death and under the burden of oppression every day.  Pray for the victims of this violence and cruelty and for their families.  Pray for the courage of these brave souls who risk all to confess the Triune God.  And while you are at it, look around at the ease we enjoy in a land of relative freedom and justice and ask yourself why we are not doing more to take advantage of the opportunity of this liberty....  Kyrie eleison!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AND as St. Stephen, pray for those perpetrating these autrocities - the enemies of Christ and His Church - thus fulfilling Christ's command (pray for your enemies, do good to them that persecute you) and example (Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do).