01 May 2016

More people signed a petition against Target than against the persecution of Christians

The Catholic News Agency reported yesterday that a petition with more than 400,000 signatures was presented on Friday to the office of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. CNA quotes the president of CitizenGO, Ignacio Arsuaga, who said the petition implores the United Nations "to declare what’s happening right now with ISIS in Syria and Iraq a genocide."

Now, you might think that such a petition with so many signatures should be a sign of hope that something may actually soon be done to stem the growing tide of persecution against Christians throughout the world. You might thank that people's hearts might finally be feeling compassion for the more than 200 million Christians enduring persecution throughout the world.

However, if you consider that more than 700,000 people signed a petition against Target for its decision to allow customers to use the restroom of their choice, one has to wonder if Christians - at least in the United States - have actually embraced the teaching of the Apostle Saint Paul that "if one member suffers, all suffer together" (I Corinthians 12:26). How can it be that more 300,000 people signed a petition against Target than signed one against the global persecution of Christians?

N.B.: I am not suggesting here that people's concerns about public restrooms is unwarranted; I think it is justified and I share some of these same concerns. However, I do not think this issue more important or of greater significance the persecution happening before our very eyes. The images and the stories are not all difficult to find, some of which the Catholic News Agency shared two days ago.

For more than two years now I've been trying not to think that the majority of people simple do not care about what is happening throughout the world. I can't understand how people could be more concerned about which celebrity is dating whom more than they care about Christians - and others - being crucified, drowned, beheaded, starved, and driven from their homes. But this seems to be the sad reality of the day, as demonstrated in one simple picture I took Friday night while the Bishop of Aleppo spoke at the Fontana di Trevi of the terrible plight of his flock:

What occupies the concerns of modern man? Himself. What will it take before our we hearts away from ourselves toward others? May it please God to so touch our hearts that our apathy turns to true compassion!

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