The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ongoing Persecution of Christians

I have written frequently on this blog about the continued persecution of Christians, particularly in the Muslim-majority nations of the Middle East and southern Asia. It seems to be one of those subjects that the mainstream media simply ignores, unless an act of persecution is so horrific that it is squeezed into a 15-second clip on the evening news right before a commercial. Much of the news today is focused on the draconian measures being taken by the regimes of such nations as Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, and others as they respond violently to the protests of their citizens who seek democratic reforms. In many instances, however, this same kind of violence has been perpetrated for years against the Christian citizens of these countries whose only crime is the desire to worship God freely.

In today's essay published by TheCatholicThing.org, George J. Marlin offers a brief but comprehensive overview of the plight of Christians throughout the Middle East. Marlin, who is chairman of the papal-sponsored charity, Aid to the Church in Need, USA, knows of what he speaks since the organization he heads must deal daily with the effects of this persecution.

Egyptian Christians touch a blood-splattered mural at the Coptic church in Alexandria, where at least 21 people were killed in a new year terrorist bombing
Historians of religion tell us there were more Christian martyrs in the 20th century than in all nineteen previous centuries combined. Judging by what's happening in the world today, the 21st century might be even worse. Pray for these courageous Christians who suffer so much in our chaotic world. And, of course, we don't despair because of persecution. On the contrary, we walk by faith, knowing that God's plan for humanity will be brought to the conclusion He desires. Perhaps, too, we can take solace in recalling Tertullian's comment back in the early third century that "The blood of Christians is the seed of the Church."

To read Marlin's essay, click here: Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. It's well worth a few minutes of your time.

By the way, if you're looking for a good charity to support, I can't recommend Aid to the Church in Need more highly. They do excellent and necessary work. As Marlin states when addressing the persecution of Christians in his essay, "Despite all these crimes, there is hardly a peep from the Western powers. These victims would be completely forgotten if not for the Holy Father." ...and if not for George Marlin and organizations like his.

God's peace...

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