There are plenty of threats against the Catholics among the world recently. It seems to be very obvious having in mind glances from the Middle East, in particular Syria and Iraq. Every day we are being informed about new victims of anti-Catholic actions committed by Muslim radicals.
On the other hand, more closely to my fatherland i.e. Poland, we may see many images full of grieve coming from eastern Ukraine. Where priests and other our brothers and sisters in faith are suffering because of the war.
In this point I must mention that Catholics are instantly and seamlessly becoming “persona non grata” in Russia, where the authorities, powerful politicians and businessman are standing in favor of the Orthodox Church. They’re even chairing patriarchs for positions in governmental agendas. It causes plenty of migrations and additional misfortune every single day.
I could count a lot of other examples of persecutions against our brothers which are currently taking place on a daily basis. Some might ask questions, such as Why are those things happening? Why people still are killing each other and mostly against our religion? Answering for these questions seems to be an issue for us, even eternally unsolved.
However, there is an opinion claiming that the more bad practices and the most visible violence against Catholics appear the better we perform. The stronger is our worship and gospel. It may be called The Sign of the Cross. A Teutonic theology philosopher Hans Kunig wrote in his book The Catholic Church A Short History one very important thing that we shan’t forget.
“Initially the young church was under an unfavorable star and Christians were persecuted. In AD 64 the Emperor Nero had numerous Christians executed in a cruel way as scapegoats for a great fire in Rome which he himself had staged. This was a fatal precedent: from then on, one could be condemned simply for being a Christian.”
Later on he says “the Christians refused to offer worship to the emperor and the state gods because of their belief in the one God. But refusal to participate in the state cult and to think as the state did was a crime against the state (crimen laesae Romanae religionis).”
Summarizing the initial steps of the Catholic Church he had written “But despite all the persecutions, the number of Christians inexorably grew”.
In my opinion this is a great exemplification of what actually made our church “the oldest, numerically the strongest, and probably also the most powerful representative of Christianity”. There’s no need to be threatened, we as the catholic youth should be proud of being God’s volunteers, followers of Jesus Christ. There’s no reason to be ashamed because of bearing our own Cross. We are marked by this sign from the very beginning and it depends on our faith how much heavy will be.