Persecution today: not an abstract idea
From Mumbai, India, reader Alex Kannattumadom writes:
We acknowledge and appreciate the efforts you put up for a good cause. It is high time you look beyond your own territories to see, especially, the Church in India. She is going through a very precarious situation. You see the media headlines: Church burnt in Karnataka state, Bible burnt in Gujarat, Priests murdered in broad daylight in Arunachal, Nuns raped in Uttar Pradesh. The Clergy and the laity had to flee to thick forests and had to stay there for weeks in Orissa. The Holy Host is desecrated in public.
Still we keep the lamp lit, unflickering, on a high lamppost. We In India deserve a moral boost and assistance from you.
Over the years we have carried literally hundreds of stories about the sufferings of Christians in India-- as well as the trials that our Christians brethren face in other countries. (See today's Feature about the latest fervent pleas by Vietnamese Catholics for an end to government oppression.) But I'm sorry to say that these stories attract fewer readers than most other CWN headlines. That's a shame-- literally-- because Alex Kannattumadom is right. Wherever Christians are suffering for the faith, they deserve our support.
Maybe there isn't much that we can do to help our fellow Catholics living thousands of miles away, apart from praying for them. But prayer is the most important step that we could take to preserve their hope and their courage. And the knowledge that we are praying for them should bolster their morale.
Beyond that, if we are informed about the struggles that the Church faces in other countries, we can do our part to persuade government leaders that they should exert diplomatic pressure on the offending countries to ease the oppression. Persecutors always prefer to do their dirty work without attracting notice. If we can expose their offenses, we are on the way to correcting them.
Would you please join me in saying a prayer-- right now-- for suffering Christians in India, Vietnam, and other countries where religious freedom is not protected? Would you please make a commitment to keep informed about the trials of Catholics in these lands, so that you can be involved in the political efforts to help them?
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