Oct 22, 2019 Letters
Christians are the most persecuted religious group in modern times, governments must also show that they are on their side as they are with other religious groups.
While the eyes of the world are focused on seemingly more important issues a silent war against Christianity continues unchecked and seemingly unnoticed. Make no qualms about it, but Christianity is currently the most persecuted religion, a fact that is ignored in the West https://anglicanplanet.net/christians-most-persecuted-religious-group-in-world/
In light of current displayed behaviours, one is left wondering the reason behind this growing silence.
In a message at the commencement of a report by Catholic Charity—Aid to the Church in need, Prince Charles described threats to Christians in the Middle East as an “indescribable tragedy”. He further stated that events in both Syria and Iraq that have caused thousands to be displaced were heartbreaking. Christians residing in Iraq have been driven out of their ancestral homes and maintain that “crimes against humanity” have been committed against them and Iraq’s other minorities – such as the Yazidis. And in Syria, more than 100,000 Syrians have lost their lives in the escalating conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-29899571.
Four gunmen stormed Kenya’s Garissa University College on April 3, 2015 and began shooting indiscriminately. As they sauntered from building to building the attackers singled out and shot those persons who identified themselves as Christians. When it was all over, 148 people, mostly students, had been killed. A Somali Islamist group – Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, the second deadliest attack in Kenyan history. https://www.apnews.com/0e40d1386d0a41e49f78437995e5bc5f
In February 2015 shock rang throughout the world when the Islamic State group released a video showing the beheading of 21 men – 20 Coptic Christians, along with a Ghanian Christian companion. As they were killed, the men were praying to Jesus. Their bodies were recovered in October 2017 after one of the perpetrators was caught by the Libyan authorities and revealed their location. Their bodies were returned to Egypt on May 14, 2018.
According to a report ordered by Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt the persecution of Christians in parts of the world is at near genocide levels. The review estimated that one in three people suffer from religious persecution. The Foreign Minister expressed the feeling that political correctness was somewhat contributory in the issue not being confronted.https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/persecution-of-christians-review-foreign-secretarys-speech-following-the-final-report. The review was commissioned on Boxing Day 2018 amidst a protest over the treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who faced death threats after being acquitted of blasphemy in Pakistan. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pakistan-christian-woman-asia-bibi-islamabad-threats-from-islamic-extremists/. Bibi 54, a Christian, mother of five and a farm labourer, has spent eight years on Death Row, accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad after an argument with her neighbours. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/13/asia-bibi-imran-khan-pakistan-blasphemy-law
The interim report said that while various religious groups suffer across the world, Christians are the most persecuted. In Palestine, they now make up just 1.5 per cent of the population, while in Iraq numbers have dropped from 1.5 million before 2013 to fewer than 120,000. The Anglican Bishop Philip Mounstephen, who led the review said Christianity is set to be “wiped out” from parts of the Middle East as people are killed or forced to flee. https://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2019/05/03/christian-persecution-near-genocide-levels/.
Again during a Good Friday service in Rome, Pope Francis the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church presiding over the ceremony at the Colosseum listened as the Vatican’s official preacher Raniero Cantalamessa condemned the “disturbing indifference of world institutions in the face of all killing of Christians”. We still see today our persecuted brothers, decapitated and crucified for their faith in you [Jesus], before our eyes and often with our complicit silence,” Pope Francis said. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32179180. On Easter Sunday
April 21, 2019 suicide bombings hit three Christian churches in Sri Lanka and three luxury hotels.
The death toll in the attacks rose to 290. The authorities blamed the local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) for the attacks, but said that they must have had help from a larger network. The Islamic State group later claimed it was behind the bombings, but provided no evidence of direct involvement. The bombings were the deadliest attack on Christians in South Asia in recent memory. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/21/world/asia/sri-lanka-religion-christians.html?module. In Myanmar, Christian minorities fear they will be the next targets of the Buddhist-dominated government. https://www.wsj.com/articles/myanmar-persecutes-christians-too-1544138518
There is an existing sense of misplaced political correctness, at the governmental level that has hindered the display of standing up for Christians overseas. In Canada and the U.S.A citizens benefit from dwelling in a diverse and tolerant society, and these qualities should be promoted abroad. The myopic behaviour should cease immediately, and attention focused on countries where persecution of Christians is most severe with potential for deterioration. Governments are called upon to act immediately and deliver real, tangible and lasting change for those suffering death or persecution because of their religious belief.
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