We have special days and observances to remember those who have paid the ultimate price in service to our country. And so it should be. Such men and women should be remembered with honor, their names and the names of their loved ones kept in memory for all they have sacrificed.
By the same token I think we should have days and observances to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for their faith. It seems to me too often they are just a blip on the day’s news, mentioned once and then forgotten.
This past Christmas season has seen violence and murder in Christian churches around the world — in most cases the price paid merely for attending a worship service. October 31, 2010: bombing at a church in Baghdad, Iraq leaves 58 dead. December 24, 2010: churches in Jos and Maiduguri (Nigeria) are bombed, leaving dozens dead. December 31, 2010: a Coptic Church in Alexandria Egypt is bombed, leaving 21 dead and 79 injured. Rumors have it this last attack was Al Qaeda sponsored. Other ‘random’ killings of Christians are on the rise in these and many other nations.
The names of most of those who have fallen will never be known, except perhaps to those closest to them. But we owe it to them not to forget them, who gave the last measure for what they believed in. Speak for those who no longer have voices. Confront those who promote religious prejudice and violence. And above all pray for those who have lost loved ones and are struggling to carry on without them.