This is a matter worth considering in all sobriety. Exaggerations and inflation of figures is not honouring God nor the truth.
This is a very serious and important debate, given the tendency of some people to exaggerate the number of Christians martyred in pour time.
These people do not understand that we cannot build the Kingdom of God with lies.
At the same time, Christianity appear to be presently the most persecuted religion. We may be paying the price for the time when Christians were those persecuting those who happened to believe otherwise.
It may be poetic justice, but it is still unjustified and unacceptable.
One of the most precious artifacts I have in my office isn’t an ancient coin or oil lamp. It is a business card. From northern Iraq.
Monther Al-Saka handed it to me just after I preached a sermon in his church, Mosul’s Evangelical Presbyterian Church. They served fried chicken after worship (”Don’t all Americans love fried chicken?” he asked), we exchanged hugs, and I went on my way. But on Dec. 1, 2006, Monther was martyred — for being a Christian leader in the chaos we now call Iraq. He was standing on the front porch of the church — he had been warned by Sunni extremists to flee or die, but he stood his ground. And a bullet from a car met him on a Sunday morning. Continue reading “Gary Burge on Christian Martyrs in the Middle East”
Dom Christian de Chergé, OSCO (Ordinul Cistercienilor de Stricta Ascultare) s-a nascut la Colmar, in Franta. A fost hirotonit ca preot catolic la 21 martie 1964, si la 20 august 1969 s-a alaturat Manastirii Notre Dame d’Atlas din Algeria, al carei prior (abate) a devenit din 1984. (Mai multe despre ordinul cistercienilor, AICI.)
In 27 martie 1996, Christian a fost rapit din manastire, impreuna cu alti sase calugari. Toti cei sapte au fost ucisi in data de 21 mai a aceluiasi an. Nici acum nu se stie daca autorii acestei crime odioase au fost fortele islamiste rebele sau insasi armata algeriana.
Redau mai jos testamentul acestui martir contemporan, devenit de atunci un text clasic al spiritualitatii crestine, mai intii in versiunea originala franceza si apoi in traducere in limba engleza (la care au probabil acces mai multi cititori ai acestiu blog. Documentul a fost scris cu mai mult de un an inaintea mortii sale si a fost descoperit abia dupa acest trist eveniment, la 26 mai 1996. (Poate incerca cineva o traducere buna in limba romana? Daca da, ma ofer sa editez traducerea si sa o public aici.) Continue reading “Christian de Chergé, un martir contemporan”