Guilty Silence: Religious Persecution And The Tragic Indifference Of The West

by Meaning of Suffering

Ten seconds into this video and you think you’ve seen it before: the sound of firearms, of men shouting in an all too familiar language that we’ve heard over and over again in news sound bites.

Twenty seconds into this video and you’re “sympathetic” towards the woman’s plea, “isn’t it bad over there.”

Thirty seconds in and you’re baffled by the image of the whole room, and you’re struggling to comprehend the whole scenario. The pain almost becomes more real by the contrast between the woman and those who are standing around silent; “sympathy,” you understand, isn’t the proper response.

Forty seconds in… “Save us! In the name of humanity! Save us!” and you realize, though you thought you’d seen it before – and maybe you had – this was something that you could not turn away from.

That was certainly my experience of this video, and I hope, in some way, it is yours too.

Guilty Silence

The words of Msgr. Mirkis really hit me hard, especially in light of the way that I responded to those first forty seconds. He was describing me, and my complacency in thinking that I’d seen it before:

“Everything becomes normal… The first time shock, but the third time – normal.”

But the persecution of others should have never become normal. It’s an outrage, and it’s right that his response to this attitude is anger.

And yet the video remains so hopeful!

We hear how the persecution is showing the Christians just what a valuable treasure it is that they have. And there’s a call to stand firm, to be courageous, and to profess the faith with more commitment and zeal than they have in the past. It’s quite remarkable and words escape me.

For our part, the video calls for our prayers. And we must pray! For this is how we must respond in the very first instant to that woman’s cry for help, and this is how we break out of the normalization of their persecution. We must pray fervently, and we must pray with a simple and profound trust in the reality of the power that our prayers possess.

But what do we pray for? An end to the persecution? The conversion of the persecutors to Christ? We all have our own prayer of the heart, but let us pray as intercessors for our Christian brothers and sisters, in filial trust in God, and with steadfast perseverance in love.

This is still going on today. Right now. And so I invite you, having read this article, to stop and pray now: set down your device, turn off the radio, and pray for our brothers and sisters, for we must not stay silent.

Catholic-Link Donations donate donation donor
  • December Is Devoted To The Immaculate Conception | Mark Your Calendar
    Did you know that each month has a traditional Catholic devotion? This year, let’s focus on each devotion month-by-month to grow in our faith and traditions! Make yourself notes, write it on your calendar, and pray a specific prayer each day of the month to remember. You could use a prayer already associated with the […]
  • The 4 Mindsets That Are Deeply Hurting Catholic Communities All Around The World
    Over the past year, my team and I made it a priority to truly understand the concerns and pain points of Catholic communities around the country. After hundreds of conversations with bishops, priests, communications directors, parishioners, and ministry group leaders, we were able to build Tabella, the free social app for Catholic communities. In our […]
  • The Special Virtue Of Thankfulness
    The Virtue of Thankfulness: Simply Justice or Piety? The act of gratitude or being thankful is something which is seen as important both in the Church and in the broader human family. Gratitude is universally important for human relationships to flourish. Who wants to be around someone who takes and takes without even a brief […]
  • Over 115 Of The Best Catholic Gifts For 2021 + GIVEAWAYS!
    We’ve compiled ALL of our favorite Catholic gifts for 2021 into one guide! This year we will select five of our email subscribers to win each category of gifts. If you’re not a subscriber, click here to make sure you have a chance to win. We thank each of these wonderful Catholic small businesses for […]
  • Catholic Books Christmas Gift And Giveaway
    Related content: Women’s Catholic Gift Guide And Giveaway! 2 Books That Inspired St. Therese | Saints And The Books They Loved Catholic Gifts For Men Gift Guide And Giveaway! 11 Of The Best *New* Catholic Children’s Books 26 Catholic Books You Should Be Reading Catholic Gift Guide And Giveaway: Gifts For The Home 12 Children’s […]

Keep Searching, Keep Learning

Our Newest Articles:

Catholic-Link

Catholic-Link Christmas Giveaway!

Sign up for our weekly newsletter delivering the best of Catholic-Link and Catholic resources from across the web and get a chance to win one of our 5 Christmas Giveaway bundles!

Your name is in the hat. We hope you win!