Saturday, April 22, 2006

Will we watch as atrocities continue?

"Every day our families are killed and raped. We are waiting for your help."

Maryam Adam a Darfur refugee

A great mystery of theology surrounds the parable of the good Samaritan.

As recounted in the Gospel of Luke, robbers attack a traveler on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and leave him to die. A priest and then a member of the priestly class pass by the wounded traveler on the side of the road.

A Samaritan - a foreigner - stops and renders aid, bandaging his wounds and taking on the expense of sheltering and caring for the victim.

What would the Samaritan have done if he arrived as the robbers were attacking the traveler, not afterward? How you answer that question will indicate quite a bit about your view of the world - about whether we who are fortunate to live in peace and tranquility should simply pass down the other side of the road as horrific events transpire.

With regard to Darfur, this is more than a fanciful inquiry. A genocidal campaign by the government of Sudan against black Africans in the western part of the country has, over two years, taken as many as 400,000 lives and created more than 2 million refugees. The atrocities committed by the Sudanese military and its Janjaweed allies defy comprehension: torture and execution of civilians, castration of men, rape of women and girls, all on a massive scale. The full story >>>

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