I was reading our Diocesan newspaper and a bit of news jumped out at me from one of the articles. By the time I reach the back page, I saw more. Apparently, some time in late October, in Baghdad, Iraq a group of Islamic extremists broke into a Syrian Catholic Church (Our Lady of Salvation) during Mass and killed over 50 people including 2 priests. They held the prisoners hostage and brutally terrorized them. You can read more of it here and here.
I don't think our priest mentioned it or we prayed for it, but then again lately I've been wrangling a soon-to-be walking toddler the past two weeks and haven't been paying too much attention.
What has struck me about this tragic news is this: 1) many of the Jews in Iraq have long since left because of the violence, what remains of the Christian community there is small 2) many Christians there are more fearful now that the US has invaded Iraq because it has opened the door for Islamic extremists to terrorize them. People are asking the Christian community that remains there why do they stay.
War has costs you see. People went to war under the thought of preventing violence against the US, but in it's aftermath our brothers and sisters in Christ have been terrorized and slaughtered. Violence begets violence. It is altogether painful to see this happening.
My prayers are with the Syrian community world wide. And I pray that peace will happen in Iraq so that the Christian community there does not continue to suffer. I pray that all religions can live peacefully together.