Hundreds of El-Aour village in Upper Egypt’s Minya governorate attended a memorial mass held Tuesday at the Virgin Mary Church in Samalout to mark the first anniversary of the 21 Egyptian nationals beheaded by Islamic State (IS) militants in Libya, reported Youm7.
The mass began by a sermon delivered by Bishop Pafantoios amid a large crowd of worshippers.
At the same time last year, El-Aour and other nearby villages were dressed in black, overshadowed with sadness mourning 20 of their citizens whose brutal death was filmed in a video released by the militant group on Feb.15, 2015.
The Cairo Post has accompanied a Swiss woman Sunday in her visit to El-Aour village, to donate with 7,000 Swiss Francs she collected from her friends and neighbors for the families of the 20 victims. The Cairo Post had the chance to meet and interview some of the families a year after the crisis.
The 20 Coptic Christian men had been kidnapped weeks before their murder in Libya’s city of Sirte.
A video released by the Islamic State in Libya showed the men in orange jumpsuits on a Libyan beach, forced to kneel with a masked, knife-wielding militant standing behind each, and then beheaded.
Hours later, Egyptian warplanes struck Islamic State group targets in their main stronghold in Libya’s Derna. In a show of support, President Abdel Fatah al Sisi visited the pope of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Christian Church Tawadros II at the main cathedral in Cairo, and ordered the construction of a church on a distance of 1,200 cubic meters to honor the victims.