WE NEED TO PRAY AND SPEAK OUT FOR OUR PERSECUTED BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
On 3 June 2007 a close friend of mine , Fr Ragheed Ganni , an Iraqi, was murdered by Islamic extremists in the city of Mosul together with three Married deacons who had children. I remember clearly him telling me during a visit to this City in 2002 that if Iraq disintegrated eventually all Christians would be annihilated . Now his people face annihilation as he predicted. Last weekend Christians in Iraq were warned by ISIS militants that if they remained and didn't convert, they would be killed. Thousands have had to leave the city . Churches and Crosses have been destroyed across the city. Those who failed to flee were murdered. This Christian community which has been there for over 1700 years ,longer than Christianity has been in Ireland , had 60,000 people in 2002. Now in 2014 they have been “ethnically cleansed” from Mosul. Last week Pope Francis prayed and pleaded for the Christians in Iraq.
Amidst the terrible scenes in Africa, Ukraine, Gaza and Israel, Mosul we are reminded as human beings of our potential inhumanity to each other.
We need to raise our voices about all outrages by naming them individually and not collectivising them. In the Comfortable West, secular post Christian elites who determine the agenda in media and politics are selective when they raise their voices. And so the silence of the Irish and British governments and US governments on this issue. They do not recognise what has happened in Mosul as deliberate “ethnic cleansing” but rather see Christians as just one group of victims among many.
It is a Christian duty to highlight the suffering of others and it is ever more important to pray for the individual groups who are suffering be they Christian, Muslim, Believer or non -Believer . As Christians we have a responsibility to pray for brothers and sisters in faith and make sure their voice is heard. We can do this by contacting our national and local political representatives and the media so that we become the voice of those who are now voiceless.