Br Jean-Pierre Schumacher, meeting Pope Francis in Morocco in 2019.
I have written a couple of times through the years about the Thirbhirine monastic community in Algeria, a small group of Christians who lived peacefully amidst a predominantlyMuslim village, sharing in their sorrows and celebrations. When civil war erupted n the 1990's the brothers stayed out of solidarity with that Muslim community. Eventually seven of them were kidnapped and assassinated despite providing medical aid to their rebel murderers. Some of the monks survived and now the last of them, Jean-Pierre Schumacher, has died at the age of 97.
This is a story of gentle Christian witness, not through proselyzation but by living with respect and compassion amidst neighbours. It is beautifully told in the 2010 film Of Gods and Men, which I highly recommend. The term "martyr" means witness, so they were martyrs in the best sense.