As promised during today’s homily, the following are links to information about contemporary Christian martyrs. From her Passio (Passion narrative) of today’s saint, Margaret of Antioch, we read how her Christian nurse maid taught her about the witness of the Christian martyrs. Herself martyred in 175AD one appreciates the histories of the many previous martyrdoms relatively close to her lifetime that perhaps gave her such resolve in her own.
In our own time, Christians are being literally martyred for their faith all over the world. In the first decade of the 21C one million, approximately 274 Christians were martyred a day for our Faith. Yet how many of their names are known to us? How many of their testimonies can we recount to each other? How very apathetic and ignorant we look compared to Margaret and her Christian nurse maid! (Clicking on the photo above will reveal information about these particular modern martyrs pictured here with their “crowns” of martyrdom.)
From a friend to me recently by email:
“You will already know that I regularly pray for persecuted Christians in other lands. I also send letters to the families of those imprisoned, executed, in labour camps etc, which I do through the good offices of a very responsible organisation called ‘Open Doors‘. They care for the persecuted in prayer and practice, helping people in peril to move home, providing legal representation, bibles and a whole range of other things.
The purpose of this email is to give you advance notice that one of their representatives will be speaking at DG [Dorset Gardens Methodist Church] on the evening of Sunday 23rd Sept and to ask you to make a special effort to put the date in your diaries.
I can’t tell you, yet, much detail of the evening as it will be run by the Open Doors representative, but I will prepare a letter to someone who badly needs our prayers and there will be an opportunity for you to sign the letter and so add your personal support to one who is standing firm for Jesus, often in brutal conditions. The example they set us is sometimes quite humiliating – at least to me.”
You can find out more about “Open Doors” here at their website and I hope as many of you as possible will come to hear the speaker on Sept 23rd.
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