3,500 Houses Destroyed Thousands Fleeing
City Under Attack People Held Captive
These are headlines in the news lately. We have heard many terrible stories from Syria and Egypt as Islamist forces have been attacking and destroying properties of Christians and using fear and terror to cripple cities. These two headlines, however, are not about Syria or Egypt.
The first headline concerns the Central African Republic, a country of 4.5 million, where a militant group called Séléka has been attacking and destroying Christian homes.
The second headline is about the city of Zimboanga in the Philippines. In that city of more than one million people, an extremist Islamic separatist group called Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has sent in a few hundred well-armed terrorists to hold the city hostage. Their demand…a new separate country.
In both places, the Islamic population is a small minority. In both places, Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for many years. There are more places that could be added to this list: Uttar Pradesh, India; Kaduna, Nigeria; Basilan, Philippines and unfortunately, the list is growing.
With all of these violent occurrences, there will be need for help. Refugees will need shelter, churches and schools will need rebuilding. The Christian message of hope will need to be proclaimed by our actions.
Recently, the Holy Father has asked Catholics and people of faith around the world to fast and pray for peace and an end to war. We Christians are challenged by our call to love our enemy and seek peaceful resolutions. We are challenged by our sense of fairness and justice to not let those in these violent places to suffer without protection.
It is a challenging time for us Christian observers. We must follow Pope Francis’s example and pray with earnestness. We must answer the calls for help from those who are suffering with strength and true Christian love.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Nigeria is the 7th most populous country in the world and home to some 21 million Catholics. In recent years, growing corruption and religious violence have distressed this West African nation. In a recent visit to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto voiced their concerns of this descent into disorder. With an economy of over $244 billion and recipients of generous international aid, little help reaches the poorest and most in need. Where government has been unable to or unwilling to serve the people, the Catholic Church, whenever possible, has filled the void. Illustrating the vital role of the Church in the life and well-being of the nation is the fact that the area of Sokoto, where the Catholic population is smallest is also the poorest and most violence ridden.
Nevertheless, the Church remains, serves and suffers with the people through the many attacks and problems and offers hope.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Visit our site and submit a prayer intention for the suffering Church and Her people and for your own loved ones as well.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
“Dear friends, do not be discouraged! Providence always helps those who do good and are committed to justice. It helps those who think not only of themselves, but also of those who are worse off.” Pope Benedict XVIRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is a wonderful organization which works under the guidance of the Holy Father. Its mission is to provide material help and pastoral care to the suffering Church and its faithful around the world. Wherever the Church is discriminated against, wherever the faithful are persecuted for their beliefs, ACN is there.
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ACN hopes that you will be there to help as well. The purpose of our blog is to put out the word on the suffering and persecuted, to create awareness of the plight of our brothers and sisters in faith and to share thoughts and prayers with our readers. We also wish to create an environment where we can discuss what each of our roles can be in assisting the Church around the world in regions where Christianity is not even recognized.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )