Last of Christian martyrs beheaded on a Libyan beach by ISIS is laid to rest

The last of the 21 Christian men to be beheaded by ISIS on a Libyan beach five years ago has been laid to rest. 

Matthew Ayariga and 20 other Coptic Christians were executed in cold blood on a beach in Sirte in February 2015. 

They were all migrant workers in the city when they were kidnapped by ISIS.  Footage of their execution was released by the terrorist group showing the men in orange jump suits and kneeling in front of masked ISIS militants. Some appeared to be praying before their deaths. 

The bodies of the other 20 men were all returned to Egypt in 2018. 

Matthew Ayariga (middle) was killed along with 20 other Coptic Christians after they refused to renounce their faith and convert to Islam.(Photo: TKList)

According to Barnabas Aid, authorities in Libya released Ayariga's remains to Egyptian Christians for burial last month. 

Cairo-based journalist Farid Y Farid tweeted that Ayariga was laid to rest alongside the other martyrs. 

"His remains finally arrived today to #Egypt to be laid to rest, w/his Coptic brothers, after 5+yrs of his body not being claimed," Farid said.

According to a report in Egyptian newspaper Watani, the mother of two other victims said: "We collapsed with great joy because the martyr Matthew is dear to us, and he is one of our children because he was martyred with our children and adhered to his Christ.

"We thank our master because He succeeded in returning the remains of the martyr so that he would be next to his [brothers] in the church."