Pope apologizes for Milton’s “slaughtered saints”

Pope Francis recently apologized to the Waldensians.  They had their beginnings in the 12th century, anticipating many of the teachings of the Reformation four hundred years later, which the group then joined.  The Waldensians suffered centuries of persecution from the Roman Catholic Church, culminating in the Easter massacre in the Piedmont of Italy in 1655, when some 1,700 men, women, children, and infants were slaughtered in the most brutal ways imaginable.  (See the Wikipedia article linked, above.)

Read this chilling 17th-century catalogue of the atrocities.  Then, after the jump, read the sonnet that John Milton wrote about this mass martyrdom, given, along with a news story about the Pope’s asking for forgiveness from the 30,000 Waldensians still in Italy.  (There are more in Germany, the United States, Uruguay, and the the Pope’s native Argentina.) [Read more...]

The Martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer

Nathan Busenitz gives a vivid account of the martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer, who was greatly influenced by Luther and who is the literary genius who gave us the Book of Common Prayer, the English rendition of the liturgy that have shaped the language of Lutheran liturgies as well. [Read more...]

Renounce Christianity or die

Globally, we are back to the early Church.

A court in Sudan has sentenced a pregnant woman to death by hanging for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

Twenty-seven-year-old Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, who is already the mother of a 20-month-old son, was convicted of apostasy on Sunday and given four days to abandon her faith.

On Thursday, Judge Abbas al-Khalifa handed down the death sentence in Khartoum after Ibrahim told the court, “I am a Christian.” [Read more...]

Syrian rebels are targeting Christians

Islamists among the Syrian rebels–whom the United States is supporting–are engaged in “religious cleansing” against that country’s 2 million Christians.  Many are being murdered, dying for their faith.  Details after the jump. [Read more...]

100,000 Christians per year die for their faith

Statistics about the number of Christian martyrs today:

A top Vatican official has said around 100,000 Christians are killed every year for reasons linked to their faith and pointed to the Middle East, Africa and Asia as the biggest problem areas.

Monsignor Silvano Maria Tomasi was quoted by Vatican radio on Tuesday as saying that the figures were “shocking” and “incredible”.

Tomasi said Christians were also forced to leave their homes and see their churches destroyed in some parts of the world, and were often subjected to rapes, kidnappings and discrimination.

The Vatican official made particular reference to the kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops near Aleppo in Syria last month.

Religious freedom is beset by “sectarianism, intolerance, terrorism and exclusionary laws,” he said, while also pointing to exceptions like Bangladesh where he said rights are protected.

Another senior Vatican figure, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Mario Toso, said recently that discrimination against Christians “should be countered in the same way as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”.

via 100,000 Christians die for faith every year: Vatican.

Interesting last sentence.  Is there even a name for this?  Anti-Christianism?  Christophobia?


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