Egypt’s President Greets Christmas Worshippers

Egypt’s Coptic Christians follow the Julian calendar in celebrating Christmas on January 7th of each year. For the second consecutive . . . .

CHR Comment: Early in 2015 Coptic Christians were martyred by ISIS militants. Religious tensions in Egypt and elsewhere around the Middle East remain high. Here is a positive example of how one government official in a predominantly Muslim country is attempting to ease tensions.

Source: Eastern Christmas and Egypt’s President | Ayman S. Ibrahim | First Things

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Pope Francis Visits Ugandan Shrine Amid Gay Rights Debate

Pope Francis traveled to Uganda’s holiest shrine on Saturday, paying tribute to 19th century Christian martyrs killed for their faith.

CHR Comment: The 47 Ugandan martyrs were burned by King Buganda Mwanga II. One issue was the king’s homosexual advances toward boy pages in his court. Martyr Charles Lwanga was killed for trying to protect these boys. The story of this martyr intersects with current issues of homosexuality. Uganda has passed strong laws against homosexual acts, though western officials have regarded such laws as repressive.

Source: Pope Francis Visits Ugandan Shrine Amid Gay Rights Debate – NBC News

Mapping ISIL’s Attacks in 2015

In 2015, more than 50 attacks, in which almost 1,000 civilians were killed, were committed in the name of ISIL.

CHR Comment: The number of Christians martyred by ISIS in 2015 is not readily available. Among those mentioned on this map infographic would be the 21 Coptic Christians abducted this January in Libya. The Huffington Post story below gives a detailed account of some these men’s lives. The USA Today article includes another map as well as a point by point description of ISIS attacks. ISIS also targets non-Sunni Muslim groups, Yazidis, and anyone who stands in their way. Lord, have mercy on Your Church and all who face these terrorists.

Source: Mapping ISIL’s attacks in 2015 – Al Jazeera English

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/18/isis-christians-killed-_n_6703278.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/11/25/islamic-states-reach-extends-far-home/76379144/