Monday, 28 October 2013

"In order to be able to speak about the time of persecution, Christians must really know their own faith" - Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona

The young Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul has written a very refreshing opinion piece in the National Review.

Archbishop Nona outlines his view on what it means to be a Christian in times of persecution. He says that the faithful must have hope, and that hope must be linked with love.

The Archbishop then continuous on to outline what we, here in the West, can do to help persecuted Christians. The Archbishop does not say "give aid" or "give money" (not that this is not a very good thing). But rather he simply states that to help our persecuted brethren is to "make an effort to live out his or her own faith in a more profound manner".

Many people living in freedom from persecution, in countries without problems like ours, ask me what they can do for us, how they can help us in our situation. First of all, anyone who wants to do something for us should make an effort to live out his or her own faith in a more profound manner, embracing the life of faith in daily practice. For us the greatest gift is to know that our situation is helping others to live out their own faith with greater strength, joy, and fidelity.
The Archbishop here is sending a clear signal to all Christians in the West. That we do not have an excuse not to practice our faith in a more zealous and evangelic manner.  He states that living out our faith here in the West and simply making the plight of Christians known through our actions will make a profound difference.

All these things that the Archbishop has stated are perfectly valid and good suggestions. However, he has not directed anything in particular to Chaldeans living in the diaspora (possibly because the letter was directly at Christians of the Western Tradition). I believe it is these people (Chaldeans) in particular who must live out their faith in such a way that will show others the plight of their relatives back in Iraq.

Chaldean Catholics in the diaspora have a greater responsibility to live out their faith and to make aware the plight of persecuted Christians (as the Archbishop stated). This is because they have connections to their homeland through their spirituality, theology and liturgy, which can bring awareness about the Chaldean Church in the West. However, if the Chaldean Church continuous to leave (and sell-out) their unique spirituality, theology and liturgy. How can the true awareness of the Chaldean Church really be demonstrated in the West?

The final point that the Archbishop makes, which is also often ignored in the diaspora. Is that there is a "certain degree of persecution ... in the West.", even if it is far more subtle. Chaldeans in the diaspora are used to red martyrdom however the more subtle white martyrdom in the West can be much more harmful to the soul than the harm red martyrdom can do to the body.

Through the prayers of the Birth-Giver of God Maryam and Mor Ephrem. God Bless you all.

1 comment:

  1. A good article and a very good point. In my country Australia, we have, like all western countries Christian roots that are currently being torn away at by progressives and hardcore modernists. Many complain and whine but I find not enough people DO. Any call to live a more thorough christian life is a good one and I will be informing my fellow Christian friends about the Archbishops message. Thankyou Qadishat.