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19 April 2015
posted by Canon Dakin on 23-04-2015

The crossing of the Mediterranean by refugees, in leaky boats, from Libya to Italy is a dangerous venture. The death of 400 of them, attempting to cross, was reported recently, but there have been some whose deaths have not been by chance. On Friday we had notice of twelve people who had been thrown overboard by a group of Muslims because they were Christian. This is not an isolated incident. You may have watched a TV programme on Wednesday night - Kill the Christians. This year is the centenary of the Armenian genocide. Armenia was the first country in the world to declare itself officially Christian - in the year 301. In 1915, the Turks, Muslims, set out to eliminate them. Either directly, or by death on forced marches, over a million were killed. Many fled abroad. Now the threat to Christians is from IS, the Islamic State, mainly in Syria and Iraq. We heard in the Gospel Our Lord’s commissioning of the Apostles to go out to all nations. Iraq and Syria were among the first to be evangelised and have some of the oldest Christian communities. Many Syrian Christians have taken refuge in Jordan and Lebanon; those from Iraq have gone into Kurdish territory, mainly to a town called Erbil where recently they were visited by our own Cardinal Vincent Nichols, expressing our support and solidarity.  They are just as Catholic as we are. They are Chaldean Catholics, with a liturgy that is older than our Latin Mass and because they are Catholic, not merely Christian, they are particularly targeted by IS since their link with Rome gives them a connection with the West which is regarded by IS as the enemy. Their cathedral was in Mosul and the latest news from there is that having destroyed all items of Christian significance the Muslims are turning it into a mosque. Meanwhile the refugees in Erbil, 120 thousand of them, are living in tents and caravans dependent on aid from abroad.        

In expressing our solidarity with them Cardinal Nichols was not merely promising money, he was assuring them of our prayer. Last night there was a prayer vigil, lasting the whole night, in the Holy Name church in Manchester.  Prayer tends to be underrated because we often ask simply for what we imagine might be of benefit to us and are disappointed when it doesn’t come quickly. This place is not a corner shop and you are not customers. The Church is a body, a living organism, in which prayer is like oxygen circulating life through the body. Dorothy Day said that prayer is like a pebble thrown into a pond: we may be confident that the ever-widening circle will reach round the world. The month of May is now in sight when we reach for our rosaries. You may have to create a small space of quiet in your lives or, counting on your fingers, take advantage of the minutes spent at the bus stop. I am suggesting just one way of giving spiritual support to those who are presently suffering for their faith and who are one with us in Christ. We pray in the Mass that we may be one body, one spirit in Christ. If we are indifferent we are rejecting our own oneness with Him and our Holy Communion would be a sham.

 

Comments
from AliceOswin posted on 03-05-2017

 

Set up refugee camps close to the fringe of the country they are escaping from and all countries bolster looking after those refugees while attempting to determine the issues that made them flee.Once the issues are settled return them to their home region. I am looking to get help i Write me an Assignment that how I can do my work very quickly. Refugees are fine, it is entire temporary fad of unlawful outsiders that should be settled. I wouldn't see any problems with getting them all back to Turkey their beginning stage.

 

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