The editorial for the week of February 18 with Camille: Father Jacques Hamel, Ukraine, persecuted Christians, Open Doors

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 we told you about the trial of the assassination of Father Jacques Hamel which began at the special assize court in Paris on Monday. 

Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old priest, was stabbed to death on July 26, 2016, in front of the altar of his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, by two young Islamists, Adel Kermiche and Abdel-Malik Petitjean.

The two assailants, aged 19, were killed by the police as they left the church.

However, three men have been appearing in court since Monday. It is Farid Khelil, Yassine Sebaihia and Jean-Philippe Jean Louis, accused of "association of terrorist criminals". The presumed instigator, Rachid Kassim, probably dead in Iraq, is on trial in his absence.

Interviewed by InfoChrétienne, Roseline Hamel, the sister of Father Jacques Hamel, evokes her suffering, her difficult mourning but also the grace of God in her life which allowed her to stand up and not be overwhelmed by hatred. One testimony of love and resilience that commands admiration.

Thursday, the special assize court of Paris had a strong moment when Farid Khelil took the floor to ask forgiveness for Guy Coponet who had been seriously injured during the attack. In the afternoon, this same accused then sent an apology to Roseline Hamel.

This week, another of the hot topics in the news is the crisis affecting Ukraine. 

As fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine grow, Ukrainian Christians have decided to deploy their weapons: prayer and worship.

"People are worried but we encourage them to turn to Jesus with all our might because only through prayer can we keep peace in our country," said Kyzmenko Dmytro, pastor of New Generation Church. from Lviv.

The video of a cult published on Facebook shows the fervor of Ukrainian Christians determined to come together and praise God in the midst of the crisis and despite the threats of war.

Wednesday evening, Boris Johnson, the English Prime Minister, spoke with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about the situation in Ukraine.

The two men believe that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would have "catastrophic" consequences and are working together to find an "urgent diplomatic solution" and "to avoid a disastrous military escalation and a humanitarian crisis".

Like every week, we offer you a focus on the cause of persecuted Christians. 

On January 31, in Madhya Pradesh, India, 40 Christians were forced to undergo a ceremony to convert to Hinduism. "No one can take away the faith that is in our hearts, we hope to join the Church soon, God will help us", testifies one of them.

Pervez Masih was 25 years old. This Christian died on Monday in Lahore, in Pakistan, attacked by a crowd of 150 to 200 people.

On February 15, 2015, 21 young Christian men were beheaded on a Libyan beach by Islamic State militants after they refused to renounce their faith. Seven years later, Lord David Alton, member of the United Kingdom's House of Lords, reminds us that their sacrifice must never be forgotten.

Pavan is 62 years old. He lives in a mountainous region of Nepal where he was a sorcerer for a long time, before becoming a Christian and being persecuted. Discover his testimony on the InfoChrétienne website.

The editorial of the week concludes with our latest immersion report. 

For this third immersive report, we met members of the Portes Ouvertes organization who had come to Paris to present their 2022 Global Index of Christian Persecution to the Senate and the National Assembly.

As a reminder, the 2022 edition of the Open House Index reports unprecedented figures. It reveals that 360 million Christians experienced severe persecution or discrimination last year, representing 1 in 7 Christians worldwide.

During this report, they spoke to us about the way in which the data are collected to establish the Index as well as the people behind these chilling figures. Finally, they explained to us the challenges of their mission. An immersion to discover on the InfoChrétienne website and the Youtube channel We Are Together

Camille Westphal Perrier

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