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Denver, Colo., Feb 15, 2019 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- Four years after the so-called Islamic State released a propaganda video showing the beheading of 21 abducted Coptic Christians in Libya, aid workers and politicians continue to highlight the dangers facing Christians in the Middle East and across the world.
On Feb. 15, 2015, a video was released showing IS fighters beheading Egyptian workers,as they knelt on a Libyan beach wearing prison-style orange jumpsuits. The Egyptian government and the Coptic Church later confirmed the video’s authenticity.
Edward - Clancy - Director - Outreach - Aid
Edward Clancy, director of outreach for Aid to the Church in Need USA, told CNA that the killing of the Coptic martyrs helped to bring the issue to Christian persecution into focus for the wider Western culture and media, and spurred an outpouring of donations for charitable aid.
"It definitely brought the Christian persecution to the forefront and put it on page one," Clancy told CNA in an interview Feb. 15.
Video - Release - Church - Men - Martyrs
Soon afterward the video’s release. the Coptic Church announced that the men would be commemorated as martyrs in its Church calendar. In October 2018, authorities found a mass grave believed to contain the bodies of the 21 men.
"Seemingly every day at that time there was a story of something going on, whether it was the fall of Raqqa; the enslavement of women; obviously the killing of the Coptic martyrs. And all of these did bring this [issue] into focus, and people did respond. Obviously it touched a lot of people's hearts, and because of that they were very generous," Clancy said.
Aid - Church - Need - Christians - Founding
Aid to the Church in Need has been working to help persecuted Christians since its founding in 1947. Clancy told CNA that while the public martyrdoms brought the dangers facing persecuted Christians to wider attention, Aid to the Church in Need had considered the issue a core concern...
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One of the countries we liberated was Russia, too bad it seems to have cost us our liberty.