The 23-year-old widow of Malak Ibrahim, one of the 21 Egyptian Christians who were beheaded by Islamic State terrorists in Libya earlier this year, says she's proud and comforted by the fact that her husband refused to deny Christ and was praying to Jesus when he and the others were killed.
Mariam Farhat, who lives in Al Aour village, about 150 miles south of Cairo, told CBN News that she "was very proud" that Ibrahim "stood firm in his faith and that he didn't deny Jesus."
"We were very sad for the first two days, but we hadn't seen the video," she said. "When we saw them in the video calling to Jesus we were very comforted."
In February, ISIS released a video showing its militants in Libya beheading the Egyptian Copts, who had all been made to wear orange jumpsuits. The video showed the Copts whispering the name of Jesus as their heads were being hacked off their bodies.
Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is an offshoot of al-Qaeda that wants to establish a caliphate in the Levant region and beyond. It has gained control over large swathes of territories in Syria and Iraq. Its main targets include religious minorities, including Christians.
Bebawy Al Ham, a brother of another slain Egyptian, identified as Samuel, had a similar reaction.
"We were always praying that God would make them steadfast in their faith," Bebawy was quoted as saying. "We were very happy with what they said on the video: 'Jesus Christ have mercy on us.' When we found out they had been killed for being Christian, we were very comforted, because these were God's children and he took them."
Samuel's family has forgiven the killers, and even prays for ISIS. "I pray for them that God may open their hearts, and they may know the truth and know that what they do is wrong and then do the right thing," Bebawy said. "Jesus told us to forgive every sin and we forgive them and we hope that they can come to know Jesus."
The Sunni terror group is known for its brutality. It has executed 2,618 people, including 1,511 civilians, since last June, when it declared its "Caliphate," according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which documented at least 464 executions over the previous two months alone.
The overall executions included those of 23 children and 32 women. The executions were carried out mostly by beheading, shooting or stoning. ISIS has also executed 139 of its own members for "exceeding the limits in religion and spying for foreign countries," mostly after they were trying to go back to their homes.
In the recent past, ISIS has released videos showing the beheading of several Western hostages — including British hostages David Haines and Alan Henning, and U.S. citizens James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Abdul-Rahman Kassig.
In its English propaganda publication, ISIS earlier sought to justify its barbarity, saying it is "Islamic" to capture and forcibly make "infidel" women sexual slaves.
"Before Shaytan [Satan] reveals his doubts to the weak-minded and weak hearted, one should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shari'ah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur'an and the narration of the prophet … and thereby apostatizing from Islam," stated the ISIS' propaganda magazine "Dabiq," named after a site in Muslim apocalypse mythology.