Tarek El Mahaba July Issue - Page 45

Coptic Church- Church of Heroes “For I consider that thesufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glorywhich shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8: 18) Persecutionsand martyrdom in Christianity started from the time Saint Stephen was martyred. Suffering and hardship must follow Christians regardless of their location. Themain reason of that is we believe in the name of the Lord Christ, who wascrucified on the Holy Wood of the cross for our sake. Saint Mark the apostleand the evangelist who had a powerful ministry and our holy church whichbenefited from it is a clear example to bearing the cross to the end. He wasthe founder of the Christian faith in Alexandria, Egypt. By God’s power, manypeople turned to Christianity and the Christian faith spread throughout theland of Egypt. The devil stirred some Pagans against the apostle. The Saintknew about their evil intention, so, he ordained a bishop, three priests, andseven deacons to take care of the congregation of believers after hisdeparture. On the day the apostle was celebrating the Feast of the GloriousResurrection with his congregation, he was seized by the unbelievers. They tiedhim to a tail of a horse and dragged him through the streets of Alexandria fortwo consecutive days. 45 He received the crown of martyrdom. Copticsin Egypt face persecution and discrimination for the sake of the Lord. At SaintMark’s Cathedral, a number of Christians were martyred as they were celebratingthe Feast of Palm Sunday. A suicide bomber blew himself up at the gate of thechurch. The international news reported that the wife of one of the martyrs hadpublicly forgiven her husband’s murderer. What a strength of faith! Theycarried their faith proudly. Despite they were threatened by attacks on thechurches and lots of bodies were torn to pieces and scattered on the floor,Christians continue attending liturgies and other church prayers declaringtheir willingness to die for their faith. May the holy blessings of our churchheroes be with us.