22 April 2015

UPDATED: Who are the Ethiopian martyrs?

It was only a couple of days after the Islamic State martyred 21 Copts on the shores of Libya before we learned the names and some of the stories of those who refused to renounce their faith in Christ Jesus and died with his name upon their lips on 13 February 2015. By means of just one example, the BBC published such an article on 15 February 2015.

The Islamic State martyred 30 Ethiopian Christians three days ago, on 19 April 2015, but we have not yet learned their names or their stories. So far as I can tell, the most we know of them so far is that they were migrants looking for a better life. Why do we not know more?

If we learned the names of the Copts two days later, why have we not learned the names of the Ethiopians three days later?

I have no direct evidence of a possible reason, but I cannot help but wonder if part of the reason is not racism. This would also help to explain why the world has taken so very long to respond to - or even to care about - what Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group that has been active twice as long as the Islamic State, is doing in Nigeria (and in Cameroon and Chad). I hope I am wrong about this, but I do wonder.

If you know of an alternative explanation, I would very much like to learn of it.


A similar question - if not the same question - is on the mind of His Excellency the Most Reverend Anthony Muheria, Bishop of Kitui. A Roman Catholic Bishop in eastern Kenya recently lamented the lack of attention and care shown by the international community after Muslim terrorists killed 150 people on Holy Thursday in Garissa.

In fact, he called the world's response one of "deafening silence" and declared, “It’s time to stop playing around. It’s not ‘minorities’ who are getting killed, it’s Christians.” What is more,
He also cited the late March crash of a German plane in the French Alps, which elicited enormous media interest and commentary, complaining that the Garissa massacre killed the same number of people without anything like the same fanfare.

“It was very, very glaringly absent,” he said, asking, “Do all lives have equal value?”

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