Summary: 1) The Tyrants Boast (Ps. 10:1-11) and 2) The Victims Prayer (Ps. 10:12-18)
One of the most contentious articles that have hit the public square recently has been that of Father Raymond J. de Souza, (National Post • Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010). What he describes as an orgy of violence in Iraq, so far just in this month of November terrorists have set off a series of bombs, murdering well over 100 people. An al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group stormed into the cathedral of the Syriac Catholic Church, Our Lady of Deliverance, during the evening Mass. They immediately killed the priest offering the Holy Mass--three priests in all were murdered. They began shooting members of the congregation, and held hostage others who took refuge in a locked room. When the security forces stormed the church, the jihadists killed as many as they could, and some of them set off the suicide bombs on their belts. All in all close to 60 worshippers were killed. It has now come to this, where Christians are killed at prayer by Muslim fanatics.
Citing historical fact, Father de Souza noted that Christians have been in Iraq from the earliest centuries, long before there was an Iraq or, one might note, there was Islam. Jihadists have launched a campaign with genocidal intent, aimed at driving out every last Christian from what they consider to be an Islamic land. It is now clear that the only place such jihadists envision for Christians in Iraq is the grave.
The Catholic archbishop has been killed. Priests have been riddled with bullets upon leaving their churches. Ordinary Christians, trying to live a quiet life, have been subject to harassment, threats and violence.
Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan said after these latest killings: "Christians are slaughtered in Iraq, in their homes and churches, and the so-called ’free’ world is watching in complete indifference, interested only in responding in a way that is politically correct and economically opportune, but in reality is hypocritical,"
Indeed, the international community issued the usual boilerplate condemnations, most of them refusing to identify those responsible.
Father de Souza said that: the blood on the altar makes it clear. No amount of goodwill, no amount of dialogue... nothing will dissuade the jihadists. So let us not abnegate ourselves over the dead bodies of our fallen brethren in Christ. Let us speak frankly of those who want to kill us.
Those Christians on Sunday heard the jihadists shout Allahu Akbar-- Allah is great!, in the church. Can there be any greater irony than to kill the innocent at prayer, while shouting that God is great?
Today, more than 200 million Christians around the world face brutal opposition and persecution for simply naming Jesus as their Lord and choosing to serve Him. Their daily reality includes discrimination, intimidation, attacks, fines, imprisonment, unimaginable torture, and even death for their faith.
While we here in the West may not identify with their hardships, we identify with their calling – and are called to pray on their behalf.