Living — and Dying — Christmas
Christian martyrs among us.
December 23, 2011
An iPad, an Xbox, whatever our most desired shiny object under the Christmas tree on Sunday morning happens to be, is not as precious as the ability to celebrate Christmas freely and openly — with Santa at Macy’s or Midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s, as casually or as devoutly as we wish.
Not so for Christians throughout the world this Christmas, and for those who did not live to see the day, precisely because they lived its meaning.
When I see images of a young Virgin Mary in our Christmas Nativity displays this Christmas, I can’t help but think of her “yes,” and that of a young girl in Pakistan who was killed right after we celebrated Thanksgiving here in the U.S.
Amariah Masih was 18 years old when she was murdered for refusing to give in to a Muslim man’s advances. A Catholic girl from a small village near Faisalabad in the Punjab province of Pakistan, she was on a motorbike fetching drinking water, not available within the village, for her family.
Typically, a rape victim in Pakistan will be imprisoned for unlawful sex and released on the condition that she marry the rapist, explains Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute. And since a Christian cannot be married to a Muslim under sharia law, the woman would be forced to convert to Islam.
The homilist at Amariah’s funeral called her “a martyr.” the rest
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