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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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The Best Religion Weblog, Period, and Other Year-End Notes

* I was startled to read Books and Culture editor John Wilson declare that sister publication Christianity Today’s blog is “the best religion weblog, period” (scroll down to the review of “Christianity and the Celts”). Has he checked all the nearly-1,000 blogs listed at blogs4God? Not to mention the numerous Buddhist, Islamic, etc blogs? Come to think of it, is the CT blog really a blog, as the term has come to be understood? It’s more of a regular round-up of Christian news, rather than personal experience, comment and reflection.

* After a couple of New Kids on the Blog posts from me, Doug Raymond emails to remind me of an Old Kid on the Blog,, the personal web log of Christian writer Katy Raymond. It’s full of fun reflections on life, and has been among my Favourite Links for a while.

* I’ve been reading “Roger's Version” by John Updike. It tells of a young computer nerd who is determined to show that scientific evidence of the existence of God is irresistibly accumulating. I thought of the book when I read on Kevin Holtsberry’s always-interesting Collected Miscellany blog a fascinating review of “The Probability of God” by Stephen Unwin, who “set as his objective to calculate the numerical probability that God exists”.

* Did you know that the Christmas season can be a time when persecution of Christians intensifies? Please read Paul Sharpe’s excellent editorial on the subject, at the Christian Monitor website:

Even without an escalation of persecution over the festive season, many Christians will spend Christmas and New Year under the yoke of severe oppression for their faith in Christ. Some Christians in China's infamous labour (re-education) camps, like Pastor Stephen, will ironically be forced to spend up to 20 hours a day making Christmas lights that will be sold in the West.

* Christian Monitor carries links to disturbing articles (no longer online), about moves to marginalize the Christian majority of Papua (Irian Jaya, the Western half of New Guinea), which is part of Indonesia. With the world distracted by events in Iraq, it appears that

The violent Islamist militia, Laskar Jihad - linked both to Jemaah Islamiyah blamed for the Bali bombing and to Osama bin-Laden’s al-Qa’ida - has also been moving forces to Papua since 2002 and now has a large presence there including an office in the town of Sarong, some 2,000 fighters and twelve training camps. Laskar Jihad appears to be cooperating with the Indonesian military that seems to be planning to use it as an auxiliary militia. Laskar Jihad was the main mover in the atrocities against Christians in the Malukus and in Sulawesi in which approximately 30,000 people were killed and nearly half a million forced to flee their homes as refugees. Its goal is to ensure Muslim dominance in every region of Indonesia, using violent jihad to scatter Christian population centres.

* And finally, a request for a plug:

I wanted to bring to your attention our Christian internet radio station and was hoping you might plug it to folks reading your blog who might want to listen to a Christian radio station while they're surfing or posting. The name is "The Shepherd Rocks!" and we are broadcasting, Christians all over the world are listening and you're invited. Radio installation instructions can be found on the web site of our host, which is at We're playing Christian rock and praise and worship and plan to introduce various radio shows in the near future as listeners’ tastes dictate.

Consider it done.

December 16th, 2003


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