18 March 2015

The Fate of Christians in the Middle East

I think one of the most horrendous dimensions of stories of ISIS kidnappings and threats is the fact that these actions are taken against children. One of the elements that made the Vincentian story last week and the week before so very unbelievable was the threat that innocent children would be burned to death in cages. In the story chronicled above in the second third of the video or so, Canon Andrew White tells of three young girls, all under fourteen who are asked to renounce their faith. They respond, "But we love Yeshua," "We have always followed Yeshua" and similar things. They were beheaded. Canon White, asked, "How does one respond to that?" and then, in tears, "We can only cry."

Here at Stillsong I pray for all Christians in the Middle East but in particular I continue praying for the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Sienna. They are spending themselves daily for their brothers and sisters and do so in the highly visible and vunerability-increasing Dominican Habit. (Sometimes wearing a habit is dangerous; it is not about perks or protection.) Updates have been included over the past months but I haven't received any in the past couple of months. In January a group of Dominican Sisters from several congregations travelled there to visit and Fr Tim Radcliff, OP accompanied them in Iraq. They travelled under the heading "We have Family in Iraq". Reports of the Sisters in Iraq's courage, ministry, living conditions, etc.,  were sent back to the US and Great Britain (Timothy Radcliff's Dominicans are there). Each of us, like hermits living in the silence of solitude, are called to be able to hear the anguished cry of the world. We Christians, after all, have family in the Middle East and they are suffering and giving their lives for their faith. Let us do whatever we can do. Perhaps what begins or is sown in tears will be reaped in great rejoicing through Christ.