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Published on Jan 28, 2019
Behind a gruesome ISIS beheading video lies the untold story of the men in orange and the faith community that formed these unlikely modern-day saints and heroes. https://www.plough.com/the21 * * * In a carefully choreographed propaganda video released in February 2015, ISIS militants behead twenty-one orange-clad Christian men on a Libyan beach.
In the West, daily reports of new atrocities may have displaced the memory of this event. But not in the world from which the murdered came. All but one were young Coptic Christian migrant workers from Egypt. Acclaimed literary writer Martin Mosebach traveled to the Egyptian village of El-Aour to meet their families and better understand the faith and culture that shaped such conviction.
In twenty-one symbolic chapters, each preceded by a picture, Mosebach offers a travelogue of his encounter with a foreign culture and a church that has preserved the faith and liturgy of early Christianity – the “Church of the Martyrs.” As a religious minority in Muslim Egypt, the Copts find themselves caught in a clash of civilizations. This book, then, is also an account of the spiritual life of an Arab country stretched between extremism and pluralism, between a rich biblical past and the shopping centers of New Cairo.