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Coptic Martyr

The Coptic Martyr of Cairo

The latest international thriller from best-selling author Martin Roth

Four Americans in Egypt on an archaeological dig. In the blistering summer heat they are fighting amongst themselves. Then they unearth a body. It is an old priest who has been murdered.

The gruesome discovery sets in train a sequence of events that leads to a deadly Islamist attack on the ancient church where the Americans are working.

The leader of the expedition, Professor Rafa Harel, must decide whether to withdraw his fractious team or continue on a mission to unveil a controversial series of wall paintings, knowing that these images have the power to spark even greater violence.

Meanwhile, watching over all of them is a dreamy young Egyptian Christian named Amir. His only quest in life is to become a martyr...

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Best Christian Websites – “Christian Monitor” and the Persecuted Church

Why did I start my own website? One reason was frustration that Australian Christians seemed generally unaware – or, worse, unconcerned - that jihad against Christian brothers and sisters was occurring just across the waters, in Indonesia.

As a result, in the early days of my site I made various attempts to rouse the consciences of local Christians on this and several other issues. But with virtually no response, my focus gradually changed.

So it is a source of joy to discover an excellent new website, Christian Monitor, that is devoted specifically to providing information about the worldwide persecution of the church. I recommend this site most highly.

I am continually surprised that so many in the West are apparently so little interested in the maltreatment of Christians that occurs in many countries. Churches that devote enormous amounts of time and resources to missionary activity do little about persecution, other than offer their prayers in certain high-profile cases.

It is Chuck Colson who pointed out that one of the leading campaigners for persecuted Christians has been the Hudson Institute’s Michael Horowitz, who is Jewish.

Christians have always stood up for persecuted religious believers, says Michael Horowitz…[and he] praises Christians for defending Jews around the world. But astonishingly there’s one group, he says, they’ve failed to support: fellow Christians.

Western believers are strangely silent about the plight of their brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted today in unprecedented numbers, especially in Africa and the Middle East. As Horowitz puts it, Christians may well become "the Jews of the twenty-first century."

…I picked up a newspaper to read that evangelical leaders from 1,000 churches had met that same week to raise a million dollars to protect endangered species. I was stunned. Of course, we are called to be stewards of God’s creation. But is it right to protect owls and snail darter, while ignoring our Christian brothers and sisters? When we fail to make religious freedom an issue, our government doesn’t take it seriously either.

Reliable information is certainly one of the keys to action, and that is why the internet has become so important. The internet is set to transform the church in many ways – the Barna Research Group forecasts that “within this decade as many as 50 million individuals may rely solely upon the internet to provide all of their faith-based experiences” - but one of its most positive influences could be in alerting us all to the alarming extent that persecution continues in so many countries.

Already many organisations have their own websites. One of the best, in my view, is the Chosun Journal, dedicated to human rights in North Korea. I have written about it previously. It not only provides continual coverage of the horrible abuses occurring constantly in North Korea, it also gives practical guidance about how we can all help.

But there is room for more, and that is why Christian Monitor is so welcome. Managed by Paul Sharpe, a South African living in Taiwan, it provides a flow of news updates, background reports, feature articles, testimonies, links to many organisations that work for persecuted Christians, an email newsletter and much more. It deserves your support.

December 6th, 2002


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