Loving Father, you are the true light of the world, enlighten us as we start a new day and guide us in all our actions. Grant me the courage, strength and grace to build a world of justice and peace. I offer you this day for the Pope’s monthly intention.
That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.
Today, more than ever, with the advances in communication we are fully aware of the many violent acts committed against Christians, some of whom are being slaughtered while pronouncing the name of Jesus. Pope Francis asks us ‘not to forget the tragedy of persecution. Open Doors, an international organization that brings awareness of Christian persecution states that a significant increase in attacks has occurred against Christians since 2014. Last year, for instance, more than 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith, which they note is ‘almost 3,000 more than the previous year.’ The largest areas of growing Christian persecution occur in the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia.
World leaders offer little more than condolences after major attacks on Christians. people are truly suffering in unthinkable ways for holding Christian beliefs. We need to stand up in solidarity with them. Pope Francis says: ‘Today there are more Christian martyrs than in the first years of the church.’
- Cormac McConnell, extracted from Living Prayer