Christian Persecution: What Can We Do?

Elizabeth Scalia has heard the call.

Have you?

I’m talking about the call to prayer for persecuted Christians around the globe.

Pope Francis issued a call to prayerfor the persecuted church earlier this week.

“So many Christians in the world are suffering,” the pope said during his general audience Wednesday morning in St. Peter’s Square. “Am I indifferent to that, or does it affect me like it’s a member of the family?

“Does it touch my heart, or doesn’t it really affect me, [to know that] so many brothers and sisters in the family are giving their lives for Jesus Christ?

Speaking directly to the crowd in the square, Francis said he wanted to ask a question, and he didn’t want people to shout out an answer but rather to ponder it in their hearts.

“How many of you pray for Christians who are persecuted?” the pope asked. “Ask yourselves, do I pray for that brother or sister who’s in difficulty for confessing their faith?” (Read more here.)

According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, one hundred thousand Christians have died for their faith each year in the last decade. That works out to 11 Christians martyred for their faith every hour for the past ten years.

Can you imagine the outcry if this was one the groups that fashion says we should care about? Just consider the sentence 100,000 _______ were murdered because of they were ______ each year for the past ten years. Supply the name of any group whose rights we hear daily that we are supposed to care about.

Now, go back and substitute the word Christians, as in:

100,000 Christians  were murdered because they were Christians  each year for the past ten years.

See what I mean?

Christian bashing is far more popular in today’s world than defending the human rights of Christians. Every time I post on the issue, I get a spate of comments telling me that no such problem exists. There are usually a few profane and truly ugly comments mixed in with them. I delete these things the same way I would swat a fly; the same way I delete Holocaust deniers and gay bashers and woman haters; with speed and quickness.

Pope Francis is right. We need to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. If you’re one of those people who has been observing this carnage and wondering What can I do? here’s you answer. Get on your knees and start praying.

I wrote a Novena for the Persecuted Church a few weeks ago. You can find it here:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

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  • Michael Ejercito

    We can arm the Christians.

  • Manny

    Prayer is good, but prayer ain’t doing it. We need more than that. Why aren’t we holding our elected officials accountable here. I don’t care which party it is, but Christians need to raise their voice here. Even the Papacy hasn’t been vocal enough. Now being vocal might be counter productive in our leader’s views. I don’t know, but if that is the case they should at least explain that to us. Darn it, all we see is week after week more Christians being persecuted and killed. I’m SICK of it. And frankly it’s affecting my whole outlook on Islam. Religion of peace my a**.

    • hamiltonr

      Manny I agree. But this call to prayer is not a time-waster. It is the beginning of what you are talking about. If God’s people will begin to really pray, God will raise up what the change we want to be. Pray. Pray every single day. I suggest the Rosary. God will direct you. I am speaking from experience.

      Also, these people are God’s martyrs. We need to raise THEM up in honor now.

      • Manny

        Yes, agreed. Raise them to the honor they deserve, and I do pray. But I think it’s time to take our next step, though I don’t know what that step might be. Perhaps I should send Cardinal Dolan, who happens to be my bishop, a letter.

        • hamiltonr

          I’m with you; not sure where we should go next. I think sending the Cardinal a letter is a good idea. I know — know — that if we all begin to pray, things will happen.

  • FW Ken

    John Allen has a new book on the subject of persecution of Christians. It’s available as a Kindle download for $11.

  • Mick

    Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. (Luke 6:22-23)

  • Sam Black

    Is there a certain threshold in the volume of prayer that’s required before god responds and stops all of the persecution? Or perhaps god prorates his response in proportion to the prayers received? How exactly does this work?

    • hamiltonr

      We’re going to be under siege from the atheist trolls for a while. I’m not going to let many of these through, as I think the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people should not be discussed in this uncaring, hectoring manner. However, I’m letting this one through as a sort of exhibit of the thinking that comes over from the atheist blogs.

      • Sam Black

        Are questions about the efficacy of prayer never discussed by those of faith? Are these questions off limits such that If a faithful person presents a question regarding the efficacy of prayer are they automatically a troll?

    • FW Ken

      Glad you asked that, Sam. Here’s how it works. God is our Father who loves us so much that he lets us run lose over the world and over one another. Prayer is not a magic incantation, but an opportunity to engage that love. Creation is radically responsive to love, the love of God for us and our love for God.

      There is an old cliche that happens to be true: prayer changes things, first of all the one who prays. When I stand before God, offering my most honest desires, I am also opening myself to becoming part of the answer to the prayer. I also open myself to the mystery of an answer from beyond the normative.

      And it’s always wise to remember that death isn’t the worst thing that can happen. To live without the Father’s love, that’s terrible. To live without the hope of the Resurrection? No, death is not the worst there is.

      And that is how it works.

  • pagansister

    May I ask that the prayers also include those that may not be Christians but are suffering also, as a result of the violence constantly around them, especially the babies, children, and the women who are also being persecuted for religious reasons. For what it is worth, I also hope and in my own way, pray for the violence to stop towards not only Christians but the ones I mentioned above. No child anywhere of any faith should have to grow up in fear and terror, as so many on this planet do daily.

    • hamiltonr

      Of course Pagansister. Thank you for the suggestion.

    • Manny