Fr. Benedict Kiely, a priest incardinated in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, founded Nasarean.org, a charity devoted to “aid and advocacy for Persecuted Christians throughout the world, but with a particular focus on the Middle East – the ‘Cradle of Christianity,’ ” according to the website.
It’s my hope to arrange a podcast interview with Fr. Kiely in the near future, because the persecution of Christians is a hugely-neglected story in the west. I think it’s great his charitable work is nestled in the heart of the ordinariates. This is a cause about which we should be passionate.
Fr. Kiely has a piece at Crisis Magazine entitled The Paradox of Persecution that stresses the horror of this persecution and warns us about the dangers in the west of persecution of a different sort.
The persecution of Christians throughout the world is one of the great evils of our time. The twentieth century saw the death of more Christians under the atheistic Nazi and Communist regimes than all the previous centuries combined. The ﬁrst decades of the 21st century have seen ancient persecutors of the Faith reemerge—something Belloc predicted after the defeat of the Ottoman empire at the end of World War I.
The threat is posed, not only radical Islam (certainly the most deadly and widespread cause of Christian persecution today), but also radical Hinduism and Buddhism. Although not yet experiencing persecution to the point of death, the new and ugly phenomenon of aggressive secularism in the West brings persecution of a different sort.
In Canada, I have had a front row seat in covering aggressive secularism at work in the major political parties, in the courts, and in so-called human rights tribunals that seem tor recognize the rights of every enumerated group imaginable except Christians.
No, it is not persecution to the point of death, but I predict in the not too distant future, Christians and people of good will who hold to natural law principles or any sense of traditional morality on sexual activity, or on life issues such as abortion or euthanasia will eventually find themselves unable to work in medicine, in academia, in public schools, in the law, and in big business or banking if they refuse to act against their consciences or toe an ideological line. Already, doctors in Ontario could lose their medical licenses if they don’t refer for abortion or euthanasia; in all but one of Canada’s major political parties, forget about running as a candidate if you are pro-life; and applicants for a federal summer jobs grant in 2018 had a sign a pro-abortion attestation—an ideological litmus test.
More of Fr. Kiely’s lament:
Preaching an empty message of tolerance, the smiling agents of freedom ﬁnd it intolerable to allow Christians to live their faith and, increasingly, to be employed in certain occupations. This will only get worse. From Iraq to Indonesia, from Syria to Nigeria, in Pakistan, Egypt and Mali, Christians are being martyred for their faith on a daily basis. Europe is not immune; one only has to think of the elderly Fr. Jacques Hamel, martyred in Normandy while celebrating Mass. There is little reason to doubt such assaults are likely to increase.
Yet, despite the tsunami of persecution ﬂooding across so much of the world, there are very few prophetic voices addressing this evil. The mainstream media is remarkably silent about attacks on Christians. In the same week as the awful attack on the mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand—a heinous and unconscionable crime—more than two hundred Christians were killed in Nigeria. There was hardly any mention of the latter in the news. There were no marches for martyred Christians, no tolling of church bells ordered by governments, no “Je suis Charlie” t-shirts… no public outrage at all.
Please support this charity and help your brothers and sisters in the Middle East. Also, stay alert on the infringements of your rights as a citizen to practice your faith openly in the west.