It didn’t get any attention, because this issue never does, but ISIS released a propaganda video this past weekend calling for the complete extermination of Christians in Egypt. This, of course, is not an idle threat. They’ve been exterminating Christians all over the Middle East, to the sounds of deafening silence in the West.
In Egypt particularly, Christians, who’ve been in that country since St. Mark brought the Gospel there sometime around the year 35, face extinction. There used to be plenty of Christians as well in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria — where again they have existed since the dawn of the Faith, and hundreds of years before Islam ever showed up — but most of them have either been slaughtered or exiled.
How is there so little interest in the genocide of our brothers and sisters in Christ? When Christians were persecuted by Muslim invaders hundreds of years ago, a crusade was launched to protect the faith from annihilation. I’m not saying that we ought to launch another one — although I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to it — but at least we could take the time to, I don’t know, notice what’s going on.
Any genocide ought to spark our outrage, but, as Christians, the thought of the religion being completely eradicated in the place of its birth by these barbarians ought to fill us with a special sort of righteous anger. There are more than lives at stake here, after all. How many souls will perish because the Gospel has been prevented from flourishing in these regions of the world?
I hope that we all take time to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ today. And I hope we remember the example they are setting through their martyrdom, which hopefully will move us to endure what few and minor sufferings we face here with the same courage and faith that they have demonstrated.