For the purpose of this segment of this series, the terms Christian and Christianity are used in a loose sense to include all who would identify themselves as Christians. Probably, most people are oblivious to the war that is being waged against Christianity in our nation and around the world.
Many who would claim to be Christians are not very committed or active. Living the Christian life is simply not much in their thinking. So, they are largely unaware of the persecution being leveled against Christianity. Many others, for various reasons, are pretty much disconnected from religion altogether. As a result, they do not feel any immediate effects of the persecution on a personal level. But the reality of a vigorous, concentrated campaign to shut down Christian influence in our culture is undeniable.
This war is being waged on many fronts. it has taken on different forms and has taken different directions in different areas. In our nation it is still in the arena of laws, media and social pressure. We’ll deal with these in another article in this series.
Perhaps the most stark evidence of this war is also one of the least visible in the Western world, due to the scarcity of reporting on it by the news media. Terrible violence is being perpetrated against Christians, on an ongoing basis, in many parts of the world. Yet, in proportion to its significance, we hear little news coverage about it. The amount of material on the internet documenting violence against Christians is overwhelming. So much is there that it’s almost impossible to mentally process all of it.
Isis, in an updated propaganda booklet Dabiq, identified Christianity as its primary enemy. We caught fairly brief coverage of the twenty five Coptic Christians massacred by the Egyptian military on Oct. 9, 2011. In 2011, four were killed and dozens injured in a Christian wedding in Egypt.
There was rather short-lived outrage at the kidnapping of hundreds of school aged girls, mostly Christians, in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram. But that group has also killed hundreds more in the predominantly Christian Gwoza area of Borneo state in Nigeria. They’ve destroyed thirty six churches and kidnapped at least eight more girls.
It has been estimated that 100,000 Christians have been murdered across the Middle East in each of the last ten years. In the last decade one half of Iraq’s Christian population has fled the country.
The Pew Forum reported that Christians are suffering persecution in more places today than any other religious group. Between 2006 and 2012 Pew says that Christians were targeted in 151 countries, three fourths of the nations in the world. Similar findings were reported by the Vatican, Newsweek, The Economist and Open Doors, a sixty year old Christian support group. British prime minister David Cameron is reported to have declared, “Our religion is now the most persecuted religion around the world.”
These accounts don’t even begin to cover the tip of the iceberg. In our country, there doesn’t seem to be much notice, or awareness of what’s happening. The world is turning upside down…
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Gary L. Hutchens