Above: Icon of the New Martyrs of Libya, 2015
Icon Writer = Tony Rezk
I have found the icon on many websites, never with any mention of any restriction regarding the use of the image.
NEW MARTYRS OF LIBYA
Died February 15, 2015
On February 15, 2015, militants–terrorists, really; let us use the correct term–of the self-proclaimed Tripoli Province of the Islamic State beheaded 21 men in orange jumpsuits. The terrorists had abducted these martyrs in December 2014 and January 2015. The abducted were migrant workers. All but one were Egyptian Coptic Christians who, their murderers claimed, persisted in unbelief. These martyrs were:
- Milad Makeen Zaky,
- Abanud Ayad Atiya,
- Maged Solaiman Sheheta,
- Yusuf Shukry Yunan,
- Kirollas Shokry Fawzy,
- Bishoy Astafanus Kamel,
- Somaily Astafanus Kamel,
- Malak Ibrahim Sinweet,
- Tawardos Yusuf Tawardos,
- Girgis Milad Sinweet,
- Mina Fayez Aziz,
- Hany Abdelmesih Salib,
- Bishoy Adel Khalaf,
- a worker from Awr village,
- Ezat Bishri Naseef,
- Loqa Nagaty,
- Gaber Munir Adly,
- Esam Badir Samir,
- Malak Farag Abram, and
- Sameh Salah Faruq.
The twenty-first martyr was Matthew Ayariga of Ghana. He had been a Christian for only a brief period of time before dying. When terrorists asked Ayariga if he rejected Jesus, he identified with the Christian faith of the other martyrs.
Their God is my God,
Ayariga answered. For that he died.
Coptic Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria Tawardos II declared these men the New Martyrs of Libya on February 21, 2015, and established their feast day as Amshir 8 on the Coptic Calendar, which is equivalent to February 15 on the Gregorian Calendar.
Often those who commit violence do so in the name of God, as they understand God. If God is love, as I affirm, those who commit murder in the name of God stand in grievous error. May they repent of their sins and throw themselves on the mercy of God, who forgives the penitent. And may the examples of stalwart fidelity to God in the face of death inspire those of us who claim to follow God in Christ to remain in the faith, regardless of the cost. May we heed the advice of the authors of the Letter to the Hebrews and the Apocalypse of John; may we remain faithful, not commit apostasy. And may we refrain from repaying hatred and violence with anything except the love of Christ. The servant is not greater than the master. May we take our guidance from him. May we leave that which is in the purview of God there and live in the love which Jesus modeled for us.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
OCTOBER 31, 2015 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT WOLFGANG OF REGENSBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY BISHOP
ALL HALLOWS’ EVE
VIGIL FOR THE EVE OF ALL SAINTS’ DAY
Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women
who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.
Inspire us with the memory of the New Martyrs of Libya,
whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross,
and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives
to your Son’s victory over sin and death,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59