KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS – FIRST FOLLOW-UP
Much has happened in this past week. I’ll get to all those things later; after this.
I see I left off with the Oregon community college shooter and the growing present-day martyrdom of Christians. Two things to follow-up on: (1. Growing persecution of Christians) —
Perhaps you haven’t started reading the Roman Martyrology, which I speak of from time to time here, and you haven’t yet experienced its benefits to you. Perhaps you don’t know where to buy one, or can’t afford it. Perhaps you don’t know where to find the daily entries online. And anyway those martyrs were a couple hundred years ago. Or five hundred. Or eight hundred. . . Or 1,900 years ago.
So let’s keep asking questions about today’s Christian martyrs.
Columbine shooters too long ago? “Are you a Christian?” they asked some of their victims. One father wrote a book about his daughter’s courage to say yes. . .
This month’s Oregon shooter: “Are you a Christian?” Yes? “You’re going to meet your God.” Boom.
Let’s go to the Middle East currently. A Christian father and his young son. The attackers cut off the little boys fingertips one by one in front of the father, saying they will stop if the father renounces his Christianity. He refused. Two other Christian friends came to help. How did this all end? The three men and the boy were crucified. Date reported: Oct. 2, 2015. Why did they do it this way? Here is their instruction: “When your Lord inspired to the angels, ‘I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.’” (Qur’an-Sura 8:12) Christians are those “who disbelieved.”
In Syria: 12 Christian men and one 12 year old boy “brutally tortured and murdered” because they wouldn’t renounce Christianity.
Also recently: Eight Christian Aid Workers including two women; refused to renounce Christ. Beheaded.
Martyrdom doesn’t always mean death, although I’m skipping a half dozen other recent incidents..
United Kingdom (England) — Here’s a Christian family, but it’s in the middle of their story.
I’ll keep their photo small. Their attackers demand that they leave Christianity, and have hounded them out of two homes so far. The threats continue. The threats increase. They’re appealing to the public to help because they think the officials in the UK will protect Christians. As I said, it’s still in the middle of the story of this Christian family.
How about going to church in India (Chhattisgarh) and having your church surrounded by a mob of 40 Christian haters who violently beat the church goers, two women so badly they may not live.
Luke Sarker. 52 year-old Christian pastor. Opened the door to three young HIndus in Bangladesh pretending to be interested in Christianity. They knifed him, leaving him for dead.
Nepal: Two Christian churches bombed during their “services.” A third church spared because that bomb didn’t detonate. Anti-Christian pamphlets left all over the area.
Africa: Ushahemba and Sughter Kumashenge; two brothers; Christians. Ambushed and killed while they worked on their farm by Christian-haters.
Africa: 19 year-old girl brutally, repeatedly raped because her parents are Christians, so the attackers said. She was left alone on the road overnight; it’s not clear whether she will survive.
These stories — and more — were in the news I read in just one day!
No need to purchase a Roman Martyrology, I suppose.
Just know what’s going on in the world around you. It’s happening in every country.
Hatred of Jesus Christ and hatred of His followers is on the rise all over. It may be beheadings. Knifings. Shootings. Beatings. Driving people out of their homes. Drivings people out of their jobs. Refusing employment or fair advancement in their professions. Demanding that Christians violate their conscience. Making Christians pay ruinous fines. Character assassinations. Deleting any positive reference to Christianity in textbooks, movies, songs, general fiction, and anywhere in the entertainment-news articles. Lying about the contributions Christendom has made to civilization.
We have a lot to learn from paying attention to martyrologies, ancient or current. Keep asking questions:
How did they do it?
How did they act?
How did they stay faithful to Christ?
Why did they stay faithful to Christ?
How did they suffer. How could they? How much . . .?
Can I follow their example?
Why would I?
St. Paul acknowledged that it doesn’t make much sense to live so precariously. “If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable.” (I Corinthians 15:19)
It’s all about love, though. A Creator that thought us up; loved the idea of us; went ahead and created us; picked the best time for us to be born; draws us to Him, hopefully; and plans for a life of love, here and forever. Love, in the next life forever.
It’s all about true quality of life. Think about the martyrs. If you can, pray for them. When this is me, I know I’d need all the help I can get.