Thanks to Jihad Watch for the lead. This story comes from Catholic World News on the web site CatholicCulture.org and we need to be reminded every day that our own Great Leader, the one-time Muslim turned community organizer, Barack Hussein Obama, has told us that we must respect Islam. Why, yes, respect Islam, because his Islamic faith has sent more martyrs to Heaven than anyone else in history.
Vatican spokesman laments religious persecution, cites ‘Islamic extremism’
January 16, 2012
The director of the Holy See Press Office has used his weekly message to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians.
“The recent annual report of the international evangelical non-governmental organization Open Doors on the persecution of Christians in the world contains a world index of persecution according to which the first ten places are occupied by the following countries in descending order: North Korea, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq and Pakistan,” notes Father Federico Lombardi.
“Among the most serious concerns, the increase in Islamic extremism merits special attention,” he continued. “Persons and organizations dedicated to extremist Islamic ideology perpetrate terrible acts of violence in many places throughout the world: the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria is but one example. Then there is the climate of insecurity that unfortunately in some countries accompanies the so-called “Arab spring”--a climate that drives many Christians to flee and even to emigrate.”
“Such sufferings are a part of the Christian journey,” Father Lombardi concluded. “Nor ought we be amazed. Jesus said so in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,’ is the last of the Beatitudes; its promise is reward in heaven.”
To briefly quote from a Wall Street Journal column on April 9, 2009, entitled Will Islam Return Obama's 'Respect'? written by Daniel Henninger, deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page:
The subject of this column is the status of minority faith groups, mostly Christian, living inside Islamic countries. That status is poor. In some cases it verges on extinction, after centuries of coexistence with Islam. So it is useful to review what Mr. Obama said of his goals for living with Islam:
"I know that the trust that binds the United States and Turkey has been strained, and I know that strain is shared in many places where the Muslim faith is practiced. So let me say this as clearly as I can: The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam. . . .
"We seek broader engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect. We will listen carefully, we will bridge misunderstandings, and we will seek common ground. We will be respectful, even when we do not agree. We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith. . . . Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country. I know, because I am one of them."