Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crusade? You bet!

Dear Director,

You have asked me if I do not fear for my life, in the mutual knowledge that conversion to Christianity will provide me with yet another [ennesima, lit. "umpteenth"], and much graver, condemnation to death for apostasy. You are absolutely correct. I know what awaits me, but I will face my fate with my head lifted up, with my spine upright, and with the interior solidity of one who is certain of his own faith. And I will do it even more after the historic and brave gesture of the Pope who, from the first moment in which he came to know my desire, immediately accepted to personally impart upon me the Sacraments of initiation to Christianity. His Holiness has sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church which, up to now, has been all too prudent on the conversion of Muslims, abstaining itself from making proselytism in countries with Islamic majorities, and silencing on the reality of converts in Christian nations. Out of fear. The fear of not being able to safeguard converts facing their condemnation to death for apostasy and the fear of retaliations facing Christians who live in Islamic nations. Therefore, today, Benedict XVI, with his testimony, tells us that it is necessary to vanquish fear and not to have any misgivings in affirming the truth of Jesus even before Muslims.

--Magdi Cristiano Allam,
vice-director of one of the largest Italian dailies, Corriere della Sera, baptized during the Easter Vigil ceremonies by Pope Benedict XVI

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