I am often struck by how easily we American Catholics complain about our lot. If our priest doesn’t preach a good homily or if Confession isn’t held at a convenient time or Mass goes longer than an hour, we immediately lament at our terrible lot in life. Yet in other parts of the world, Christians must risk their life just to be able to have access to the sacraments.
Two years ago [Rev. Estefanos Shehata] converted part of his family house into a space where these services could be performed and went to obtain a permit for its use. Authorities kept refusing to give a direct answer and finally told him to talk to the village’s Muslims because they didn’t want to be responsible for any problems.
Shehata then talked to the village’s Muslims, who he said have a good relationship with the Copts in the area, about the permit.
The Muslim in his village held a meeting with the elders of neighboring villages, and, to his surprise, they were “extremely angry” with his proposal and issued a Fatwa (religious edict) calling for his death.
“They told the Copts in the village that it takes just one bullet to get rid of me since there is no ‘blood money’ for killing a Christian,” Shehata wrote in the letter.
“I have been banned from my village for over a month now. I cannot even go [see] my mother.”
Pray for Rev. Shehata and all Christians around the world who are facing serious persecution for their faith.