“Today the story of Christianity is finished in Iraq,” declared a priest identified as Father Nawar on Aug. 8, 2014, according to reports issued by Catholic News Service.
In the Pope’s Sunday Angelus address on Aug. 10, Francis said “The news coming from Iraq leaves us in dismay and disbelief.”
This past week, we have witnessed things not seen in such scale since the horrors of World War II, a genocide so tremendous, it was described by New York Times writer Peter Baker, quoting Ambassador Ryan Crocker, as “This is evil incarnate.”
This past week, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has urged prayers from all families in the world for the families who are being torn apart and displaced through the actions of IS (Islamic State) in Iraq and Syria.
The Bishops of the United States had asked that this past Sunday be a day of prayer for persecuted and martyred Christians and religious minorities in Iraq.
Elizabeth Scalia, a Catholic Internet blogger, known as the Anchoress, wrote back in July, “The evil of ISIS (sic) is not simply a ‘Muslim evil’… It is the same cursed anti-Christ that has raised its head in history before, and been beaten back, only to slither away and arise from a new location.”
Christians are being martyred for their faith, beheaded, and yes, even crucified, like the Lord Jesus. This week, President Obama has finally ordered airstrikes on IS locations and the allocation of humanitarian aid for the Yazidi sect. He is being joined in this humanitarian outreach by Great Britain.
And even with all this reported in the press, people seem rather unaware of what is going on with the tremendous atrocities of IS and with murder and persecution of Christians and other religious minorities by these Islamic extremists. Some even believe that it’s an exaggeration to even say that Christians have been beheaded and crucified. The secular press in general has recently mentioned the tremendous suffering of the Yazidi sect, but the destruction of Christianity not so much.
We urge our readers to be aware of what is going on in Iraq and throughout the Levant. Our eyes need to be open to the “evil incarnate” that is IS and we again urge support for the Catholic Near East Association, that will directly aid the suffering peoples of Iraq.
We urge our homilists, our priests and deacons, to preach about what is happening in Iraq from their ambos on Sunday.
We thank President Obama and other world leaders for finally addressing this evildoing. And we urge them to stay on top of this situation. The indifference of world leaders has gone far enough and we trust it is now over.
Just like the Holocaust of the Jewish people during World War II, genocide is going on and most of us are acting unaware or are not willing to get involved. Become aware! Know that these suffering people are our brothers and sisters. Do not let them suffer alone.
We live in a war-weary nation. No one wants to see combat troops committed once again to a region of the world where they will just have to withdrawn at some future date. But we can support the forces of the troubled nations. We can influence countries in the area to get more involved without waiting for the U.S. to solve all their problems. We can extend humanitarian aid to those being displaced and are in danger of being slaughtered.
Concretely offer up some level of prayer or an act of charity for these Christians and other religious minorities. Pray that this “evil incarnate” can be stopped before its warped hatred in the name of religion can spread.
Mark 9:29 reminds us, “This one can only come out by prayer.” This anti-Christ that is IS can only be destroyed on our level by prayer and sacrifice. Join us in making this sacrifice of time and effort right now.