Christian being Persecuted in the Middle East & Africa

We receive a steady stream of information about atrocities inflicted on Christian women, children, and men in Iraq and Syria. We look to the Middle East as well as Nigeria, the Sudan, and elsewhere, and we see people maimed, kidnapped, and killed by groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram.

Do their lives matter?

Atrocities occur for two reasons: because there are those prepared to commit them and there are those who choose to remain silent.

But there are plenty of things you can do to help stop the persecution of Christians. Here are five ways you start today:
 
1) Pray daily. The most pressing need of persecuted Christians is prayers for perseverance in the face of unimaginable pressure to abandon their faith.
 
2) Make your voice heard. Write to legislators and media. Speak out on campuses and in business networks. Use email, social media, or the tried-and-true letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Use whatever forum is available to speak up for persecuted Christians.
 
3) Contribute to organizations that help Christians in troubled lands. Agencies such as the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and Catholic Relief Services harbor refugees and advocate for Christians in hostile countries. Our money helps provide food, shelter, and medical care for our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ.
 
4) Seek out refugees in your own city. Christian communities can help displaced families and individuals settle into new homes, new work, and a renewed sense of dignity.
 
5) Pray for the persecutors of Christians. God has won the hearts of countless persecutors throughout history, drawing them to the Church through the kindness of Christians. Jesus told us to pray for this earnestly, and He awaits our petition.
 
If we say we are Christians—and we say we are Catholics, which means universal—we are not free to ignore this great humanitarian crisis of our time.
 
Let us act, so that no one may say we are complicit by silence in something so horrendous as the religious cleansing of nations.

To learn more about Christian persecution, order

To the Martyrs: A Reflection on the Supreme Christian Witness
by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, available now through
Emmaus Road Publishing.