What can a Catholic do about religious violence and persecution in other countries?

What is the best Catholic response to any problem? Pray, then act.

Pray for those who suffer from religious violence and persecution, that they will find safety and be able to live free from fear and coercion. And pray for the conversion of those who enable or perpetrate violence, that they will come to respect the human dignity and freedoms of all people.

Then act. Educate yourself about the causes and effects of religious conflict in an area of the world that is important to you. Find an organization that is working to promote non-violence, tolerance and human dignity in that area and ask how you can help. You may be able to support the organization financially, educate others about the situation, join in a letter-writing campaign to local or international authorities, or even volunteer your time directly in an affected region. These expressions of support – in response to religious violence or to any situation where justice and human dignity are at stake – give real witness to the gospel.

Some places to look to find out more about religious violence and persecution are the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Neela Kale

Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.