Synod stirred by tales of contemporary anti-Christian persecution

Crux | 10/21/2018 | Staff
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ROME - Virtually everyone taking part in the Oct. 3-28 Synod of Bishops on young people has said that the presence of more than 30 young delegates inside the hall has altered the chemistry - it’s looser, more informal, more pumped-up, and above all, more raucous.

The young people, participants say, let you know immediately which speeches they like by cheering, applauding, even hooting like a studio audience at the filming of an American reality TV show.

Day - Behavior - Synods - Officials - Participants

Back in the day, such behavior would have been frowned upon, if not actively discouraged. In previous synods, officials have sometimes reprimanded participants for applause, considering it indecorous and unfair to those who don’t get it. This time around, however, such restraint has basically gone out the window, making audience reaction one useful gauge for which messages really resonate.

By that standard, one topic above all stands out, which may be no surprise given that synods are always an education in the realities of the global Church: Anti-Christian persecution.

Ovations - Iraqi - Youth - Archbishop - Stories

The two most sustained ovations so far have been for an Iraqi youth and an Indian archbishop, both of whom recounted direct stories of suffering and persecution on account of the faith in the 21st century.

Safa Al Alqoshy, a Chaldean Catholic from Baghdad, spoke during the synod’s second week, describing the suffering of Christians in his country at the hands of the Islamic State and other forms of jihadi radicalism.

Attention - Persecution - Persecution - Psychology - Feelings

“It’s very important to pay attention that there is not only persecution by killing, there is a persecution by psychology, by feelings. You feel that you are alone, that you are not supported,” he said in an interview with Crux shortly after his speech on the synod floor.

Last Thursday, Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswa described the horrors of an anti-Christian pogrom that unfolded in the district of Kandhamal in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Crux
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