In our daily life, that is full of violence, terrorist attacks and killing of the innocents, the fundamental principles of our Christian`s faith challenge us to give an adequate response to such surroundings.
When we are faced with a terrorist attack, where the attackers aim only to kill others because they are different from them, how possible is it to think of loving those who make an action like this?
The dilemma that the Christian`s world faces today reminds us of the early Christians when they were insmall groups persecuted from the authorities at that time. Those Christians thought; what bad have we done to be the main target of persecution? They were a minority who would not hurt anyone, but others persecuted and killed them. Then how can we love those who want to kill us because we only have a different faith believes from them?
The beauty of the Christian faith is, it is a faith of heart and not of laws, a belief which does not have a list of goals to accomplish in the world, but only a word of the Divine Master; love one another, and everything else runs and circulates around this word, love. This means that the believer in Christianity is not obliged to follow the laws set out and made for a specific civilisation or in a different time than he is at right now, but rather has only one sentence to live by and that is: love each other.
This word, love, is the base, but how we love each other, it all depends on our Christian faith. Thus, our faith requires us to be in our hearts full of love, but realize this love really is our task. The important thing is to have love for each other even though that other is a bad person.
In front of a group like ISIS, men full of hatred toward us with a desire to eliminate us, our challenge is of two natures.
On one side, what does their badness changes in our hearts? Does this evil has the ability to change the fullness of love that our faith fills our intimate soul with?
We need to be careful to not exhaust the love that is in our hearts because of the actions of terrorists. They really want this, to be like them; without love, and so they can justify better the hatred that they have against us. Our faith rejects the sin but not the sinner.
On the other side, the love that we have leads us to react in an appropriate way against evil, the terrorists. This means that you have to do something against this evil and not remain passive.
We need to find a way to stop this evil and uproot it from our society and the world in general. This can be done in any way, it would be counted as any a necessary act, even aggressively if necessary, to stop planting more fear derived from the evil that the terrorist do. This course of action is not against our faith, because it is faith itself that requires us to take action to stop this evil, even if it is an aggressive action.
In other word, when the Lord talks about love, He makes us understand that loving each other is not just a personal thing, that remains within you, but a force that push you to do other actions, that is full of love. In front of a group of Islamic terrorists we must react strongly and bravely, and find an appropriate way to respond to this threat. There is a need to make them understand that the evil they practice will be defeated by our resistance and our brave reaction.
Because we love all people, therefore we combine our rules and our means to defeat this evil. There is a need to change some rules that allow others to find a free space for their activities in our societies.
Evil is going to be defeated when we remain strong and able to change everything we need to fight and defeat them. There is no need to be afraid of change, we must not be weak in front of terrorists.
We do not allow the terrorists to change our culture of love, when we do what is necessary to make them understand what Christian love really is, and if they do not want to understand, we must put them in a place or situation where cannot do any more evil.
The Christian faith is a faith of acting and not of waiting, a faith that goes towards the other to change them. Our faith does not wait for the other to do what they want to do, if it’s an evil act towards us. We love and not hate, but our love makes us act so strong against hatred to defeat their evil throw love and respect.
+ Amel NONA
Bishop of St. Thomas the Apostle Chaldean
Diocese of Australia & NZ