Many of the world’s journalists and media outlets have, I believed, failed to provide adequate and proper context to understand the news concerning outbreaks of anti-Christian sentiment and persecution around the world. This is why the global war on Christians remains one of the greatest stories never told of the early part of the 21st century.
For instance; are you aware that almost three-quarters (139 nations) of the globe discriminates in one-way or another against Christians? According to the Pew Forum quoting statistics relating to the period, 2006-2010. Simply staggering!
Bringing this right down to its baseline reality, and according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts USA, an average of 100,000 Christians have been killed each year in the past decade.
That works out to be eleven followers of Jesus Christ killed, because of their faith, somewhere on this planet every hour of every day 365 days a year, for ten years. In reality, the ‘blood of the martyrs’ is still the seed of the modern Church and Christian Martyrdom is a growing section within the global Christian community. Some secular writers are even calling it the, ‘premier human rights challenge’ of the modern area. A somewhat silent witness, I would say!
It’s carnage in anyone’s language. Therefore, why is it so under reported, written about or highlighted and brought before the many international forums, courts and human rights commissions around the world; why? It almost seems fashionable to target follows of the man from Galilee with immunity! It’s like they don’t exist; the forgotten faces of faith in every corner of the world. Does any one really care? Some of us get to sit with them in their homes & businesses in the tough & forgotten places where they seek to etch out a livelihood and raise their families. Forgotten in the crowd of faces flashed endlessly across out television screens in homes surrounded by systems of justice, peace and provision; no such luck for many of these poor souls. They can only dream of such a reality.
They will never have the opportunity to reside in places of choice or travel; experience the mixture of culture and the almost unparalleled creativity, today, of exploring his or her own potential in a safe environment like ours. Robbed from fulfilling their creative design, all because, they are Christian! Why are we not alarmed? Even somewhat ashamed! If this can be carried out on the followers of the ‘Way’, loves of Jesus Christ, with immunity, in actual fact, no one is spared.
It’s time to unmask this cover-up and speak out concerning this global silence at the heart of our generation. All sides of the political, educational, business, media and judiciary seem to be impervious to their cry! Even in the West, we seem to be held in check by crippling fear that prevents open and free speech. Fear to act or seen to be choosing sides, and fear of potential repercussions from more powerful vested interest groups courting political and cultural correctness, is the virus like condition tainting the watchmen of our times.
Whatever the motives behind this silence, it’s well past time for it to end. Pope Francis recognised this in remarks he recently made.
‘When I hear that so many Christians in the world are suffering, am I indifferent, or is it as if a member of my own family is suffering?’ the Pope asked his following. ‘Am I open to that brother or that sister in my family who’s giving his or her life for Jesus Christ?’
In 2011, the Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, who leads a church with more than its fair share of new martyrs, phrased the same questions more plaintively during a conference in London. He bluntly asked;
‘Does anybody hear our cry? How many atrocities must we endure before somebody, somewhere, comes to our aid?’
Like in the past, you did not have to be black, to stand up for appertained; nor a communist to give support to those locked into a way of life that used and abused basic freedoms. No! We stood up, in Australia and around the world, for unjust wars like Vietnam, because it was wrong, plain and simple. Today we can stand up for Christians regardless if you are a Christian or not.
Freedom of choice is God’s greatest gift to humanity; He gave it and it’s worthy of all our efforts to keep it that way, regardless of your particular worldview.