Phoebe Farag Mikhail is a Coptic Orthodox Christian and the author of Putting Joy into Practice: Seven Ways to Lift Your Spirit from the Early Church (Paraclete Press). She was born in Egypt but grew up in the Northeast U.S. She is a writing instructor and freelance writer, and blogs at Being in Community. Follow her at @pkfarag on Twitter and Instagram, and @beingincommunity on Facebook.

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The 21 Martyrs’ Story Can’t Be Molded to Political Ends

by Phoebe Farag Mikhail 02-15-2021

Icon of the 21 Martyrs of Libya. Image courtesy of Tony Rezk.

Six years ago on Feb. 15, the world watched, horrified, as photos and videos circulated of the 20 laborers from Egypt and one from Ghana who were brutally executed by Daesh. The 21 Martyrs of Libya joined the ranks of thousands of Christians who came before them, whose stories of persecution they would have heard almost every time they went to church. Their modern Christian martyrdom stands in stark contrast to the largely imagined persecution trumpeted by the American Religious Right.