During the holy season of Lent, I have prayed each day for people who are suffering or have died because of religious persecution.
The murders of journalists and cartoonists of a satirical magazine and of people in a kosher grocery store in Paris remind us that anti-Semitism is still ever present in the world. The gruesome executions of Muslims, Christians and Jews by those who desire to create an Islamic Caliphate remind us of
After the execution of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, Coptic Christian Bishop Angaelos spoke of forgiveness as his responsibility as a Christian. He stated, “We don’t forgive the act because the act is heinous. But we do forgive the killers from the depth of our hearts. Otherwise, we would become consumed by anger and hatred. It becomes a spiral of violence that has no place in the world.”
So what do we do? We pray: for those in danger, for those who are persecuted and for those who have died. And we speak out against all religious bigotry and evil in the communities where we live and work. And we remember Jesus, who was able to forgive; that may be the most difficult thing for me to do.
Lord, hear my prayer.