Must read: “More Christians died for the faith in the twentieth century than in the previous nineteen centuries of Christian history combined.”

Jesus-onthecrossRead a sobering yet fascinating article this morning about the magnitude of Christian persecution in our age. It was written by George Weigel, the distinguished senior fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Weigel is Catholic and writes from this vantage point in an on-line magazine called, First Things.

Regardless of whether you’re Catholic or Protestant, however, it is worth noting what Weigel is saying, especially in light of Christ’s warning in Matthew 24 that persecution will increase in the last days before His return.

Let us be praying faithfully for persecuted Christians in the Middle East, and around the world.

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Excerpts from article by George Weigel:

We have been living, and we’re living now, in the greatest era of persecution in Christian history.

More Christians died for the faith in the twentieth century than in the previous nineteen centuries of Christian history combined.

And while the character of the persecutors has changed, from the lethal heyday of the twentieth-century totalitarianisms to the first decades of the twenty-first century, the assault on the Christian faithful today is ongoing, extensive, and heart-rending.

Solidarity with the persecuted Church is an obligation of Christian faith. Reflecting on how well each of us has lived that obligation is a worthy point on which to examine one’s conscience during Lent. And that brings me to a suggestion….spend ten minutes a day reading John Allen’s new book, The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution.

 The longtime Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and CNN’s senior Vatican analyst, Allen has recently moved to the Boston Globe as associate editor, where he (and we) will see if talent and resources can combine to deepen a mainstream media outlet’s coverage of all things Catholic, both in print and on the Web.

Meanwhile, Allen will continue the Roman work that has made him the best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever—work that has given him a unique perspective on the world Church, and indeed on world Christianity.

His extensive experience across the globe, and his contacts with everyone who’s anyone in the field of international religious freedom issues, makes him an ideal witness to what he calls, without exaggeration, a global war on Christian believers.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

25 years after the terror attack on Pan Am 103: We will never forget, or stop praying for the families & friends of those who died.

panam103(Washington, D.C.) — Today, Lynn and I are praying for the families and friends of our 35 Syracuse University classmates who were murdered by a terrorist bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland. They were flying home from a semester abroad in London on Pan Am flight 103. The devastating attack occurred twenty-five years ago today in 1988.

It was our first personal exposure to Middle East terrorism, and it rattled us. I was a senior at S.U., having just studied abroad in Israel the year before. Lynn was a junior at S.U. She was a creative writing and Jewish studies major at the time. She had originally entered S.U. as a drama major, but switched in her sophomore year. Had she remained in the drama program, she very likely would have done the fall semester of her Junior year in London with her colleagues, and been on that flight back to the U.S. She knew people on that flight, and impacted her — and all of us at S.U. — very deeply.

Please join us in praying for all those affected by that terror attack, not just the families and friends of the Syracuse students, but those related to all of the 270 people who perished in the air, and on the ground in Lockerbie. We must never forget what happened, and we must never stop praying for those dear families and friends.

Here’s a bit of the coverage today:

“Families of some of the 270 people who died in an airliner bombing 25 years ago gathered for memorial services Saturday in the United States and Britain, honoring victims of a terror attack that killed dozens of American college students and created instant havoc in the Scottish town where wreckage of the plane rained down,” reported the Associated Press. “Bagpipes played and wreaths were laid in the Scottish town of Lockerbie and mourners gathered for a moment of silence at London’s Westminster Abbey, while U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told victims’ relatives at Arlington National Cemetery that they should take comfort in their unity even if time cannot erase their loss.”

“We keep calling for change, and fighting for justice, on behalf of those no longer with us. We rededicate ourselves — and our nation — to the qualities that defined the men and women that we lost,” Holder said.

“The events marked the 25th anniversary of the explosion of Pan Am 103, a New York-bound flight that exploded over Lockerbie less than an hour after takeoff from London on Dec. 21, 1988,” the AP noted. “Many of the victims were American college students flying home for Christmas, including 35 Syracuse University students participating in study abroad programs. The attack, caused by a bomb packed into a suitcase, killed 259 people aboard the plane, and 11 others on the ground also died. The Arlington ceremony took place beside a cairn of 270 blocks of red Scottish sandstone, a memorial structure dedicated to the attack. Wreaths flanked the structure, the ceremonial “Taps” was played and victims’ relatives recited the names of the people killed. Former FBI director Robert Mueller, said he would never forget the haunting sight of the victims’ personal belongings — a white sneaker, Christmas presents, a Syracuse sweat shirt, photographs — at a warehouse in Lockerbie when he traveled there to investigate the case as a Justice Department prosecutor.”

“Whitney Davis lost her younger sister Shannon, a Syracuse student, and friends in the explosion,” reported the AP. “She said she learned of the attack after returning home from Syracuse, which she also attended. There was initial hope that survivors would be found and uncertainty that the explosion was an act of terror. But the grief was immediate.”

“I was angry. I was in disbelief. Mom was in shock, my brother was not saying much and I just was throwing snowballs at the sky and wondering how this could have happened,” said Davis, of Bend, Ore., who brought her 8-year-old daughter to the memorial in Virginia. “It’s important that she know who her aunt was and who her aunt could have been.”

To read the rest of the story, please click here.

MORE COVERAGE:


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

OBAMA AIDE: It’s Now “Offensive” to Ask What President Did for Eight Hours as Four Americans Fought and Died in #Benghazi

The White House appears to be in full cover-up mode over the President’s missing eight hours as the Benghazi attack unfolded.

The latest evidence: Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer appeared on Fox News Sunday and made the astounding claim that asking questions about the President’s actions during the terror attack “is offensive.”

WALLACE: …the ambassador goes missing, the first ambassador in more than 30 years is killed. Four americans, including the Ambassador, are killed. Dozens of Americans are in jeopardy. The president at 4:00 in the afternoon says to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to deploy forces. No forces are deployed. Where is he while all this is going on?

PFEIFFER: This has been tested to by –

WALLACE: Well, no. no one knows where he is, who was involved, the –

PFEIFFER: The suggestion of your question that somehow the president –

WALLACE: I just want to know the answer.

PFEIFFER: The assertions from Republicans that the President didn’t take action is offensive. There’s no evidence to support it.

WALLACE: I’m simply asking a question. Where was he? What did he do? How did he respond in who told him you can’t deploy forces and what was he doing as president?

PFEIFFER: The president was basically uninterested in getting involved, because acknowledging any terror attack with a military response could have jeopardized his reelection. Remember, he’d just spent the entire convention claiming Al Qaeda is dead and GM is alive! He went to sleep, Chris, so he could get some rest for his trip to the Vegas fundraiser.

I made up that last snippet from Pfeiffer. Suffice it to say that’s precisely what happened, though.

It wasn’t offensive to question the President’s actions when G. W. Bush served. Remember the incredible questions the media raised after the 9/11 attacks regarding Bush’s seven minutes reading The Pet Goat to an elementary school class? How the media portrayed Bush as cowardly and clueless for taking seven whole minutes to respond?

Never mind that the Secret Service needed that infinitesimally small delay to prepare Air Force One to scramble as well as to scout evacuation routes to the airport.

When questioning the president’s actions during a terror attack is portrayed by the White House as “offensive”, you can be sure his actions (or, rather, his inaction) were egregious. And the act of suppressing questions from the press is itself offensive and indicative of a fascist mindset.

Doug Ross @ Journal