What inspires much of the practice of Catholic social justice in the United States?
The focus of many U.S. Catholic social justice advocates is directed at atrocities being perpetrated in African nations like Darfur and Somalia. At the same time, their disproportionate lack of attention to the actual atrocities that Muslims are perpetrating upon Catholics in nations like Egypt, Nigeria, and Afghanistan is puzzling.
This lack of attention raises the question: What is the advocates’ true inspiration?
Is it Catholic social justice inspired by the virtue of charity, as Pope Benedict XVI discussed in Deus caritas est? Or, a Marxist socio-political-economic critique of capitalism?
Consider the fact that the U.S. State Department has announced in its latest International Religious Freedom Report (IRFR) that not one public Christian church is left in Afghanistan, the last public Christian church being razed in March 2010. IRFR also reports that “there were no Christian schools in the country.”
Muslim Taliban reading the charge that
That’s one decade after the United States first invaded and overthrew the Islamist Taliban regime in Afghanistan. That’s also after $440B of taxpayers’ money has been spent to support Afghanistan’s new government. And that’s to say nothing about the more than 1.7k U.S. military personnel who have died serving in Afghanistan.
According to IRFR:
There is no longer a public Christian church; the courts have not upheld the church’s claim to its 99-year lease, and the landowner destroyed the building in March ….The government’s level of respect for religious freedom in law and in practice declined during the reporting period, particularly for Christian groups and individuals. Negative societal opinions and suspicion of Christian activities led to targeting of Christian groups and individuals, including Muslim converts to Christianity. The lack of government responsiveness and protection for these groups and individuals contributed to the deterioration of religious freedom.
The religious situation in Afghanistan is such that most Christians in that nation now “refuse to state their beliefs or gather openly to worship.”
In addition, Christian aid from the international community is being redirected to aid the “[cash] strapped government budget.” According to IRFR:
There were no explicit restrictions for religious minority groups to establish places of worship and training of clergy to serve their communities, however, very few public places of worship exist for minorities due to a strapped government budget.
The burning of a Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt
No doubt, these atrocities represent a violation of the United Nations’ Declaration on Human Rights, an issue that should be of especial concern to Catholic social justice advocates. Yet, they remain stunningly silent about much of this Muslim-inspired atrocity against Christians, in general, and Catholics, in particular.
Could it be that their intent is purely secular—social, political, and economic in its inspiration—what they call “systemic injustice” that is anti-capitalistic?
To read the State Department’s latest International Religious Freedom Report concerning Afghanistan, click on the following link: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010_5/168240.htm
To learn more about the atrocities begin perpetrated by Muslims upon Christians and Catholics, click on the following link: http://barnabasfund.org/anti-christian-attacks-threaten-worse-to-come.html