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Contemporary Martyrs Day

On 15 February each year, the Coptic Orthodox Church worldwide commemorates the lives of its contemporary martyrs on the anniversary of the martyrdom of the 21 men executed by ISIS in Libya on 15 February 2015. 20 of the 21 martyrs were Coptic Orthodox Christians from Upper Egypt, with the 21st being their Ghanaian friend Matthew.

Contemporary Martyrs Day is an opportunity to give thanks for the lives of those who faithfully practiced their Christian Faith until their last breath, while at the same time raising awareness of the ongoing plight of all those who are persecuted solely on the basis of faith or belief, and advocate for those whose voices are not heard.

From 5.00pm to 6.00pm on Thursday (15 February), His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, and Founder and Director of Refcemi (The Coptic Orthodox Office for Advocacy and Public Policy), will host an online seminar to mark Contemporary Martyrs Day. The seminar will be hosted by Refcemi in conjunction with the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London.

The speakers will include the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen (Anglican Bishop of Truro), David Burrowes (The Prime Minister’s Deputy Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief), Mervyn Thomas CMG (Chair of the UK FoRB Forum), Bianca Jagger (Human Rights Defender), Gareth Russell (Founder and Director, Jersey Road PR), Dr Caroline Hull (National Director, Aid to the Church in Need UK) and Dr Ewelina Ochab (Deputy Director of Refcemi).

Speaking on the significance of Contemporary Martyrs Day, Archbishop Angaelos said, ‘The Coptic Orthodox Church is in a unique place, through its own experience of persecution across the centuries, to speak for those of all faiths and none who continue to suffer today. It is for this reason that we will gather to raise awareness and advocate for those who are not in a position to speak for themselves.’

Join the webinar at 5.00pm on Thursday via http://tiny.cc/ContemporaryMartyrsDay24. Read about St Mary and Archangel Michael’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Solihull HERE. Find out more about Refcemi via THIS LINK.

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