The First Freedom
Why Religions Must Be Free, Not Tolerated
by William L. Saunders
In Algeria, in early 1996, Father Christian de Chergé, prior of a Trappist monastery, wrote to the leader of an insurgent group. “Brother, let me speak man to man, believer to believer. We cannot take sides. We are foreigners. We are monks. That binds us to the choice God made for us, to live a life of prayer, a simple life, one of manual labor, hospitable to everyone, especially the poor. This is our free choice and binds us to the death. I do not think God wants us to die at your hands. . . . We love everyone, you included. May the one God guide all our lives. Amen.”. . .