I found a little sheet torn from an old Dutch calendar the other day, sent once by a family member, who passed away a long time ago. It was of the year 1933 (Thursday, October 12). Each sheet had a text with daily food for thought at the back.
The text contains the following gripping story:
“Around 1688 in a small village of Carinthia a young men lived working as a supervisor in a gunpowder mill. As he needed money, he took his horse to a nearby market and sold it for 300 Thalers. On return he overnighted at an inn and, thinking nobody would see him, went to the stable to pray because he belonged to the suppressed Protestants, who were not allowed to worship in public. A horse trader discovered him and immediately knew he was a Protestant. However, he did not want to betray him because he found it a good opportunity to sell him a book he carried with him, which he knew was highly valued by the Lutherans. It was a large Bible of Weimar. The Protestant was afraid that the horse trader would betray him, but when he saw that he offered him a Weimar Bible that he had never been able to find, he became very interested. They agreed on a price of 30 Thalers. The young man took it home and showed it with much pride to his family. Knowing people suspected him to be a Protestant, he did no dare to read it openly but gathered his family during the night in the cellar and read them God’ s Word from the Weimar Bible by candlelight.”
This typifies the religious strife between Catholics and Protestants. Shocking to be remembered of that by a tiny calendar paper that pops up on your desk. And what do we have now in the Middle -East? Christians are being beheaded. Radical Islam (ISIS), which is Suni, murders Shiites as well (similar to the religious battles in Europe). It takes a long evolution before people become more rational about religion. The Middle Eastern year is somewhere around 1435, the Middle Ages and Renaissance years in Europe, from which emerged Martin Luther and Calvin, and the ensuing religious conflicts. The last one took place in Northern Ireland, some 50 years ago. So if history is any guide, it may take a few more years before Radical Islam comes to its senses. Let’s hope it won’t be centuries.