An Open Letter to the ISIS Leaders Who Beheaded and Shot the Ethiopian Christians: You Gave the Church 30 More Martyrs

Who will ever escape from death? In case you haven’t noticed, blinded by the false sense of power your guns and knives have given you, one day, you will also die. To die is nothing new. To die a martyr is big. You gave our fellow men the chance of that meaningful death.

You took 30 ordinary Ethiopians and overnight, turned them into martyrs, you showed us the beauty of a faithful Ethiopian who would rather die than deny his God. In the Easter season when they remember the sacrifices of their Lord and creator, you prepared the path for them to follow him even unto death. And in the season where we now celebrate his resurrection, you gave us more reason to believe in the God they saw beyond death – the God who told them they would judge nations in the world after this; the Christ who taught them, those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

What a beauty an Ethiopian has – even at the footsteps of death. What a beauty the faithful Ethiopians have with pride written all over their face. And they deserve their pride – they just became the nation’s new heroes. They no longer pray for their souls. We beg that they pray for us. Every mass will now consider them saints, thanks to you, and will ask they pray for us that we may keep our faith if times like this arrive. You made them the envy of priests and clergy, partakers in the golden pages of history and the kingdom oblivious to your hateful eyes. Again, death is nothing new. No one gets to live forever. To die a hero is a rare gift you gave these 30 faithful Ethiopians.

But let’s set one thing straight. You don’t know a thing about faith or religion. And you are doing Muslims world-wide, a huge injustice. And more importantly, you don’t teach Ethiopians about the Quran or about Islam. Long before your ancestors had the courage to accept it, Ethiopia opened its doors and provided refuge to the Prophet Mohammed and his family when they fled execution from Mecca. Long before your ancestors had the faith to accept the religion, Ethiopia constructed its first Mosque and declared Allahu Akbar, God is great. The Prophet sent his people to a Christian country, to the people of the cross, to seek refuge. And years later, you, who call yourselves his decedents, repay the gratitude by slaughtering the children of the cross. To the Muslims in Ethiopia, they are fellow brothers that they would never dream of hurting.

Don’t trade in the name of religion. You can never teach Ethiopians about Christianity and the Muslim faith you are doing injustice to. The blood of the men you slaughtered and shot are evidence that faith runs in our blood – and we would rather die than deny the one who gave his life for us. No one escapes death; we all die. I would rather die a martyr than live a murderer.

And the beatify of it all is this – in their last minutes, while taking their last breaths in this world, they probably have prayed what their loving God taught them to pray at the cross – they probably have prayed you be forgiven, for you absolutely know not what you do!

For people of the cross, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Haven’t you heard? Death has been destroyed on the cross – not by the sword, but by love.

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