Posts Tagged ‘Christians’

In Support of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Religious freedom is in peril in many places around the world, with the violent persecution of Christians in Iraq being just the most recent horrifying example of religious persecution.  The kidnapping of schoolgirls and the bombing of Christian churches by Boko Haram, the treatment of Jewish, Orthodox, and Christians in the Euromaidan movement in the Ukraine, the ever-present threat of violence against our Jewish brothers and sisters (like the recent anti-Semetic episodes in Europe), all point to the pressing need for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a compelling force to combat the persecution of Christians, Jews, and all believers around the globe.

Thus, I am happy to see that the House of Representatives have just passed H.R. 4653 with broad bipartisan support, which reauthorizes the Commission.  I hope and pray that the Senate quickly follows suit, because the work of the Commission is too important to let it lapse.

Also, my congratulations to my colleague, Rabbi David Saperstein, who has been nominated by President Obama to serve as the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom.  I am sure that the Senate will quickly confirm his appointment, and that he will be a strong and eloquent voice for the religious freedom of all believers around the world.

Heading Home From Jordan

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Heading home from Jordan today.  What an inspiring and informative journey!  My thanks to Deacon Greg Kendra for posting these updates on the CNEWA blog.

From their home, the sisters offer Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria counseling, schooling, formal catechesis and emergency assistance to those in dire need. The sisters’ “House of Mary” also offers a safe haven, a refuge from the storm that has enveloped these innocent families.

Read the rest here.

Religious Persecution

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

In my recent Catholic New York column, I wrote about violence against Catholics and Christians around the world. I came across an article in The Weekly Standard written by Paul Marshall about this same topic. Marshall writes about religious persecution in Nigeria.

Here is an excerpt:

n Nigeria, thousands of people have been killed in recent months, and tens of thousands in the last decade. It is a fissiparous country whose conflicts have been exacerbated by the increased influence of radical Islam​—​beginning with attempts to apply Islamic law, then the growth of militias, and now the depredations of the vicious al Qaeda-linked Boko Haram movement.

Nigeria has by far the largest population in Africa, some 150 million people, comprising hundreds of ethnic groups, which produces dangerous tensions even without the religious differences. The country is about equally divided between Muslims and Christians, with another 10 percent following indigenous practices. Christians are the majority throughout the South, and Muslims in the North, though with substantial Muslim and Christian minorities in each area, and the two are more mixed in the middle belt, the scene of frequent violence. These conflicts often involve disputes over resources and land use as well as ethnicity, but the religious dimension is increasing.

You can read the whole article here.