Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

The Knights of Columbus at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Alpharetta, are raising awareness of the ongoing persecution of believers in Iraq and Syria inviting people to take a cross and display it publically.


Knights offer white crosses to show support for Mideast Christians

Published December 10, 2015

ALPHARETTA—Moved by the plight of Christians in the Middle East, the Knights of Columbus at St. Thomas Aquinas Church are raising awareness in this northern suburb of Atlanta of the ongoing persecution of believers in Iraq and Syria.

Pope Francis has recently said shedding of blood because of a shared Christian faith is uniting Catholics and Protestants in ways that are “deeper and stronger than the differences which still separate our churches and ecclesial communities.”

Christians in places where the faith first took root have fled from their homes in the face of death, forced conversions, or living under sectarian rule. The future existence of ancient Christian communities is in doubt. According to a Pew Research Center study, Christians face religious persecution in more countries than any other religious group.

Ralph Infanti, a former Grand Knight of Council 6532, said to call attention to this persecution, the Alpharetta Knights of Columbus wanted to help the cause locally. The group opted to give away white crosses about a foot-and-a-half tall to anyone who wants them. The cross is to be placed in an area where it can be seen, in support of Christians living under tyranny. There is no fee for the crosses, but people can either make a donation to the national Knights of Columbus program in support of Middle Eastern Christians or donate to pay for the creation of additional crosses.

Infanti said as many as 400 crosses are available. They will be given away for the first time on the second Sunday of Advent, but this will be an ongoing project.

The local effort ties in with initiatives of the national Knights of Columbus to aid displaced Christian families and other persecuted religious communities in the Middle East. The fraternal organization has contributed millions for food for more than 13,500 displaced families in Iraq and to build homes for the families.