Inside St. George’s Church after the deadly explosion on Palm Sunday in Tanta, Egypt. Credit Khaled Elfiqi/European Pressphoto Agency
On Palm Sunday two separate suicide bombings tore through Coptic Christian churches in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, where at least 27 died, and hours later in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, where the death toll reached at least 17.
While we are at ease, they are in exile of pain and isolation. While we are feasting on the good things around us, they are slowing dying. While we claim our best life now, they don’t know if they will be alive tomorrow. While we wear the cross as a piece of jewelry, they carry it daily as an invitation to die with Christ.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).
In our baptism we are marked with the sign of the cross. We have accepted the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. We oppose the violence done to fellow believers. Today, we are invited to remember and stand with brothers and sisters living under persecution.
Proverbs 31:8 says, “Speak out for those who cannot speak.” If you want to raise the voice of persecution, then raise it up for those who have been killed living out their faith.
God of the suffering, we lift up our brothers and sisters who are living under the weight of persecution. May they experience your presence in their oppression. Give courage to those who stand in danger due to their faith. We remember their pain. May they not be forgotten. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.