How one Christian widow from an ISIS terrorist attack prays

one christian widow

At first, the young Christian widow blamed God. Her husband, a church security guard in Egypt, was killed as he tried to pull a suicide bomber out of the crowded service at St Peter and St Paul Church last December.

Then “God said this will build my faith. He comforted me. What happened to my husband has made my faith stronger,” she told me.

Now she prays and comforts other Christian families whose loved ones have been martyred by terrorists.

This weekend is one of the International Days of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. This young widow shows how Christians — who are persecuted — pray.

Her husband died on December 11, 2016, when a terrorist blew himself up and took the lives of 29 others, mostly women and girls, and injured 47. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in St Peter and St Paul church in Cairo. The victims ranged from 10 years old to 70.

At first, her children “felt a great parting,” a separation from their father who was “a very kind man and good father.” Now, they feel God’s presence with them.

“They are proud of their father,” she said as we spoke. “He defended the church. He rushed to the bomber.”

Looking back nearly a year later, she says it was a test for her. Through it, she has learned to pray always. She wants to reach other families with the message of God’s great comfort.

The Scripture verse that guides her is:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

The deadly attack, ironically, unified Muslims and Christians in the nation. Egypt’s president declared three days of national mourning and the prime minister cancelled a celebration of the birth of Muhammad. Hundreds of Muslims and Coptic Christians gathered at the cathedral, chanting against the attack on the church in a show of unity. Requests on social media to donate blood went viral.

As we pray for persecuted Christians, remember their families. They are living witnesses to the world of God’s grace.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38–39.