Pope Francis on Monday condemned the killing of 21 Coptic Christians hostages in Libya by militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), according to a Vatican Radio report.
“The blood of our Christian brothers is a witness that cries out,” he told a delegation from Scotland on Monday. “If they are Catholic, Orthodox, Copts, Lutherans, it is not important: They are Christians. The blood is the same: It is the blood which confesses Christ.”
The hostages, believed to be laborers from Egypt, are now “martyrs,” Francis said.
The Libyan extremist group, which swears fealty to ISIS, released a five-minute video Sunday showing militants with knives killing 21 people wearing orange jumpsuits on a beach.
Egyptian authorities confirmed the authenticity of the video, and President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi launched air strikes against targets in Libya hours after vowing to avenge the deaths.