(CNA/EWTN) Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver said that the Year of Faith is enabling us to focus on the fact that faith still exists and is strong among Catholics in the Middle East. For example, CNA reports that in “one house of three Greek Catholic men and one woman, the [Syrian] rebels ‘demanded that everyone present convert to Islam or face death.'” So much for freedom.
CNA continued to say that Aquila has said that “modern Syrian Catholics killed for their faith offer a ‘model of courage that we need to emulate.'”
In reponse to the rebels demands, Sarkis el Zakhm, the grandson, responded: “‘I am a Christian and if you want to kill me because I am a Christian, do it.’ Sarkis, together with the two other men in the house, was killed in cold blood,” Archbishop Aquila said.
Aquila shared his thoughts at an event for the knights and ladies of the northern lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a lay Catholic institution that assists the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and supports Christians in the Holy Land. “The natural consequence of their belief in Jesus and his Church was for them to give public witness to it, even if it meant death.”