The editorial of the week of 28/01/2022 with Camille: Humanitarian emergencies, anti-Semitism, persecuted Christians, Billy Graham

In the editorial of the week with Camille on video discover the subjects which animated the Christian sphere this week from articles published on the InfoChrétienne site.

This week the news has drawn our attention to humanitarian emergencies currently unfolding in several parts of the world.

To start with Ukraine where the ongoing conflict "overwhelms the population". While 100 Russian soldiers have been deployed on the Ukrainian border, the International Red Cross recalls that “the humanitarian needs of the population […] must not be neglected or forgotten”.

Then comes Yemen where Doctors Without Borders denounces "a worrying escalation of the war". Last Friday, a Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit the prison in the town of Sa'ada, a stronghold of the Houthi rebel movement. The Ministry of Health deplores 82 dead and 266 injured, a toll that could still increase.

Monday, January 24, a delegation of Taliban and Western diplomats began discussions in Oslo centered on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan. Hunger now threatens 23 million Afghans, or 55% of the population, according to the UN.

Just over ten days ago, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai submarine volcano erupted. This earthquake of rare intensity caused a destructive tsunami. After being cut off from the world, Tonga is slowly revealing the extent of the damage starting with the lack of drinking water. Caritas Australia estimates that “nearly 80% of the population was affected by the disaster”.

While Thursday, January 27 was the international day dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, this week we deplore two anti-Semitic acts that took place in Europe. 

St Mary's Church, in Melton Mowbray, England has been spray-painted with Nazi symbols. Swastikas, as well as what appears to be a Star of David, have been painted on the facade of the building. An act of vandalism condemned by the Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow who recalled that "the Church of England opposes all forms of anti-Semitism".

While two young girls aged 13 and 14 attacked Sunday afternoon, because he was Jewish, a 12-year-old teenager in a park in Campiglia Marittima, Italy. In shock, the Italian press reports the kicks, the spitting, the insults, and what seems to be general indifference, since no one present would have reacted.

Events of great sadness even though Jews and Christians were gathered last week, Thursday, January 20 in Paris, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee conference, to pay tribute to the victims of the “final solution”.

François Clavairoly, president of the Protestant Federation of France, had insisted during this ceremony on the "twin sisters" that are "History" and "our memories", calling for "responsibility" and "vigilance" in the face of anti-Semitism.

As every week we offer you an update on the persecuted church in the world.

Luka Binniyat is a journalist and advocate for persecuted Christians in Nigeria. After 84 days in pre-trial detention, the whistleblower was released on bail on January 27. His trial will take place on February 28, he risks up to three years in prison with a fine of more than 15 euros.

Afghanistan ranks first in the 2022 Global Index of Christian Persecution by the NGO Open Doors. Hana, a partner of the organization present on site, bears witness to the persecution of Christians in this Asian country. She also calls on Christians around the world to pray for the persecuted church in Afghanistan. A testimony to read on the InfoChrétienne website.

The village of Pemi in Chibok government, Nigeria was targeted last Thursday by Boko Haram militants. During the attack, the attackers kidnapped 17 young girls, killed “many Christians” and burned a church.

With the 2022 Winter Olympics scheduled for early next month in Beijing, David Curry, president of the NGO Open Doors USA, encourages Christians to boycott the event. He denounces the persecution of Christians as well as that of religious minorities, in particular the Uighurs, in the country.

Today's editorial concludes with the release of a documentary film on a well-known personality in the Christian world, Billy Graham. 

The documentary film “Billy Graham: an extraordinary journey” tells the uplifting life of the American pastor and ardent defender of racial equality, who died in 2018. Through his radical faith and his passionate preaching, the pastor knew how to reach the whole world and contribute to the conversion of hundreds of thousands of people.

It will be screened in an E-cinema session on January 31 and February 2 and 4 on the virtual cinema platform Cuult – La 25ème heures.

Camille Westphal Perrier

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