That’s something to contemplate as we pray for our Cross Catholic partners in Vietnam, China, and Afghanistan – three countries where believers face persecution for their faith in Christ. While Vietnam forbids proselytizing and China pressures worshippers of all faiths to join state-run churches, Afghanistan considers conversions from Islam a crime punishable by death.
Our friends at an ecumenical Christian hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan face a two-front conflict: one against illegal violence, and the other against a legal system that can send them to prison just for sharing the gospel. And they are coping with these tensions while operating, with stretched resources, one of the leading hospitals in Afghanistan. Their maternity services alone have been a huge lifesaver in a country that has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.
Whenever we’re tempted to complain that our faith inconveniences us in some way, we should remember our brothers and sisters who risk death by their conversions, and we should remember the American doctors who have given up comfortable lives at home to serve the poor in a hostile land.