Skip to comments.A Letter From Iraq to Christians in the West
Posted on 11/07/2013 6:01:43 AM PST by marshmallow
Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona of Mosul: The greatest challenge in facing death because of our faith is to continue to know this faith in such a way as to live it constantly and fully
How can we live our faith in a time of great difficulty? What can we do for those who are persecuted because of their faith? To ask this question means above all interrogating ourselves about the meaning of our faith. In order to be able to speak about the time of persecution Christians must really know their own faith.
In 2010, when I was appointed bishop of Mosul, I knew that I would be coming to a city facing an extremely critical situation with regard to securityfor many Christians had already been killed, and many had been forced to leave the diocese. Brutal violence took the life of a priest, as well as a bishop, my predecessor: both were murdered in extremely gruesome fashion.
I came to Mosul Jan. 16, 2010. The very next day a series of reprisal murders of Christians began, starting with the killing of the father of a young man who was praying with me in church. For more than 10 days extremists continued to kill, one or two people each day. The faithful left the city to seek refuge in the small towns and villages nearby, or in the monasteries.
Since then almost half of the faithful have now returned. What can we do for these people? What can one do for those who are living the difficult life of persecution?
These questions tormented me, forcing me to reflect on the right path to follow so I could fulfill my mission of service. I found the answer in the motto of my episcopatenamely, hope. I came to this conclusion: During a time..........
(Excerpt) Read more at zenit.org ...
The fact the West barely has lifted a finger to come to the aid of persecuted Christians is a well-deserved black mark.
But it raises the question, "at what point is there a right to defend yourself?" Indeed, after turning cheek after cheek after cheek, is there no provision for a just war?
Of course we should not hate our enemies. But we need to answer the question, "it is permitted for us to fight for our lives and those of our families without stepping out of the will of God?"
By not seeking a clear answer from God to this question (and frankly not ceasing until we get one), we are encouraging our enemies to persecute us by our lack of willing defense.