As rumors spread of the Afghan church to face persecution, Steubenville’s bishop calls Christians to act

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Some wonder if prayer is enough, while others believe it is the greatest weapon to fight the turmoil in Afghanistan

Steubenville, OH (WTRF) — The Catholic Church is calling its followers to put on their armor and act, as some fear persecution is coming to Christians in Afghanistan.  

“We start with prayer,” said Bishop Jeffrey Monforton.

Local news for the Ohio Valley

You might have seen it on social media. Christians across the U.S. have been petitioning prayer for their fellow brothers and sisters in Afghanistan as some rumor that with the Taliban in control, Christ followers in the country could “meet Jesus” soon. 

But in Steubenville, pending persecution is not the Bishop’s first thought.  

It’s not a total loss. And, sometimes in the darkest of moments, the bright light begins to shine.” 

Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, Dioceses of Steubenville

The church, known as an instrument of God’s peace, is using its strongest weapon, prayer.  

We’re praying for unity, not coercion. We’re praying for respect and not oppression.

Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, Dioceses of Steubenville

He says not just for Catholics, but a solution for all religions. 

7NEWS reached out Bishop Monforton after hearing of his involvement with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He sits as the Chair of Assistance of the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. Of those 28 countries, some have similarities to Afghanistan. 

It was just a couple years ago when he visited Iraq. There he said no one persecuted him for his Roman collar. All religions held a mutual respect. He’s praying for the same to be seen in Afghanistan under the Taliban. 

We look at our religious freedom here and it can be fragile at times, we recognize that. But in other areas of the world, it’s being decimated.

Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, Dioceses of Steubenville

This is not the first time the Catholic Church could face persecution; it will not be the last.

He’s calling for Christians to take up their cross. 

We have to always be a protagonist in this story. There’s no sitting on the sidelines. Staying silent makes us complicit.

Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, Dioceses of Steubenville

Kneeling, on the other hand, might be the strongest weapon. 

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