70 years ago the Soviet Army discovered one of the most horrific acts of the second world war. It was the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz where more than a million Jews and other unwanted people, such as gypsies and disabled people were murdered. I have seen the films, documentaries and read the books, but every time I find it hard to believe that human beings can behave in such a terrible way. This week I was listening to the stories of some of the survivors – people rescued and who are still alive today. For 70 years many of them still have bad dreams, feelings of fear and dread, worried about having enough clothes, food and clean water. Their lives have been haunted by their experience all those years ago.
The stories we have heard about the death camps during the second world war and there were many, are stories we don’t want to hear. The killing of ordinary people like us for no reason except they were of a different culture and faith. But we have to hear those stories and remember that it is so easy for terrible things to happen again.
We are seeing the Islamic State group killing people without mercy, of controlling people to behave and live as they say. It seems they have lost the meaning of life and community and above all ‘love for ones neighbour’.
We say we do not want these things to happen again, but we sometimes do not stand up against those who do evil in our world. These things seem to happen so far away, it is not our problem. But it is our problem. In the second world war people knew the Nazis were doing terrible things to Jewish people, but pretended they did not know – we blame the Nazis for what happened, but we are guilty ourselves for letting such things happen to innocent people and not working harder to stop it.
As Christians we have a responsibility to each other and the world in which we live to expose evil and teach what is good. We have to start in our own homes and communities, we need to share the love shown to us by Jesus Christ. We must love everyone – even if they are of a different faith, culture or community. We must live our faith as an example to others. Evil must not be allowed to grow – it must be stopped and that can only happen when we are strong through love.