Shooting in Texas

26 people were killed in a shooting in a protestant church in Texas. I haven't heard any of our Coptic clergy/news media come out and call these people martyrs. 

I guess my question is, do we see these people as martyrs, just as those in the various attacks that occur in our churches in Egypt? Or does the fact that they are protestant exclude them from this honor? 


  • Dear @Copticuser20
    I believe that the issue is that they are not Copts and therefore the Coptic church has no say in them being classed as martyrs in the Coptic church..
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • Also remember people who are victims of mass shootings in a Church are not automatically martyrs, including Copts. Anba Rofail made this point once a few years back. In order to be a martyr, you have to choose to die, not simply be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    We don't know what transpired in Texas and what the conversation was during the incident. If the shooter said deny Christ or I'll shoot you, then all of the 26 people who were killed are martyrs. But eyewitness accounts don't corroborate this. The police investigation can't find a motive yet. So it is highly unlikely this was a religiously motivated incident. 

    In addition, the fact they are Baptist means they don't believe in martyrs or saints any way. It doesn't matter if anyone calls them martyr. And I'm willing to bet that if you called them martyrs, their families and community will insult you and get angry. If they don't believe in martyrs, why should it matter if we (or any church) call them martyrs?
  • @Remnkemi
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • only God knows what happened.

    may His will be done, and may the people who have suffered be comforted by His light and His truth.

  • @Remnkemi
    It does not seem that this same condition is placed on Coptic martyrs. When a church is bombed, for example, the bomber doesn't threaten before hand. It is usually unexpected by the congregation, and yet those killed are still called martyrs. From what I heard, the shooter was an atheist who was insulting religious people and attempting to spread atheist propaganda online before carrying out this shooting. If this was his true motive, then i believe they are martyrs.
  • Maybe so. This is why there is a more detailed vetting process for canonization. Simply being in the wrong place is not a witness per se - which is the literal meaning of martyr. I guess we can allow some leniency since it is pretty obvious that ISIS is killing Copts solely for religious affiliation and intimidation. ISIS pre-threatens before the attack and Copts still choose to live out their faith, which is a type of witnessing. Ultimately, as mabsoota said, only God knows and if they are martyrs then they will enjoy Paradise under the altar as it says in Revelation 6. 

    Whether these 26 people who died in Texas are martyrs is really not for us to say. The final decision is up to God whether he considers them martyrs, whether he will reveal to us that they are martyrs or whether they are saved or not. 
  • I do not think they are martyrs. Here's why: 

    If they were warned that going to Church will result in them being killed FOR THE SOLE purpose of their faith, then yes, they are martyrs. 

    We know, as Copts, that a taxi cab will not drive you outside the front gate of a Church in Cairo for fear of security (his safety). We know very well that we are targetted by Daesh and by other extremists in Egypt for the SOLE REASON of us being Coptic Christians. If we STILL go to Church despite that and are killed for it, then we have died FOR our faith. 

    There's a difference. 

    Some guy is taking the bus to go to Church and the bus explodes. Is he a martyr? No. He's unlucky.
  • I agree with Remnkimi where he states that we are always threatened by extremists. This past Christmas, multiple churches in North Jersey were threatened by a group of terrorists. Priests from multiple churches received very disturbing and threatening messages from this group. I was persuaded by multiple people, including members of my own family, to not go to the Christmas liturgy. I held my faith and went, and through the grace, compassion, and mercy of God, we all celebrated his birth in peace and joy. Now, if something were to happen, as it did on Palm Sunday this year in Egypt, then we would have been martyrs, as those were in Egypt. They were threatened multiple times, but had a strong faith and attended anyways, dying for their faith.
  • Also, those who died in the mosque in Egypt a few days ago, are not martyrs, as they were killed by members of their own faith, who solely wanted to kill people, regardless if they were in their own religion. We are targeted because of our Christian faith, and their faith was not being contested by the attackers, they were killed as a pure act of reigning terrorism upon innocent people. May God Rest all of their souls and comfort those affected. Just because they are not one of us, doesn't mean we should hate them. We are taught to love all, regardless of religion or race. Jesus loved the Roman soldiers who crucified him, and even had pity on them.
  • If I’m not mistaken, all of the NJ Coptic churches had extra security at the doors at the time
  • @minasoliman This is very true, but if someone were to walk in with a bomb on them, it would be nearly impossible to stop them. I apologize for the grim visual scene I just placed in your minds, but this is something that we are threatened with constantly.
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