This blog has repeatedly drawn its readers’ attention to the persecution of Christian around the world. In other countries Christians are not facing persecution but are experiencing difficult situations and restrictions of their religious liberties.
This morning I visited the website of World Catholic News and found these news items from around the world portraying events of restrictions or persecution. None of these news items is more than a week old!
The largely Hindu nation of Nepal has published a draft of a new constitution that would ban religious conversion. Father Silas Bogati, vicar general of the Apostolic Vicariate of Nepal, told Catholic News Service that "Christianity is not recognized as a religion here, unlike Hinduism, Buddhism or Islam." "Hence, churches cannot be registered as a legal body, and we cannot buy property," he added. "We are severely handicapped by this."
United States of America
The Little Sisters of the Poor have been forced to ask the US Supreme Court to overturn an appeals-court ruling that they must comply with the federal mandate requiring coverage of contraception in employee health-care plans. The Little Sisters strongly feel that the decision forces them to make an unjust and unjustifiable choice between helping the poor or going against their conscience.
The blasphemy laws of this country are constantly being abused and Christians are made to suffer greatly because of this abuse. Two Christians have been arrested last week for alleged violations of Pakistan’s blasphemy law, and could face the death penalty if convicted. Qaiar and Amoon Ayub, who are brothers, are charged with posting material offensive to Islam on a web site. Qaiar Ayub says that he shut down the web site in 2009, but a Muslim acquaintance reactivated it and posted the questionable material.
The situation of Christians in the region is precarious to the extreme because of the advance of the so-called Islamic State. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako told Vatican Radio that he is “very worried” about the future of Iraq and especially about the position of the country’s Christian minority.
The situation has been made worse after the Iraqi government ordered 4,000 soldiers and police officers to withdraw from the region of the Nineveh plains, prompting complaints from Christians in the region who have been hoping for an offensive to regain territory seized by the Islamic State.
The Melkite Greek Catholic archbishop of Aleppo, Syria's most populous city, has appealed for aid to encourage Christians to remain in the nation.
"At the time of this writing, Aleppo is undergoing a massive assault by jihadists, and bombs have been falling for hours," Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart said in a text published by Aid to the Church in Need.
"It is as if everything is being done to scare people and push them to leave," he added.
Is the end near?
Similar concerns have been expressed in a lengthy story on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East published on July 22 by The New York Times. The full story titled ‘Is this the end of Christianity in the Middle East?’ can be accessed on http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/magazine/is-this-the-end-of-christianity-in-the-middle-east.html?
In its extremely well written and most moving story Eliza Griswoldjuly says that "The front line against ISIS in Northern Iraq is marked by an earthen berm that runs for hundreds of miles over the Nineveh Plain," the paper reported. "A string of Christian towns now stands empty, and the Kurdish forces occupy what, for thousands of years, was Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac land ... Even if ISIS is defeated, the fate of religious minorities in Syria and Iraq remains bleak."
In front of this situation many Western powers seem to be powerless or in denial.
Please do keep persecuted Christian and others persecuted for so many different reasons in your prayers.
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