Each morning I pray the Church be protected from persecution and, as this article from The Catholic Thing reports, the prayers of all Catholics are desperately needed.
“For some years, I have had the privilege of serving as Chairman of Aid to the Church in Need U.S.A., a Catholic charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians. In this position, I see plenty of data describing anti-Christian acts. Here’s a rundown of some 2012 incidents in Muslim nations that have received insufficient media attention:
“Egypt: For the 13 million Christians in Egypt, the “Arab Spring” is turning into the “Arab Winter.” Since the Muslim brotherhood emerged victorious in the presidential election, they are under constant threat of physical violence and economic hardship.
“In August 2012, for instance, 120 Coptic families fled from the village of Dahshur, south of Cairo, following a dispute between a Coptic tailor and his Muslim customer. The tailor’s house was burned to the ground and the customer severely injured. Muslims seeking revenge also burned down a church and drove Christians from their homes.
“Bishop Kyrillos, the Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assuit, warned the new government, “The new constitution should be for all Egyptians not just one group.” He underscored the right of Christians to participate in the creation of a new Egypt.
“Reacting to the threats of Muslim Brotherhood militias to Christians demonstrating against President Morsi’s proposed constitution, Father Rafik Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Bishops, did not mince his words: “Whenever Islam becomes politicized it automatically turns into a fascist dictatorship. Then comes the impending threat that sharia in its most fundamental form will be introduced.”
“Church officials fear that there will be a mass Christian exodus from Egypt because wording of sections of the constitution are open to fundamentalist interpretations that deny religious liberty.
“Bosnia-Herzegovina: Eighteen years after the end of the war in the Balkans, discrimination against Catholics is still rampant. Confiscated Church real estate has not been returned. Catholic parishes and homes are denied electricity. Priests are refused medical care despite a Vatican accord with Bosnia, which provides for it.
“With more and more Saudi Arabian extremists immigrating to Bosnia and opening businesses, abuse of Catholics, particularly nuns wearing habits, has significantly increased. Sister Ivanka, Bosnian Provincial Superior of the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King, notes, “every day life is becoming increasingly difficult in general.” Nuns travel in pairs out of fear of abuse and they are turned away or harassed at local shops. At one bakery, according to Sister Ivanka, several sisters had this experience: “Although the loaves were in plain sight, the proprietor claimed he was out of bread. . . . He simply did not want to sell it to a Catholic nun.”