Day 13: Remembering Bishoy Adel Khalaf
Below are excerpts from a Letter To ISIS from the Coptic Community in response to the 21 Coptic Christians who were martyred in Libya for their faith in Christ:
To My Friends, the killers,
You beheaded in cold blood 21 Copts, only because they are Christians and refused to leave their God and their faith…
I want to thank you because:
- You made them kneel not before you but rather before their loving God who is going to judge the living and the dead.
- You did not make them see your hating harsh eyes as their last image on earth but the eyes of their kind heavenly father.
- You made us understand the huge difference between your God and ours… in one simple fact our God would shed his blood in love for his people, and his followers would gladly gave their lives for His love.
- You showed us that those young men were not scared…. I Challenge you that you were….and that is why you masked your faces. We saw their bravery in their faces and we saw the cowardice masked in yours.
- You allowed us to hear… their last voices on this earth…not asking for mercy…not crying for release…not screaming to say the shihada …but praying My Lord Jesus Christ
When you shed the blood of martyrs…your war now is not with earthly states or kingdoms but with the Lord of Hosts. Remember the Roman Empire…you cannot because it is not there anymore…after they martyred thousands of Christians …the Empire withered. Our Coptic Church revives on every single pure drop of blood that was shed…….
- Perhaps I am disgusted with your lack of humanity but I don’t hate you.
- I cannot hate you because My Lord forgave his crucifiers on the cross
- I know you want me to fear you and hate you; strangely you failed to do both.
I am praying for you because:
- The Bible says “for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.
- Love is stronger than death; with my love I will defeat your death.
One day you will know the true God.
As I read this letter today I am challenged by the response of the Coptic Church believers to ISIS. I am challenged by the love of the Savior they unashamedly proclaim to the killers, a love that can only come from their own close relationship with Christ.
They thank them.
They let them know they don’t hate them for what they have done.
They pray for them.
They believe one day the killers will also come to know the One True God.
Father, we remember Bishoy Adel Khalaf today and pray for the comfort of his family and friends. May they be encouraged in their time of loss and sorrow, and experience your comforting presence in a very special way. As they maneuver through this most difficult time may they feel the love and encouragement of believers. We pray their hearts will be guarded and secured from hate, bitterness, and retribution.
God, I am also reminded of my own thoughts towards those who carry out such horrific acts against believers. I can easily hold to disgust, hate, dislike, and thoughts of retribution against the perpetrators. Father God, take my thoughts which stem from my heart, and turn my hate to love, my dislike to prayer, and my distrust to belief.
Lord, I pray for those who are blinded by evil ideology and false belief. I pray for those that believe they are doing right and justify such atrocities will be brought into the truth of God’s love. Lord I pray that they may encounter what our Brother Bishoy Adel Khalaf experienced, the love of God through His Son, Jesus Christ the Savior.
Thank you God for changing our hearts to pray also for our enemies.
In your precious Son’s name Jesus, we pray, Amen.