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Martyrs of the 20th century: the massacre of Tibhirine

On the night from the 26th to the 27th of March 1996, seven French monks have been abducted by Islamic fundamentalists in their monastery of Tibhirine, in Northern Algeria. The abductors turned to the French government for a ransom, but the latter refused to negotiate. A few weeks later, the bodies of the seven monks were found dead following a brutal massacre.


Father Christian de Cherge was among them. A few years before his death, he wrote his spiritual testament.

We read in it: “If one day, and it can happen at any moment – I will become a victim of terror […], then I would like my community, my church and my family not to forget that I gave my life to God for this country.


I would like them to accept that the Lord of all life has allowed me to leave in such a violent manner. And I want them to pray for me . How could I be declared worthy of such a great sacrifice? When they think about my death, I wish they would also think about the masses of nameless people who died in the same way. My life is worth no more than the lives of others.”


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