CHRISTIANS SHOULD embrace suffering and should not be afraid to be ostracized for standing by their beliefs, a Dominican priest said.
UST Institute of Religion director Rev. Fr. Ermito de Sagon, O. P. said the Church endures discrimination because of her stance on various social issues and persecution against Christians has grown more abundant in “subtle” forms.
He noted that Christians are attacked on social media for holding on to their religious practices and that the Church is criticized as “very unscientific” for rejecting certain views.
“They say that when the Church speaks against abortion and against divorce… ‘the Church lacks humane treatment’ (but) it’s just that we think that this is the wisdom of God and we have to preach it day in and day out,” de Sagon said during the Red Wednesday mass for persecuted Christians on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
Despite the attempts to intimidate Christians, de Sagon said believers of Christ should embrace suffering and should love their oppressors.
“[W]e are blessed when we are persecuted, not the other way around. Just because we are free, we should not be persecuting other people…In fact, (we) should love them,” de Sagon said.
In the face of opposition against the teachings of the Church, the UST religion institute director urged believers to continue praying and living for Jesus Christ.
“(We) are ostracized precisely because (we) try to follow Christ…We are being persecuted precisely for standing up for Christ,” de Sagon said.
“We keep on praying so that people will have the grace and the joy of really living our life according to the demands of the gospel,” he added.
In 2020, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Philippines institutionalized the Red Wednesday campaign as an official church activity in the country. The activity was intended to display solidarity with Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their beliefs.
The mass was livestreamed on Santisimo Rosario Parish Church’s Facebook page. F – Z.A.A.