We are deep into a New Age of Christian Martyrdom under the Sword of Islam. How will we respond?
My first reaction to this story, after the initial horror and shock, was to imagine it in a personal context.
My dear friend, Fr Thomas, an Orthodox Christian priest in Pennsylvania, recently concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with his beloved uncle, Fr. Igor, at the latter's home parish. Fr. Igor is 91 years old, and has been faithfully serving his parish for 58 years, the Church for much longer.
Pick the most venerable and faithful priest you know, and imagine he is the martyr, beheaded by a Muslim for his faith in Jesus Christ. Imagine Muslims attacking your church during the Divine Liturgy and taking hostages. Imagine them screaming "ALLAHU AKBAR!" and "DAESH!" as they shoot, stab and assault the faithful in your church.
Recall the horrific atrocities Muslims have committed against Christians and people everywhere: Beslan, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria, France, Belgium, San Bernardino, Chattanooga, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Moscow, and so on.
Muslim jihad attacks against Christian churches during the divine services can happen anywhere, anytime, including in America and Canada. God forbid, but they almost certainly will as Islam continues its global advance.