PHILADELPHIA, March 13, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- With news of the martyrdom of 21 Christians by fundamentalist
Muslims in Egypt still fresh in their minds, those in the English-speaking world might be relieved to see a new video that asks for prayers for the
The five-minute "Litany of the B.V.M. for the Persecuted Church," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlUwevwWREY
which has received more than five hundred views in its first week, publicizes the shameful persecution of Christians throughout the world and asks
its viewers to pray a special litany along with it.
"As Christians, we cannot stand idly by while our fellow Christians are being persecuted for their faith around the world," said Fr. Joseph Eddy, O. de M., vocation director for the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy in the United States.
"The courage of these martyrs is nothing less than heroic," he added. "Even children have refused to give up their faith in the face of death. Since we don't often hear about these atrocities through the media, we must make known what is happening."
Fr. Joseph added that making the video is part of the Order's ministry to free captives who are in danger of losing their faith, which has been the core of their charism, or purpose, since it's founding in 1218 in Spain.
The video does not contain graphic violence, but features photos of children and families in refugee camps as well as people in the Middle East praying in churches. The video notes the severe persecution of Christians in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and other parts of the world, calling it a grave injustice.
The video recalls the words of Christ, "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you..." and ties the modern persecutions with the ancient martyrdom of Christians in the Coliseum.
An area that was home to Abraham and other patriarchs of the faith, Iraq, for example, has become a battleground for competing forces. Since 2003, about one million Assyrian Christians, for example, have been forced to become refugees inside and outside of Iraq.
The prayer featured in the video is the Litany of the B.V.M. for the Persecuted Church, authored by the Order of Mercy.
The Order of Mercy, also known as the Mercedarians, has its U.S. motherhouse in Philadelphia, and has friars in four states.