Facebook Erases Christian Martyrs
As you may have seen, I deactivated all my Facebook accounts this past weekend, after Facebook blocked for hours a link to my TAC commentary on the Jussie Smollett hate hoax. Infuriatingly, my wife’s account is receiving FB notices when people mention me in their FB comments. I’m trying to figure out how to block that too. It’s not easy to quit them, even if you want to. Hotel Facebook: you can check in, but you can never leave.
If you’re wavering, here’s another reason to drop the medium: they banned a post featuring a photo of the Coptic martyrs kneeling before their ISIS executioners. Faith McDonnell explains what happened in an open letter to Facebook. Excerpts:
Frequently when I’ve been on Facebook searching through treasured photo memories, I’ve had the fleeting thought, “Wow, what if I ever lost all this!” I had no idea that moment was soon coming. But it did last week, February 15. You, Facebook, informed me my account had been disabled for “violating community standards.”
February 15 became the day you cut me off. Cut me off from over 2000 friends and thousands of photos on Facebook, from communicating on Messenger, and even from using my extremely innocuous Instagram. But it was already a date to remember. And that’s what actually got me in trouble.
On February 15, 2015, 21 men were slaughtered on a Libyan seashore by ISIS. The 20 Coptic Christians and their fellow martyr, Matthew from Ghana, were the subject of the jihadis’ grisly snuff film sent to the “People of the Cross.” The image of those soon-to-be-saints in orange jumpsuits kneeling on the beach in front of their killers became a powerful testimony of Christ’s victory over death and hell.
On that anniversary I decided to honor these courageous and faithful men on my Facebook page. Scrolling through photos I had posted on Facebook in the past without ever a problem, I found that well-known image and made it my temporary Facebook profile photo. Then it happened!
They cut McDonnell, an Anglican human rights activist, off permanently, without right of appeal. She has lost everything she ever posted on Facebook.
The image she posted is either the one atop this post, or one like it. Those murdered Christians are honored today by the Coptic Church as canonized martyrs. Terry Mattingly’s latest column talks about them, and a new book about them out by German writer Martin Mosebach. Excerpt:
The unforgettable images showed the paradox of faith, [Mosebach] stressed.
After all, [Coptic Archbishop Angelaos] said, stabbing the air with his hand, here were 21 “men who were “for all intents and purposes weak and defeated, kneeling before their oppressors … with big knives to their throats. Yet suddenly it makes you think: Where is the power in this picture? Is it in the big men, with the big knives, with the covered faces, with the big voices, with the big threats? Or is it in those who knelt bravely, with humility, confidence and resilience and a faithfulness that was unshaken and unshakable?”
Mosebach studied full versions of the Islamic State group’s video נa message to the “nation of the cross” and focused on glances of encouragement the men exchanged before they were pushed face down into the sand and beheaded. These were “average” Copts, but church records detailed their visits to monasteries, and six had been ordained as “minor clerics.” Though most were illiterate, they chanted the three-hour liturgy by memory נin Arabic, Greek and ancient Copt נwhen priests visited them in Libya.
Family members, said Mosebach, took comfort from the brutal video because it recorded their loved ones saying, “Ya Rabbi Yassou! (Oh, my Lord Jesus)” seconds before dying. These were the quick prayers of martyrs, adding them to the faithful referenced in Revelation, chapter 20: “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast. … They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Here is a link to Mosebach’s new book, The 21: A Journey Into The Land Of Coptic Martyrs.
You should see these slaughtered men’s faces in their last moments of life, even if Facebook doesn’t want you to.