Plenty of Muslim militants. Where's the Church militant?
All hell would break loose if anyone was doing to Muslims throughout the world what Muslim extremists are doing to Christians. But our governments and the Church are largely turning a blind eye
Imagine the brouhaha if non-Muslim countries persecuted Muslims by torching mosques, destroying holy books and relics, kidnapping and murder. All hell would break loose. Embassies would be blown up, diplomats assassinated, and general mayhem.
There would be mass rallies in London, Bradford and other places with large Muslim concentrations. There would be outrage amongst politicians and the religiosi. There would be angry UN denunciations and Security Council resolutions.
All this is happening in Islamic countries; persecution of Christians is rife. It is estimated that 100,000 Christians have been killed, mostly in Islamic countries, each year for the past 10 years.
And what has been the reaction in the Christian world?
Hardly any; an indifferent shrug of the shoulders. The Archbishop of Canterbury had a few words to say about persecution of Christians. It went largely unreported -- in the blink of an eye the whole issue was dropped. Serious media coverage has been almost zero, apart from the devastating revelations in The Commentator (‘Terror of Christian Coptic kids abducted in Egypt’).
The Church of England has merely reverted to its default mode of focusing on fashionable issues that will please the liberal-Left establishment such as homosexual vicars and women bishops. It's up to you what you think about such mattters. But fellow Christians are being mutilated, killed and abducted. What would you prioritise?
The Churches give unstinted and unquestioning support to Palestinians, even when they are lobbing bombs into Israel, and they're indulging in virulent condemnation of Israel over its legitimate self-defence.
Saudi Arabia heads the list of persecuting countries, although this manifests itself largely as repression underpinned by the threat of a death sentence for converts and apostates. Next are Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and the Maldives.
The Arab Spring brought no joy for Christians. They have been leaving Egypt in droves. 5th Century churches have been destroyed. A wedding party in Cairo was bombed, leaving many dead. There have been over 150 kidnappings in a single area. Christians are routinely beaten and their houses destroyed.
The latest outrageous development has been the kidnapping of children for ransom (see link above). This often amounts to more than £100,000, and if not paid the child will be found with its throat cut. Many young Christian girls have been kidnapped, forced to convert and then sold into marriage.
Under Saddam Hussein and Asad, they were generally safe, at least from religious persecution. The Gulf War and the Syrian uprising has put an end to all that. The West let loose Islamic fundamentalism because no thought had been given to the appalling consequences when they were obvious for all to see in 2003.
Neither has it any proposals for a post-Assad Syria nor much to say about the murder or forced conversions of Christians by the rebels trying to replace Assad.
I can find no substantial reference to a leading Western politician condemning Pakistan for sentencing Asia Bibi to death for daring to drink out of a well and thus, as a Christian, polluting it for true believers.
Eighty Christians were killed at worship in Peshawar by a single bomb. Murder, rape and arson are commonly used against Pakistani Christians with the connivance of authority. Foreign aid continues to flow.
Vast numbers of Christians have been killed in Sudan since the the civil war began in the early-mid 1980s. Boko Haram vows to cleanse the whole of Northern Nigeria of "infidels".
So where are the UN resolutions; the protest marches; the trade sanctions; the tourist boycotts?
Only a fool would interpret what I am saying as a call for Christians to emulate the behaviour of their persecutors. But in the sense of a thoroughgoing campaign to help Christians in dire need of support, one is forced to ask: Where is the Church Militant?
Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world
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