ISIS executes kidnapped Christian businessman in Egypt's S …… | Information reporting – Bible Type

ISIS executes kidnapped Christian businessman in Egypt's S …… | Information reporting

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The Islamic State has claimed another Christian sacrifice.

And the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt has won another martyr.

"We tell our children that their grandfather is now a saint in the highest places of heaven," said Peter Salama of his 62-year-old father Nabil Habashi Salama, who was executed by the ISIS daughter in North Sinai.

"We're so happy for him."

The Salamas are known as one of the oldest Coptic families in Bir al-Abd on the Mediterranean coast of the Sinai Peninsula. Nabil was a jewelry store and also owned cell phone and clothing stores in the area.

Peter said ISIS targeted his father for his part in building the city's St. Mary Church. In a 13-minute propaganda video titled The Makers of Slaughter [or Epic Battles], a militant quoted the Quran as demanding the humiliation of Christians and their willing payment from jizya – a tax to ensure their protection.

Image: Wilayat Sinai / Telegram screenshot

Nabil Habashi Salama in his Coptic Orthodox Church, the Church of St. Mary, St. Abanoub and St. Karas in Bir al-Abd, North Sinai, Egypt.

Nabil was kidnapped in front of his home five months ago. Eyewitnesses said he was severely beaten during his resistance before being thrown into a stolen car. It may be that these were kidnappers because in the video showing Nabil's execution he said he was held by ISIS for 3 months and 11 days.

On April 18, he was shot in the back of the head while kneeling.

"If you kill, you will be killed," says the video, which is aimed at "all the crusaders in the world".

It was addressed to all Egyptian Christians and warned them not to trust the army. And Muslims who support the Egyptian state have been called "renegades". Two other residents of Sinai – tribesmen who worked with the military – were also executed in the video.

Peter said that in an effort to drive Nabil out of his belief, his teeth were broken.

His daughter Mary joined the tribute.

"I will miss you, my father," she wrote on Facebook. "You have made us proud in your life with your virtues and in your martyrdom with your strong faith."

The Coptic Orthodox Church issued an official statement calling Nabil a "faithful son and servant" who "adhered to his religion until death."

It then reaffirmed its support for the Egyptian army and the Egyptian state. Such actions would "only increase our determination … to preserve our precious national unity".

Earlier this month, Egypt announced that another 82 churches had been legalized, bringing the number to 1,882 since a corrective law was passed in 2016.

Three militants were killed and three more are being persecuted, the Interior Ministry said today, which Nabil referred to as "citizens".

But the video and execution raise fears of renewed ISIS activity after a relatively long period of silence. In 2017, the subsidiary opened fire on Muslims who prayed in a Bir al-Abd mosque and killed over 300 people in the deadliest terrorist attack in modern Egyptian history.

In the same year they were also directed against Christians who live in nearby Arish and evict over 100 families from their homes.

Since then, the Egyptian army has launched a massive campaign to defeat the local ISIS branch, which never managed to capture and hold territory. In 2018, State Security announced that over 900 militants had been killed.

Christian families were slowly returning in 2019, although fixed numbers were not available at the time of publication. In 2012, the Coptic Orthodox Bishop Cosman stated that there were 740 Christian families in his diocese of North Sinai. Before the Exodus, however, church officials said the total had dropped to just 160.

Today women wear headgear in order not to distinguish themselves as Christians. After informing authorities of a $ 318,000 ransom note [the AP reports $ 127,000], Peter said State Security had asked him and his family to move for security reasons.

"We are living in ruins after we shut down our means of subsistence," he told the Coptic publication Watani.

Two more Copts kidnapped in Sinai last year were recently released after paying the ransom.

"President Sisi has been personally committed to promoting peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in Egypt and his government has taken some encouraging steps," said Mervyn Thomas, President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, expressing condolences to the Salama family.

"[But] kidnappings … underscore that far more needs to be done to uproot sectarianism, protect vulnerable communities, promote social cohesion and uphold basic human rights for all Egyptians."

Meanwhile, the President of the Protestant Churches of Egypt, who "mourns the martyr of the nation," reiterated the views of the Coptic Orthodox people.

"We stand side by side with the Egyptian state in all challenges and evils," he declared, "and we reaffirm, always and forever, our authentic Egyptian unity."

However, Peter focused on eternity.

"Do not think that I am building this church for here," he remembered his father Nabil. "I'm building a home in heaven."

And it was this peace that enabled Nabil to say to his son before his execution under the pressure of his kidnappers:

"Everything is fine, thank God."

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