On Good Friday, Christians ponder modern-day martyrdom

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By Inés San Martín

Vatican correspondent April 3, 2015

ROME — As Christians commemorate the suffering and death of Jesus on Good Friday, attacks on believers in various parts of the world are causing many pastors and other leaders to cast modern martyrdom as an extension of Christ’s agony which, they say, will also end in the resurrection.

During the Easter period, Christian churches in India have stepped up security fearing attacks from radical Hindus, a university in Kenya is recovering from a rampage by Muslim extremists that targeted Christians and left an estimated 147 people dead, and fear hangs over Church services in Iraq and Syria where Christian holy days tend to be favorite windows for ISIS assaults.

Facing those realities, Pope Francis said on Wednesday that the Christian martyrs of today, by shedding their blood, join Christ in serving the Church as witnesses to the faith.

“Even today, there are many men and women, true martyrs, who offer their lives with Jesus to confess the faith,” the pope said. “It is a service: Christian witness to the point of shedding blood.”

Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem delivered a similar message during his Holy Thursday homily, while commemorating Jesus’ Last Supper.

Every Mass, Twal said, represents the “unique sacrifice” made two thousand years ago by Jesus, calling it “a love given without limits.”

Source : http://www.cruxnow.com/