Testimonies

The first Gaza martyr: Rami Ayyad 2007

“Rami was the most gentle member of the team, the ever-smiling one. He was the face of our Bible shop, always receiving visitors and serving them as Jesus would.” This warm tribute was paid to Rami by a colleague at Gaza Bible Society after the 30-year-old’s kidnap and murder left the Christian community reeling. The father of two, whose wife Pauline was expecting the couple’s third child at the time, was seized on 6 October 2007 after leaving the Bible Society’s bookshop, which he ran. The next morning his body was discovered, showing knife and bullet wounds.

Rami’s murder shocked the small Christian community in Gaza, which comprises around 3,000 people. The tragedy received much cov-erage in the local media, and the Christian community received many messages of condolence, prayer and support. Rami was the first known Christian martyr in Gaza in recent times.

There are four different kinds of martyrdom,

namely, innocence as in Abel;

uprightness, as in the prophets and John the Baptist; love of the law, as in the Maccabees;

confession of faith, as in the apostles.

For all these various causes Christ the Lamb

is said to have been ‘slain from the foundations of the world’.

The Dialogue of Caesarius

Originally published in Heroes of the Faith by Patrick Sookhdeo (Isaac Publishing)