Posted by: Fr Chris | November 25, 2017

Week to remember Persecuted Christians

It is incredibly sad that there should even have to be a week like this – but conditions for Christians are worsening in nation after nation, including the so-called Western countries of Europe and North America. While many  of us may face harassment or ridicule for our beliefs, that pales compared to what is happening in many Muslim nations, China, North Korea, Laos, Cuba, India— the list is unfortunately long.

Solidarity in Suffering 470 wide

In the Roman Rite, today is the feast of  Christ the King, the last Sunday before Advent. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is designating this Sunday and following week as a special time to commemorate the Suffering Church in the Near East. Jesus is indeed our King – and that drives  certain people to inflict as much pain as possible on those who follow Him: from President Xi of China who is ordering pictures of Christ to be replaced with his photograph to the  Muslim fanatics who seek to terrorize Christians into Islam.

Image result for xi replace pictures jesus with photo of him

Christians across south China are being pressured to remove crosses and holy pictures in their homes and replace with the new Great Leader, President Xi.  What greater proof is there that  Communism hates God? 

Christianity in the Near East  http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/christians-in-the-middle-east/backgrounder-on-christians-of-middle-east.cfm

Catholicism in the Near East – http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/christians-in-the-middle-east/backgrounder-on-catholic-churches-in-middle-east.cfm

Four Ways to Help – instead of more “stuff” think of giving to one of these Catholic agencies

Aid to the Church in Need is an international papal
foundation that provides pastoral and humanitarian assistance to the
persecuted Church around the world. Our objectives are: to support and
promote the Church, especially in countries where Christians are
suffering persecution or discrimination; and to further the other
charitable work of the Church by providing practical assistance and
pastoral care for persons in need, especially those who are living in,
or are refugees from, such countries. Each year, we fulfill more than
5,000 projects through our spiritual and material aid programs. Our
shared goal: To help strengthen the Church and keep the Faith alive.
Website: http://www.churchinneed.org/ Tel: (800) 628-6333
http://www.churchinneed.org/pray_for_persecuted_christians/

Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) has been a lifeline throughout the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe for more than 90 years. Founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, CNEWA works for, through and with the Catholic Eastern churches. In the Middle East, our activities are diverse, from
helping to form priests to serve the people of God in Egypt to providing irrigation to farmers in southern Lebanon
— from providing the best in neonatal care in Jordan to supporting sisters in Iraq — from providing emergency relief to Syrian refugees to counseling for war-scarred children in Gaza. CNEWA connects you to your brothers and sisters in need. Together, we build up the Church, affirm human dignity, alleviate poverty, encourage
dialogue and inspire hope.
Website: http://www.cnewa.org Tel: (877) 284-3807

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official overseas relief and development agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. CRS helps people in great need, including Christians and other minorities across the Middle East who are the target of persecution. We are on the frontlines in the “cradle of Christianity,” supporting people and communities regardless of race, creed or nationality. Our deep partnership with the
Catholic Church allows us to respond quickly and deliver lifesaving assistance with a commitment to full recovery. First established in 1943 to support refugees fleeing war-torn Europe, our mission is rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We provide lifesaving emergency relief in times of crisis, as well as address chronic poverty and injustice through innovative, sustainable development programs. Through our dedication to
operational and programmatic excellence, we work to deliver maximum impact and full accountability to our supporters and the people we serve.
Website: http://www.crs.org Tel: (877) 435-7277
Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, whose first principle is charity. That principle continues to guide the Knights’ projects in communities throughout the United States and around the world. The Knights first began assisting Christian refugees in the Middle East in the 1920s in the aftermath of
World War I. More recently, in the aftermath of ISIS’ recent genocide, the Knights of Columbus committed more than $15 million to supporting Christians and other religious minorities primarily in Iraq and Syria. Because the Christian refugees in the region have often been overlooked by American government and UN aid programs, the
Knights have focused on providing these neglected communities – and the others they care for – with funds for medical care, food, clothing, housing and general relief. In addition, the Knights of Columbus has committed $2 million to save the predominately Christian town of Karemles. The Knights also led advocacy and awareness
campaigns in support of the genocide designations by both houses of Congress and the Secretary of State. Website: http://www.ChristiansAtRisk.org Tel: (800) 694-5713.

Image result for ruined church iraq

Burned out church in Qaraqosh, Iraq, 2017


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