Don't Forget Them!
We can never forget our brothers and sisters who are suffering loss of life, family, and home for their fidelity to Jesus Christ! It is painful to hear of these persecutions of our fellow Christians in various parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, North Africa and China. We cannot permit the comfort and safety of our churches here in the USA to make us indifferent to their present-day passion.
At a conference in New York City on the persecution of Christians by Islamic extremists that I recently attended, we were told that the first thing our brothers and sisters desire is our prayers, compassion and solidarity. They are greatly strengthened by the notion that we have them in our hearts and prayers.
Secondly, they would like that their plight be made widely known, especially to our government leaders. As we celebrate and defend religious freedom here in America, we must also defend it abroad. This is one of the most fundamental human rights, without which there will not be justice in the world.
Thirdly, there are organizations that support persecuted Christians with practical assistance and support like the Knights of Columbus and Aid to the Church in Need. Your donations to these kinds of organizations will surely bring relief to our brothers and sisters.
The movie, Paul: Apostle of Jesus Christ, illustrated both the hardship and heroism of the early Christians. We see the same story replayed today. May it inspire us to live our faith with great conviction and fortitude.
St. Paul, pray for us.
Fr. Tim Byerley Pastor