Michael J. Sheehan Archbishop of Santa Fe
Thank God We’re Christians
Although we have things in the past that we can’t be proud of, today we Christians might bicker, but we don’t butcher. The religions of the Middle East can’t say that about themselves. Although we are constantly reminded that religious radicals are a small percentage of their members and we shouldn’t be prejudiced, it ain’t easy to embrace with love religions that allows themselves to be infiltrated with murderers and terrorists.
I’d be embarrassed if we followed the example of the 3,000 Muslins rioting in Pakistan who burned homes of non-believers when they thought a Protestant minister had slandered Allah.
I would be filled with shame if our police sat on their asses while Christian mobs attacked Moslem places of worship and slaughtered many of its worshippers. This happened recently in Egypt. Radical Muslims burned and destroyed 50 Coptic Churches.
In Nigeria, for four years uprising has cost almost 4,000 lives in the fight against the shadowy Islamist insurgency Boko Haram. Recently, 44 were killed in a mosque, intending to deter Muslims from joining government vigilante groups.
In Myanmar, government security forces not only prevented violence against the minority Muslims, but participated in it. President Obama made this a point of discussion during the visit of the Myanmar president at the White House.
In Lebanon, in Tripoli hundreds of worshipers fled in panic as powerful car bombs struck two packed Sunni mosques, killing 30 people.
In India, in the region of Karnataka, ruled by the Hindu extremist-backed Bharatiya Janaa Party, Christians on their property are attacked an average of three times a week. In Nagarajpura village, Hindu extremists attacked and beat Christians in the Zion Prayer Hall Church and they were hospitalized. The radical party then threatened to kill all Christians unless they denounced Christ.
In Iraq, the bombing of an Iraqi-Shite shrine by Sunni militants triggered the worst of the sectarian fighting in the county. Over 100 where killed in a string of bombing after the Eid celebrations that marked the end of Ramadan.
In Syria, the Nusra Front declared it would destroy all the houses of
apostasy (Christian places of worship).
2:20 PM on a busy street in London, two British-born converted Muslins used a car to run down a 20-year-old policeman. They then decapitated him and butchered his body into pieces with a butcher’s cleaver, shouting, “Allahu akbar (God is great),” Prime Minister David Cameron said, “The terrorists will never win because they can never beat the values we hold dear.”
During his court trial, Nusra Frontproudly told he killed 13 American soldiers in the name of Allah.
Three months ago, a band of Muslim terrorist stormed a Franciscan monastery in Northern Serbia. The mob cheered and filmed the beheading of a 37-year-old monk. (Because of censorship, few Americans had knowledge of this.)
Need I go on with the long list of attacks on Christians in the Middle East? The massive number of martyrs is staggering.
Conclusion: Pray for our fellow Christians martyrs who are struggling to survive in that troubled part of the world. And appreciate our Christian religion which respects the rights and lives of others. Jesus had the right message. Thank you, God!
A Charity that is doing good work
Suggestion: If you would like to make a contribution to the organization that is doing great work for fellow Christians in Middle East, I strongly recommend a gift to CNEWA (Catholic Near East Welfare Association)
1011 First Avenue, New York, NY 10022-4195
Madeline L’Engle, American writer who died 2007
O you who bear the pain of the whole world,
I bore you.
O you whose tears give human tears their worth,
I laughed with you.
You, who, when your hem is touches, give power,
I nourished you.
Who turn the day to night in this dark hour;
light comes from you.
O you who hold the world I your embrace,
I carried you.
Whose arms encircled the world with your grace,
I once held you.
O you who laughed and ate and walked the shore,
I played with you.
And I, who with all others, you died for,
Now I hold you.
May I be faithful in this final test:
in this last time I hold my child, my son,
his body close enfolded to my breast,
the holder held: the bearer borne.
Mourning to joy: darkness to morn.
Open, my arms: your work is done.