- Dec 7, 2019
The Nov. 4 beatification of Sister Rani Maria Vattalil honors a woman who gave her life helping the poor and marginalized in India. Vattalil worked with the landless poor, urging them to insist they receive a living wage from their landlords, organized village women into self-help groups, and helped families establish savings accounts. This affected the profits of moneylenders, who hired an assassin to murder her.
Move around any Latin American city, and you’ll find soaring historic Catholic cathedrals as well as ubiquitous storefront Protestant churches with names such as “The Church of Divine Prophecy” or “The Arc of Jesus Christ Savior.” In reality, however, belonging to a majority hardly renders Latin America’s Christians invulnerable to harm.
Religious persecution would be a much easier story to tell if it were always a straightforward matter of villains and victims, of innocents being brutalized by extremists and fanatics. Certainly Christians, alarmed by reports of violence directed at their fellow believers, would prefer to keep the narrative simple.
Somalia is an unlikely place to go looking for inspiration. It is the dictionary definition of a “fragile state,” where an estimated 500,000 people have died in a civil war that’s been underway for 30 years, and where famine and poverty often claim even more lives than armed combat. The
Third in a series of occasional articles examining the persecution of Christians around the world. ABUJA/JOS, Nigeria — Nigeria has long been a country of vast potential and equally vast failures, including corruption on a mind-boggling scale, crushing levels of poverty, and, most recently, a vicious home-grown Islamic movement that’s
ROME – Speaking on the feast day of St. Stephen, acknowledged as Christianity’s first martyr, Pope Francis entrusted contemporary Christian victims of religious persecution, of whom he said “there are so many,” to the care of Mary, mother of Jesus. “May the Virgin Mary, to whom we entrust all those