The Mosul imagery is so arresting. It’s reminiscent of what we saw in Europe in the build-up to the Second World War or the ethnic cleansing witnessed during the Balkans in the early 1990s, where there is an attempt to systematically wipe out an entire civilisation and culture. It’s as if the world is asleep and doesn’t care. I’m surprised there hasn’t been condemnation and calls for solidarity.
–Francis Campbell, former British Ambassador to the Holy See
We’d like to open this post by saying you’ve probably been saturated with news about the persecuted Christians in Iraq, but the fact is western media has remained quiet about the destruction and expulsion of the ancient Christian communities there. This is a tragic situation which we lift up to God in prayer each day.
As we mentioned on A Good Habit Wednesday, Le Figaro, one of the oldest French daily newspapers, published a front-page editorial Wednesday on the silence of the western world regarding the genocide that is taking place in Iraq. We read about it on Zenit, but you can find the English translation of the editorial here at Rorate Coeli blog. The article is worth reading – how often does the secular media come to the defense of Christians? Perhaps only when it’s too late. Or perhaps when they see that the extermination of Christians means more than just smashing statues and burning churches – it means wiping out culture, history, religious and archaeological treasures and stability. It means trading civilization for barbarism.
Rorate Coeli has been posting a lot regarding the obliteration of Christendom in Iraq by ISIS, and you can always find articles there that move you to pray (and weep) about the suffering of our brothers and sisters.
The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is devoting next Friday, August 1st, (Feast of St. Peter in Chains on the old calendar) to prayer and adoration for our persecuted brethren in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East. But it’s not just for those who attend FSSP parishes or prefer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, it’s for everyone. We followers of Christ are all in this together, and the sufferings which one part of the Body of Christ is enduring now are our sufferings as well. You can read about the day of prayer here to learn more, and see if your own parish can get involved in devoting that day to exposition and adoration.
You may have seen this symbol in your travels around the net:
It is nun, the Arabic letter equivalent to N in the Roman alphabet. It’s the first letter of the word Nasara (Nazarenes), the word which Muslims use to refer to Christians. This letter has been used by ISIS to mark any building or institution owned by Christians in Mosul, marking them for death should they remain in the city. Just as the cross was once a symbol of shame, which Christ turned into the sign of our salvation, so now this symbol, meant to be a mark of shame and death for the Christians in Iraq, is being turned into a sign of solidarity by non-Christians. Watch this video from Rome Reports:
This Saturday, (7/26) EWTN will air a special program called Syria’s Christian Exodus. It features interviews with Syrian Christians, cardinals, patriarchs, and bishops. It will air at 10pm Central this Saturday.
Please join us in praying daily for our suffering brethren in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East. Please, if you can, spend some time before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament for them.
Prayer for Persecuted Christians
Father in Heaven, you make your sun shine
on good and bad alike.
Your Son Jesus Christ died for us all
and in his glorious Resurrection
He still retains the five wounds of his Passion.
With his divine power he now sustains
all those who suffer persecution and martyrdom
for the sake of their fidelity
to the faith of the Church.
Merciful and mighty Father,
do not allow Cain to return again to murder
helpless Abel, innocent Abel.
May persecuted Christians around the world
remain, like Mary, their Mother,
together at the foot of the cross
of Christ the Martyr.
Comfort those menaced by violence
and those oppressed by uncertainty.
May your Holy Spirit of love
make fruitful the witness and the blood
of those who die forgiving.
We will be posting other prayers and novenas for the persecuted Christians in the Middle East here.