The Pope made an interesting comment to visiting Jewish leaders. He compared the atrocities being committed against Christians in parts of the Middle East and the world’s overall silence on the subject to the way Jews were treated in the run-up to World War II. The pope, who sees us in the beginning stages of a new world war, thinks Christians will increasingly be the new target. “First it was your turn,” he said, “and now it is our turn.”
Christians are suffering the same “savage attacks” once suffered by Jews, Pope Francis told a delegation of prominent Jewish leaders, according to the head of the World Jewish Congress.
Ronald S. Lauder led a delegation of 40 Jewish leaders who met Francis at his Santa Marta residence late Wednesday to mark Rosh Hashanah, the upcoming Jewish new year.
Lauder told reporters on Thursday that the WJC and the pope were “in absolute agreement” in condemning militant attacks on Christians in the Middle East and said the pope had compared the persecution to attacks on the Jews.“Francis told us privately that he believes we are in World War III, but unlike the first two world wars, instead of happening all at once, this war is coming in stages,” Lauder said.
“He said first it was your turn and now it is our turn. In other words, first Jews suffered savage attacks that were met with the world’s silence, and now it is Christians who are being annihilated and the world is silent.”
It’s not right, of course, to compare anything to the magnitude of the Holocaust against the Jews. But Christians might well experience something of what the Jews experienced. For example, I’ve noticed that some people respond to Christianity and to Christians with not just disagreement but a visceral repugnance, an emotional repulsion that has to be similar to the hatred of antisemites. Some might say, well, many of you Christians tormented the Jews for centuries, so turn about is fair play. But this is still very ugly and very dangerous. At any rate, Christians might do well to consider what they someday might have to endure for their faith and what some Christians are already enduring.