Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sigh. Been there, done that

GetReligion links to 13 John Allen's essays about Christian persecution.

Some are killed for being Christian, as victims of the radical Islamicist terrorists, but many are killed for their stances on morality or for defending the helpless, or because they oppose the violence of the local drug gangs, self proclaimed "insurgents", or by the paramilitary death squads....

I had an earlier post about the priests killed in Mexico, and Allen covers the deaths of two women in Colombia, where many priests and clergy have been killed also,  but even here in the Philippines, we have had martyrs: A priest killed for defending the indigenous from those wanting to steal and destroy their land, a priest kidnapped and killed by the Islamicists because he refused to go quietly, knowing that he would be used for ransom money that would be used to kill more people. And several Protestant bishops and pastors killed for their left wing/pro poor people stances...

Allen notes that when you take a stance against violence, either side can kill you:

They face danger not for their religious beliefs, but for preaching against the drug trade and the killing in ways that infuriate both gangs and paramilitaries of left and right. ... Chilito was executed by a right-wing paramilitary and Castilla by a left-wing guerrilla group, proving that martyrdom in Colombia is an equal-opportunity enterprise.

yes, and when I worked in Africa, we had missionaries (both European and local people who worked in isolated schools and hospitals) and ordinary locals killed by both sides...not to mention those killed or injured when their car or truck hit a landmine.

none of this is new, of course: the real story is that the church can be an independent force against the tyranny of the strong, be it Thomas Becket or Thomas Moore...

but Allen's work is "new" to many Americans...
he used to be on the National Catholic Reporter, but is now at a Boston paper..

update: Allen lecture on youtube. for later watching:

No comments: