There is so much happening in the Middle East at the moment that I have been highly selective about what to post. However, I read a report on the Reuters website this morning (via the link from their FaithWorld blog), and thought it was especially important.
Curiously, since this morning Reuters have altered how this report appears on their website. The version as I read it this morning is still here via Yahoo News. But if you go to Reuters, the story has been heavily edited.
One of the paragraphs that appeared in the original article, but left out of the version currently appearing on Reuters website is the following:
“The arson did not stop a congregation from holding Sunday Mass in the church, under burned-out paintings of saints and walls covered with soot. Prayer benches and books also were consumed in the fire. Worshippers wept during the service as they prayed for the souls of the victims. A Muslim woman in a headscarf approached a priest and embraced him in a show of solidarity.”
Unfortunately, that detail was edited out of the story as it currently appears on the Reuters website. Which seems to me to be a great pity. It was the one sign of hope in an otherwise extremely distressing story.