Pope Francis led two Good Friday masses, praying for persecution of Christians following the Islamist militants attacked at a university in Kenya, killing 147 people.
On the day Christians worldwide commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion; modern-day religious persecution was the gist in both of the pope’s appearances.
“We see in you (Jesus) our persecuted brothers, beheaded and crucified because of their faith in you, before our eyes or often with our complicit silence,” Pope Francis said after a traditional Via Crucis or Way of the Cross, procession at Rome’s primeval Colosseum.
Speaking in a somber voice after people from Nigeria, Italy, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, China, Middle East and Latin America took turns carrying a wooden cross amongst the 14 “stations” to commemorate the last hours of Jesus’ life.
During a siege lasting 15 hours, Al Shabaab militants attack the university in Kenya on Thursday, indiscriminately killing, but later freed some Muslims and targeted Christian students.
In another Good Friday service earlier in St. Peter’s Basilica, the international community was accused of indifference by the Vatican’s official preacher, for the persecution of Christians nowadays.
the Kenya attack was mentioned at a long “Passion of the Lord” service by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, during which the pope prostrated in prayer on the marble floor of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Cantalamessa said, “Christians are, of course, not the only victims of homicidal violence in the world, but we cannot ignore that in many countries they are the most frequently targeted victims.”
“The disturbing indifference of world institutions and public opinion in the face of all this killing of Christians …” Cantalamessa denounced in the face of the beheading of 22 Egyptian Coptic Christians last February by Islamic State militants in Libya.
Cantalamessa also mentioned the Pope has expressed alarm over the plight of Christians targeted for their faith and has said the international community would be justified in using military force as a last resort to stop “unjust aggression” by Islamic State.
Good Friday was the second of four consecutive days of papal activities culminating on Easter Sunday.
On Saturday night, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics celebrated an Easter Eve service in St. Peter’s Basilica. On Sunday, the “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing and message was delivered by him.
We just can’t help but compare how Christians treat Moslems in the country where they dominate. They even insult us in our own countries and they are allowed to do it without any harm befalling them. What will happen if Moslems are also treated the way what the ISIS are doing to Christians? That would be barbaric indeed.
It won’t be impossible when right wing Christians will start targeting Moslems and that would be a pity indeed.