We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.
My motto “Be happily and uncomplicatedly
Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe _____________________________________________
Why Do They Hate Us?
On September 4, in Kottenkulangara within the southwestern Indian state of Kerala, twenty masked Hindu extremists destroyed the altar, confessionals and vestments in Our Lady of Vailankanni parish church. This was two days after Christians in another part of India welcomed a court decision, mandating that the National Human Rights Commission compensate victims of anti-Christian violence. (Three years ago 300 villages were attacked with 70 people killed. Later that year, because of violence, 25,000 Christians fled for their lives.)
Recently, in the Nigerian city of Jos, Muslim militants launched a series of attacks on Christians and killed 14 people.
Beijing is tackled the country’s embattled Catholics. In China, there are an estimated eight million Catholics who have to worship secretly because they refuse to join the state controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. The US-based Cardinal Kung Foundation stated there are 25 Chinese bishops either in jail or under house arrest.
The Pew Research Center Forum lists these eight countries as having very high hostilities towards Christians: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia. Thirty other countries are listed as having high hostility.
Italian sociologist Massimo Introvigne, representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, reported that over 100,000 Christians are killed annually. “Every five minutes,” he said, ‘a Christian is killed for his faith.”
This is puzzlement for me. We Christians don’t have suicide bombers and extremists who attack people of other faiths and destroy their places of worship. Throughout history, Christians universally have been the selfless providers of healthcare, education, food, housing and welfare for all people. We still are today.
I can’t say we weren’t forewarned because St. Luke records Christ as saying, “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.” And in the year 210, Tertullian said, “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.” Four hundred years later, St. Gregory the Great added an optimistic note when he wrote “Change the wicked and they will be no more. The wicked who have been changed will be no more, not because they will altogether cease to exist in their essential being; they will cease to exist in their state of ungodliness.”
Are we hated merely because we are different? Is there jealousy because of our enjoyment and devotion of our Faith? Do they resent us because they are beneficiaries of our goodness? I don’t know. Send me your thoughts to share with other readers. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Other recommended Catholic blogs
-“Make-Up Orthodoxy” in August-September The Catholic World Report.
– “Rights of Conscience” in August 1-8 America.
– Liberal education and the priesthood” in August-September Homiletic & Pastoral Review.
– Andrew Bacevich on the Information Age” in August 12 Commonweal.