Editor Emeritus - Ed Wilkinson

Does Anyone Realize A War Is Going On?

As we quickly approach the 14th annual commemoration of the devastating Sept. 11th attacks upon America, you would never know that we are engaged in a great world war and that the enemy is encroaching on us every day.

Much of what passes for news these days is nothing more than the latest gossip from the entertainment industry. Even the presidential elections of 2016 are mired in the rich and the famous. This morning’s headlines proclaimed that Republican candidate, Donald Trump, no longer considers Heidi Klum to be a “10,” as if that brings us some enlightenment on how to vote for president next year.

Little coverage was given to the recent Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus in Philadelphia, where speakers proclaimed that Christianity is under severe attack and threatened with extinction in the Middle East, the region of its birth. Those who said this were people who should know.

Two Catholic archbishops of Eastern Catholic Churches with direct experience of the situation – Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo, Syria, and Chaldean Archbishop Bashir Matti Warda of Erbil, Iraq – quoted figures that said 80 percent of the religious persecution in the world is directed at Christians and the worst are the persecutions in Syria and Iraq.

“In Iraq, an estimated 125,000 Christians have been driven from Mosul and its surrounding area” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “In Syria, an estimated 700,000 Christians have been displaced.

“Today we are compelled to speak up for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East,” Anderson explained. “Pope Francis has called the conditions under which Christian refugees live there intolerable. He has said the situation calls for our prayers and concrete actions to help.”

Unlike most politicians, the Knights put their money where their mouths are. To date, they have given $3 million toward humanitarian assistance for Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and have pledged an initial $1 million to assist a new fund to provide further relief. (Those interested, should log onto the website www.christiansatrisk.com.)

Archbishop Warda, speaking of the situation in Iraq, where many Christians have fled, said, “You have given us help to stay there, to help the people living in tents, in schools and hospitals and churches. Today, thank God we are able to help these families.”

If you view the aforementioned website, you’ll see the question, “Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East.” One section explores how ISIS is attempting to wipe out any remnants of the Church in the places where the Church was founded and first prospered.

Our nation’s response has been weak-kneed. There seems to be little resolve to stand up to the radical Islamic state. We have failed to rally the nations most imminently affected. Instead, we have negotiated a treaty that seriously undermines the future of the Jewish state, our strongest ally in the area.

No one wants war. At the same time, we cannot stand idly by as the heads of innocent people literally roll into the sea.

There certainly needs to be a more robust debate in the press and among the candidates for high office. We deserve to know more what the next president proposes to do about the situation and less about what he or she had to eat at the State Fair.

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One thought on “Does Anyone Realize A War Is Going On?

  1. We also need to consider the consequences of willfully ignorant Catholics supporting, through their moral indifference, similar values as anti-Christian bigots. Consider not validating that ignorance by publishing their letters in the Reader’s Forum.