Many of us woke up on Sunday morning to the news of the bombings of two Coptic churches in Egypt, for which ISIS claimed responsibility. The joy of Palm Sunday was shattered by yet another act of terror.
It is just the latest in continuing violence and persecution against Christians all over the world. And Christians continue to be the most persecuted group in the world. In just a few years, the number of Christians in Syria has dropped from over 2 million to under a million. And in Iraq the number has dropped from 1.4 million to under 260,000.
The grief and fear that Christians across the globe face every day is reminiscent of the emotions that the disciples must have felt as they witnessed the arrest, beating, mocking, and crucifixion of Jesus.
But they did not remain in fear and sadness. We know the rest of the story.
As we approach Easter Sunday, we are reminded that our hope comes from the knowledge that our Savior lives, he has defeated death, and he has saved us. Our brothers and sisters in Egypt remind us that no matter our suffering, this is why we rejoice.
In the video above, they are reciting the Nicene Creed. And we join with them in proclaiming our shared hope:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church, I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.