PRIVATISING CRUSADES – Throughout the Middle East in particular, the last remaining Christian communities, which managed to survive there for almost two thousand years, are being exterminated or forced out in campaigns of religious cleansing by various Islamist forces. In Iraq, Syria and the Palestinian territories, the extremists’ dream of unpolluted Dar al Islam is moving ever closer to realisation. But in many other parts of the world, from Nigeria to Pakistan, Christian communities are also the target of violence and sustained persecution.

Maybe because I’m only now getting to Christopher Tyerman’s much acclaimed “God’s War: A New History of the Crusades” (136 pages so far, so good; currently besieging Antioch in 1098) that a link posted on Twitter recently caught my attention. The Ordo Militaris Catholicus is a “international defense and security initiative of Catholics for Catholics who are suffering persecution for their faith, where their defense and liberation requires military intervention or security actions, and this is allowed by local and/or international law.”

Historical crusades have traditionally been top down efforts, sponsored and organised by the popes and secular rulers. In the age of internet and social networks, the OMC appears to be a grassroots effort, promoted by the realisation that the popes and secular rulers of today don’t give enough shit about saving persecuted Christians – or, for that matter,  persecuted Muslims – to actually do anything to help them in any tangible way. As the old saying goes: all the help short of assistance.

As the website explains:

The Order seeks to recruit chiefly Catholic Veterans who wish to put their military skills and knowledge to service in the defense of fellow Catholics, and this principally out of a desire of fraternal charity, not personal gain. As a religious association of Catholics we aim to combine the unique aspects of military and religious service as a work of mercy towards our fellow Catholics…

As a Wyoming C Corporation directed by Catholics with deeply held religious beliefs we hope to provide unique solutions with an extremely high ethical rigor, in an age which sees increasingly religion as a security problem not a solution.  We are formed as a private military corporation, for profit, so that we might be capable in US law to apply for government defense contracts, fund the security and military needs of lawful Christian initiatives overseas and train and prepare volunteers who wish to serve with us on overseas missions. We are committed to being a corporation led by and employing principally US Military Veterans who see and wish to serve Jesus Christ as the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace.  In this way, we hope to offer veterans an utterly unique way to put their skills and experience to work defending their innocent and helpless brothers in Christ the world over.

In 1099 it was the knights of Normandy and Burgundy; in 2017 it’s accountants of Wyoming. Either way, gentlemen, Deus Vult.