Call it the email read ’round the world.
In November, a friend of a friend, Maria Teresa Landi, came up with an extraordinary idea: she e-mailed her friends, proposing they send letters of encouragement to the Christians of Iraq, who are being tortured and persecuted and murdered for their faith. Tere, who is active in the Communion and Liberation movement, asked that her idea be distributed as widely as possible. We posted her proposal, which was picked up by our blogging friends, such as the Anchoress and Father Robert Barron and many, many others.
So how many letter writers responded? Hundreds of thousands, according to Olivetta Danese, the CL national secretary. The proposal was only supposed to last a week. But ever since November, Olivetta told me, she has been downloading thousands upon thousands of emails (sent to His Beatitude Emmanuel Delli, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad at email@example.com) and hand carrying them to the UN Nuncio. Here in the West, we often take our religious freedoms for granted. We must remember that Christian martyrdom began at the time of Christ and continues to this day, when Christians in Iraq, Egypt, northern Nigeria and other corners of the globe are hunted down and murdered for their beliefs.
Our actions as individuals might feel insignificant. But when we plant a seed by sending up a prayer or sending out a letter, it might bear fruit.
As Tere wrote in her original email: “It is a small gesture, like a drop in the ocean, but Christ can use it to make great things, because, as He said, when two or three are united in His name, He is in their midst.”