Persecution, not Divorced and Remarrieds, is the Most Serious Issue Facing Christianity Today

Persecution, not Divorced and Remarrieds, is the Most Serious Issue Facing Christianity Today October 24, 2015

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Harrison Staab
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Harrison Staab

My colleague Kate O’Hare interviewed Chaldean Catholic Bishop Mar Bahai Soro about the holocaust of Christians that is taking place in the Middle East. 

To be honest, reading this interview put the hijinks of the Synod on the Family in perspective. It made the whole thing seem a little bit like an exercise in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It would have been better to hold a Synod on Christian persecution in much of the world, coupled as it is by increasing harassment, bashing and legal attacks on the rights of Christians in the so-called Christian West.

Christianity is under attack as it has not been since the Muslim wars of conquest in the Middle Ages. Today’s line of attack is even more aggressive because it has not one, not even two, but several fronts. Christians are being subjected to genocide in their ancient homelands. Christians endure violent persecution in places like North Korea and certain parts of India. Christians are subjected to government control and abuse in places such as China, and Christians are under social and legal attack in an attempt to drive them from public forums and banish their ministries in much of the West, including the United States.

That is the most serious issue facing Christianity today.

From Angelus:

Many, if not most, of the Christians will be forced to leave Iraq forever, but some are determined to stay and see that Christianity maintains a living presence in some of the places that first heard the message of the Apostles.

In America, there are those determined to help. They can’t work a miracle, but you have to start somewhere.

Chaldean Catholic Bishop Mar Bawai Soro resides at the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle in El Cajon, in San Diego County. It serves approximately 60,000 Catholics in several western states who are part of the Chaldean or Assyrian Rite. Many are immigrants from the Middle East, especially Iraq and Iran.

Bishop Soro was formerly a bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East. A longtime advocate of the primacy of the Apostolic See of Rome — he proudly displays thick albums of photos of the times he has met Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis — Bishop Soro was received into the Catholic Church in January 2008.

He recently joined forces with Kingdom Special Operations, a Las Vegas-based private security company. Staffed by former intelligence officers and military Special Forces members, it goes on assignments worldwide for the U.S. government and other entities.

But the CEO of Kingdom, Orange County native Roger Flores, is a Catholic and a Knight of Columbus, and he has always maintained that part of Kingdom’s mission is to help his fellow Christians.


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28 responses to “Persecution, not Divorced and Remarrieds, is the Most Serious Issue Facing Christianity Today”

  1. I don’t disagree, but would note that poverty, materialism (it’s evil twin), drug abuse (as you noted), and a host of other social ills also mitigate against strong families.

    But the good news is that, apparently, divorce and remarriage got three paragraphs, and same-sex marriage got one, overwhelmingly negative. Here’s an interesting take on the final document, which I haven’t yet found.

  2. When one considers there are around 69 Catholics here in the states and roughly 20% of all divorces per year are of Catholic couples, the church needs to pay attention.

    In 2011 that was 11 million who cannot take communion, and of the 11 million most will leave the church and either go elsewhere or become non religious. Its easy to focus on the horrors of war and what it does to Catholics in the countries affected.

    But we have many more here in the states whom the church is losing year after year after year. This is 2015 not 1915 or 1815 etc.

  3. The media has been totally obsessed with so-called sex issues. But some participants in the small groups report that many groups were more interested in other issues (including persecution and killing of Christians). But here is the irony and the hypocrisy–the media’s obsession will soon be plastered across the world and the Church will be blamed for the media’s almost hysterical interest in what it deems most important: —anything with a sensational angle—especially” sexual .”

  4. It seems that people are ignoring the overwhelming evidence that the Islamic extremists are persecuting and killing Jews, atheists, Hindus, other Muslims, and people of other faiths and only choosing to focus only the Christians.

  5. This comment has nothing to do with the topic above. However I feel as though I’m part of a family on this site, and concern and care has been expressed when I’ve mentioned my husband’s dementia. I don’t know where else to post this, since obviously no private emails are available. My husband died Friday afternoon, 23 October, peacefully with me beside him, as well as one of my 2 sisters. For some reason I need to mention this to you, Rebecca, as I consider you a friend, as I do several others who comment on your site. Hope your Mother is doing well.

  6. pagansister, you have done a wonderful thing for your husband. I’m glad he had a peaceful death. I hope you and your children are doing okay. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. God bless you for your care for your husband! I will pray for you as you process this loss, that you’ll feel the love of God and of others surrounding you. So sorry…

  8. Bless you, PS. It’s a privilege, but also painful, to be there at the passing of a loved one. In the Catholic tradition, we place much value on a peaceful death. May you walk in peace, and your husband rest in peace

  9. Here’s my question: these adults made adult decisions about marriage. That’s not always true about the first marriage, but they knew what the remarriage meant for receiving Communion. Why should we think that these people will suddenly flock back to the Church they freely walked away from?

  10. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
    And may light perpetual shine upon him.
    Sorry for your loss.

  11. Islamic extremists persecute and murder anyone in their way. But, the largest and most likely target in Syria and Iraq, after Muslims are Christians.
    We are Christians, btw. The Christian Churches in Iraq and Syria are ancient. These are our brothers and sisters in the Faith being persecuted.

  12. Beth, if a Catholic is civilly divorced they may receive the Sacraments. If they are in mortal sin they are to abstain. Any mortal sin. It is remarriage without an annulment and relations that keeps people from receiving. If you are abstaining from sexual relations you may receive. If that is your situation, go talk to a good priest. Having said that, parishes really should help people walk through all these issues. Ours is just starting and we need to be more active. Also, we need more marriage counseling. A lot of problems can be solved ahead of time, if we make the effort.

  13. Thank you—-we are processing this as best as we can. Appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Means a lot.

  14. Oh my Pagansister I am so sorry. Prayers for his soul and your good heart. He was blessed to have you. Love, Rebecca

  15. I was blessed to have him. I cherish the 52 1/2 years he was in my life, 51 of which were as his wife. Thank you for your prayers. As I mentioned previously, I hope your Mother is doing well right now.

  16. Take care of yourself mi amiga. You have done good. Now rest in the love of Christ my sister.

  17. Pagansister, I am so sorry for your loss. Your love for your husband and your care for him has always been so clear in your posts. May God bless you and may your beloved rest in peace.

  18. Would that somehow, someway all religions could get along and respect each others beliefs. I’m know I’m not the first nor will I be the last person to wish for this. How humans can treat each other so horribly never ceases to amaze me. The extremists of all faiths who commit the atrocities cause hatred of those members of the faith that are peaceful followers of it.