Ironically, around the world, many are now adopting this symbol on social media sites and elsewhere as a mark of solidarity with their suffering sisters and brothers. Many of us are proud to be associated with Christ our Saviour and Master, and His global people, the Church.
Yet as Christians and other minorities in countries around the world continue to suffer horrendous injustice and atrocity at the hands of neighbours, we may feel a crisis of faith. Like the writer of Psalm 10 who cries to God to rouse Himself and act on the behalf of the helpless. Or the man in Mark 9 who brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus for deliverance and healing, crying with desperate honesty, ‘I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!’
We may struggle to understand or accept some of what the Almighty seems to allow, but our hope is in One Who is ‘compassionate and gracious’ (Ps 103 v 8), Who will not break a bruised reed or extinguish a smouldering wick (Isaiah 42 v 3), Who gave His only Son in grace and redeeming love, that ‘whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.’ (John 3 v 16)
Let us keep our faith firmly in our crucified, risen Lord, and pray for faith, courage and His comfort for victims of oppression everywhere. And in accordance with His teaching and example, let us pray for our enemies – grace, enlightenment and deliverance from their violent madness.