All posts tagged: Beheadings

Otranto harbour as seen from the castle. Photo: Marco Frattola/Flickr/Creative commons

Ancient beheadings — the Otranto martyrs

Most were shocked by the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians along the shores of the Mediterranean by Islamic extremists in early 2015. But this was not the first time, Muslims beheaded Christians for their faith. Six centuries ago, Muslims beheaded 813 Christian men in Otranto, Italy because they refused to convert to Islam. The Muslim Ottoman Empire had for decades being trying to take Europe and at one point controlled most of Spain. After conquering Constantinople (today called Istanbul, Turkey) in 1453, the Muslims set their sights on Southern Europe and ultimately Rome. Though many want us to focus on how horrid the Christian crusades were, they pale in comparison to he hundreds of battles initiated by the Muslims in their effort to conquer Europe. On July 28, 1480, over 130 Ottoman galleons and ships with 18,000 troops on board sailed into the Otranto harbour, today a quaint village on the southern coast of Italy, population 5,670. The castle that guarded the city in the 1400s still stands today. According to historians Arnaldi and Scirocco, the Muslims, led by Commander …

Celebrating the Feast of Silvester in Burserberg, Austria. The feast which falls on December 31st marks the death of Pope Sylvester I who died on that day in 335 AD. The feast is celebrated in many European nations. Photo: BRainy Photography/Flickr/Creative Commons

Top ten stories of 2015

It has been an eventful year, so what were the top most read stories on opentheword.org?  From first to tenth, actually eleventh due to a virtual tie for last place, here they are: Did the Bible predict beheadings by Muslim extremists? With gruesome stories coming out of the Middle East about ISIS beheading Christians, it is not surprising many Christians are wondering if this was mentioned at all in the Bible particularly as it related to the end times. Not surprisingly it does. This story topped the list with 7,868 reads in 2015. Sir Isaac Newton predicted world would end in 2060 AD End times events are on many people’s minds these days. Researchers studying the writings of Sir Isaac Newton, who died in 1727 AD, stumbled upon his prediction when Christ would return. Newton studied the Bible and particularly end time events. Why did he date Christ’s return to centuries later — in our day?   One more thing, from his study Newton also determined that Israel had to be restored back to the Promised …

Market place in Aleppo, Syria Photo: Flickr/alejooo

Was the recent beheading of Syrian Christians by ISIS predicted in the Book of Revelation?

Christian Aid Mission (CAM) is reporting the killing of 12 Christians by ISIS near Aleppo, Syria. ISIS crucified four of the group and beheaded eight. CAM provides help to ministries and Christian groups in this troubled area of the world. As I read of this account , I again wondered if the beheading of these Christians is actually a fulfillment of the Book of Revelation that is the written record of an end-times vision received by the Apostle John about the apocalyptic events that would occur before the Second Coming of Jesus. Towards the end of his book, John sees a special reward given to two groups who had suffered through the extreme persecution seen in his vision: Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on …

Is the Book of Revelation coming to pass: Islamic State beheads 21 Christians?

[by Dean Smith] A video released on the Twitter account of a website used by the Islamic State (IS) purports to show the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. The same website has shown verified beheadings of westerners. According to the video producers, the execution took place in Tripoli Province, Libya by a group claiming association with IS. On the video, armed IS members march a group dressed in orange down to a beach near Tripoli, Libya’s capital city. Before their execution, one IS member says: