Many thanks to my Facebook friend--faithful biblical scholar and die-hard Catholic instructor William Stevenson--for alerting me to this.
The sweep of ISIS across much of Iraq, garnering enough territory that it feels enough confidence to proclaim a caliphate, has upset any peaceful balance if there was one. But much damage has been done and continues, as any sense of freedom of religion is getting wiped off the map.
Look, I know it's said that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church", but these reports are chilling. The next time you feel inclined to say that you feel persecuted for your faith (if you feel that way), then check in at the door and have some perspective. There are people of faith half a world away for whom worship is a matter of life and death.
Read, digest, and meditate on what's going on when, for the first time in sixteen centuries, the church bells fall silent.