Persecuted Christians normally live in countries where they are in the minority and this means that even within their own countries what is happening matters little and because the truth calls out and many times we cannot look at the sun directly and we prefer to cover ourselves eyes.
The faith that persecuted Christians live challenges us. As simple as saying; “Would we be here if we knew that now they are going to close the church door and set fire to it?” Well, I don’t know.
There is an indifference caused by ignorance, many people do not really know what is happening, all this does not appear on the front pages of the newspapers or in the news, we always have biased information about what is really happening, is it intentional? or unintended? We already know that the media is interested in showing some things and not others.
And this is happening in Iraq, seeing the testimony of Christians, of how they are reacting when they return home with forgiveness. How they have lived these 3 years of exile, staying together and the rest of the people seeing in them how Christians love each other. There are many conversions of Muslims and Yacidis. And it is a sensitive issue because these Muslims, these Yacidis, are in danger when they convert, but really this testimony is bearing a lot of fruit.
Also here it is very nice to see in all these Islamic countries the role of the Virgin, of how Muslims love the Virgin, not in the same way as Catholics, but she is the mother of a prophet and in fact when you go to the churches, there is always a little chapel or a grotto of the Virgin of Lourdes outside the church premises where you see Muslims and Christians praying together and this is very mysterious and at the same time very hopeful.
Returning to the topic of indifference, one thing is indifference there on a social level and then our own indifference as Christians, resisting to think that the Lord wants this persecution in the end for our good because we prefer to live in our affluent life.
Persecuted Christians do not blame God for suffering, but rather recognize that “ God is with us” and see the existence of evil, that the devil exists and many times they do not even blame to the people who are committing that evil, to those who are persecuting them. They forgive the persecutors, but acknowledge that evil is working in these people, that evil uses these people to act.
We see this in Father Jacques Hamel who was killed two summers ago in France, he was the first priest to die in the 21st century at the hands of jihadists in European lands. At the end of celebrating mass, some hooded men entered and took him to kill him. He – there were witnesses and everything has been documented – at the end of the mass he tells them; “ but what are you doing? You’re crazy, leave me “. They catch him harder, then he says; “ go Satan “. Then they finish him off, they just cut his throat and then even the Holy Father spoke about this, about how this priest had not blamed these two young boys, but had really gone to the root of the problem that is evil. That it does not distinguish between Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, or Evangelicals. The Pope calls it the “ecumenism of the blood”.
Let us be aware that we are living in a historic moment to be able to help all these brothers of ours through prayer, publicizing the situation, and with charity.
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