It is deeply troublesome to me that a pattern of attacks on Christian Churches has developed in predominantly Middle Eastern and African nations by radical Islamists. The most recent occurred in Pakistan this weekend. While the story received front page play in the New York Times and other news outlets, there has barely been a word uttered by Professor Obama, Congressional leaders, or the United Nations. Why is it that attacks on Christians are reported on, but not repudiated? No person in any country should be attacked or discriminated against because of his or her religious belief. While I joyously acknowledge that I am a Catholic, and believe that it is the one true faith, I completely respect other’s right to believe as they choose, or not to believe. And while I am always happy to tell people why I believe my faith is the one true faith, and why I believe in Jesus Christ, I also recognize that an individual’s belief is between that person and God.
When Christ walked the earth, he did not force people to believe in him through violence. He repudiated aggression. He led people to believe, to be humble, and to love others as they love God and themselves. If Christ, as God, did not force people to believe, I certainly don’t think I can. Similarly, I do not think radical Islamists can force other’s to believe by acts of violence, death, and/or destroying holy places of worship. I truly believe that there needs to be a movement by all faiths to protect all faiths. Time has shown that violence only deepens one’s conviction. While we have a separation of Church and State in this country, this should not stop our political leaders from speaking out against atrocities.
© September 22, 2013 James Stuckey