Friday, July 25, 2014


 Vatican City, 25 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Holy Father Francis received in audience Ms. Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, the Sudanese Christian woman imprisoned and condemned to death for apostasy, and subsequently freed with the intervention of the international community.

Meriam was accompanied by her husband Daniel Wani and their two small children, Martin (aged one and a half) and Maya, born in prison two months ago. The family was accompanied by the Italian deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lapo Pistelli, who completed negotiations in Sudan yesterday and accompanied Meriam and her family to Italy, where they are preparing to move to the United States.

The meeting lasted for slightly less than half an hour and took place in a serene and affectionate atmosphere. The Pope thanked Meriam and her family for their courageous witness of constancy in faith. Meriam gave thanks for the great comfort and support she received from the prayer of the Pope and many other believers and persons of good will. The Pope’s secretary, Msgr. Yohannis Gaid, acted as interpreter. The Pope then greeted the Italian staff accompanying Meriam and her family in their stay in Italy.

With this gesture, the Pope wished to demonstrate his closeness, attention and prayer for all those who suffer for their faith and, in particular, for Christians who suffer persecution or curtailment of their religious freedom.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Patriarch's Call to Action - Help the Christian People of the Middle East

Rutherford Card. Johnson-Etruria-di Daniell
Patriarch of Saint Stephen.

Sub Tuum.

Translation of the Arabic:
"In Solidarity with the
Christian people of Iraq.
To the Faithful in Christ:

Christians are being murdered, tortured, raped, beaten, and otherwise persecuted in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East, yet the West is silent! What I have heard from most religious leaders in their public statements, including my brother bishops, is to pray for the victims. This is something we should do, certainly. The power of the mass and the rosary must never be underestimated. Yet, when someone is sick, we do not say to pray for them and do nothing else. We call a doctor. We have a surgeon cut out the cancer. Therefore I say pray for the Christians in the middle east, but I also say to put that prayer into action!  The governments of the west have the military force to intervene. They must use it, or else the blood of these Christian martyrs is on their hands!

Faithful in Christ, write to your government leaders and representatives. Urge them not to be silent. Urge them to speak out. Use your voice and theirs to insist that the governments with the power to do something about this sickening abomination take action now! Carry your prayers to the people who can work decisively to end this genocide.

Also, contact those who lead organizations that might be able to bring refugees from Iraq. As we talk about amnesty for those who illegally cross the southern American border in search of better economic conditions, why are we not bringing those who are suffering genocide at the hands of the Muslim infidels?

If you say nothing, the blood of these martyrs is on your hands! If you do not do what is within your power to do, however large or small that act may be, the blood of these martyrs is on your hands!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Statement on the Islamic Persecution of Christians in Iraq

Rutherford Card. Johnson-Etruria-di Daniell
Patriarch of Saint Stephen

Sub Tuum. 

The Taking of Jerusalem from the Muslims by the Crusaders.
Christians in Mosul, Iraq, have been given a deadline (that has now passed) to convert to Islam, pay a tax, leave, or be killed. (Read the story here.) This comes after more than a decade of war waged primarily by the United States in Iraq ostensibly to stem the tide of terrorism and create a free society there. The job clearly was not done properly. I lay this squarely at the feet not of the soldiers, but of the politicians and political military commanders who insisted that the war be fought politically. They were more concerned about not offending Muslims than they were of gaining military supremacy and control. If the latter goal was not possible, then the exercise was not worth the time, money, and human life spent on it.

People in recent times are fond of claiming that acts of terror and violence by Islamists are really the work of "Islamic extremists" and not those who follow the true principles of Islam. Utter garbage! Sheer insanity and stupidity! Those Mohammedans in Mosul who are telling Christians to convert, pay a tax, leave the area, or be killed ARE FOLLOWING THE PRINCIPLES OF ISLAM! That is what their religion tells them to do. They are following it to the letter. Christian people of the world, stop placating and equivocating and apologizing. Call it what it is - the brutal acts of individuals following a brutal religion that is, as a matter of historical fact, a heresy off of Christianity.

And where is the true international outrage? Where are the calls to invade Iraq again? Are Christians less important than oil or supposed weapons of mass destruction? Was Kuwait worth liberating, but not the Christian people of the Middle East? Why is the international community not concerned about the genocide of Christians in Muslim lands? Surely we do not think that Muslims have the right to treat our Christian people in this way? Then again, perhaps those in government actually think this. I recall some years ago some persons in the administration of the SolBridge International School of Business in South Korea, where I was a professor and chaplain, telling me that the Islamic students had every right to desecrate Christian iconography because that was part of their religion. Such is the vile influence of Islam. That was merely a small-scale example. Imagine the effects on a large scale when Muslims control the government, society, and the streets.

We are truly living in the age of the great martyrdom. More people are dying for the Cross of Christ than in any other period in history. Most Christians stand idly by with their heads in the sand, blind to what is going on. It is time to call what is going on what it truly is. It is time to condemn the genocide being waged by Muslims against the Christian people.