Iam writing to commend the Register for running such a fine article on the International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church (“Churches Gear Up for Day of Prayer...,” Nov. 1-7). This was only the third year for the IDOP, and your article will undoubtedly “get the word out” and encourage many more people to pray for the needs—both spiritual and temporal—of Christians worldwide who are forced to suffer terribly for their faith.
Unfortunately, their numbers are only growing, and they include both Catholics and Protestants. The latest report from the Helsinki Commission cites no fewer than 19 European nations for religious liberty violations. In countries such as Congo and India, Christian towns have been looted and burned. In countries such as Laos, Nigeria, and China, Christians are arrested and jailed for practicing their faith. Atrocities such as rape and torture are not uncommon.
It was for the sake of these victims that the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews established its Operation Alert project. We must pray for these poor souls every day, but let us raise up our petitions with particular fervor each year on the International Day of Prayer, imploring God to show them mercy, to ameliorate their sufferings, and to give them the grace of unfailing courage.
Fr. Stanley de Boe
Director, Center for Jewish and Christian Values
Ursuline and Knowing It
Orchids to Mary Ann Fanning for pointing out the mistaken reference to Marie of the Incarnation as a French Sister of Charity in my review (“Heroines Without Knowing It,” Oct. 4-10, 1998). Marie of the Incarnation is, of course, one of the best-known members of the Ursuline Order, and the first Ursuline missionary to the New World, leaving France for Canada with two companions in 1639. The foundation she made in Quebec was the first convent devoted to the education of girls in North America. Twice burned to the ground, it was rebuilt each time. Mary Ann Fanning can well be proud of her Ursuline education.
Sister Mary Thomas Noble, OP Buffalo, N.Y.