Not that long ago, a country here in North America was convulsed by a brutal civil war. The country was starkly divided into liberals and conservatives. An election was held but there were widespread accusations of fraud causing the president to resign, and a new president, who claimed to be a friend of the poor, took power. He was assassinated leading to an outbreak of violence throughout the country. The Church, through the Bishops, spoke out against the violence and thus became the enemy of the ruling power.
It was a time of upheaval in the world–the Russian revolution being the hallmark. The rise of Communism encouraged authoritarian regimes to restrict religious freedom. In the country I am speaking of a new leadership had come to power, along with a new constitution that forbade public religious ceremonies, closed monasteries and convents, and deported priests on penalty of death.
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