GUEST BLOG: Bearing the cross: A letter to ISIS
by- 20th February 2015
THE ISLAMIC STATE sent me a letter this week. This letter was in the form of a short film produced by the Islamic State’s Al-Hayat Media centre.
This was not addressed to me personally, but to all Christians everywhere. Its title was A Message Signed with BLOOD to the Nation of the Cross. This was a video of the ritual slaughter of the 21 Egyptian Christians. Their blood flowing in the ocean waves was the ‘signature’ at the end of the video.
As I write this it is Ash Wednesday. This is the start of forty days of Lent, a period of fasting and contemplation for Christians all over the world. For many centuries it has been a custom of Christians to receive a mark of the cross in ash upon the forehead as a sign of repentance.
As I received this mark of the cross today I was thinking of the 21 Egyptian Christian martyrs. Copts permanently bear the sign of the cross, tattooed on their wrists, as a sign that they will refuse to renounce their beliefs.