“We know that other attacks are likely to happen at any time."
On December 29, 2017, an attack on the church of Mar Mina in Cairo caused the death of more than 10 people. For the Egyptian Copts, it was the final attack of a bloody year.
Maryam is a mother, widowed on December 11, 2016. Her husband died in an attack on a church, along with more than 20 victims, mostly women and children. He died a martyr, because it was his faith that made him a target. But he also departed as a hero: he had tried to prevent the terrorists from entering the building, and according to the witnesses, his efforts helped mitigate the massacre.
Maryam’s three sons lost their father, but today they can count on their mother’s courage. She has a moral and spiritual strength that allows her to move forward in spite of grief. The reason? “We are Copts and we are ready for anything,” she answers peacefully. “We know that other attacks are likely to happen at any time. But for us, death means nothing more than going to Heaven; death is the gateway to heaven. Our martyrs tell us that to die for Christ is a passage to Heaven, and they intercede for us.”
Despite the climate of violence, the Egyptian Copts are demonstrating an exemplary faith in God. Terrorists decimate their ranks, bereave their families, and create widows and orphans. But, without realizing it, they are attacking a people who are aware that martyrdom has a deep meaning.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?