Are All These Christians' Complaints of Religious Discrimination Just So Much Empty Whining?
Should we just shrug off the alarming daily reports of persecution of people who follow Jesus? After all, He warned His followers that they would be hated, right?
BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
In war-torn Syria, “Christians are under attack by Islamist rebels and fear extinction,” reports Agence France Presse. “This month, rebels overran the historic Christian town of Maalula, where many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus,” writes Powers. “The AFP reported that a resident of Maalula called her fiancé’s cell and was told by member of the Free Syrian Army that they gave him a chance to convert to Islam and he refused. So they slit his throat.”
Two-thirds of Iraq’s Christians have vanished from the country, reports Nina Shea, an international human-rights lawyer, in testimony before Congress regarding the fate of Iraqi Christians after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Thousands “have either been murdered or fled in fear for their lives,” Shea told Congress.
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“On a single day in July 2009, seven churches were bombed in Baghdad. The archbishop of Mosul was kidnapped and killed. A bus convoy of Christian students was violently assaulted.” Christians “have been raped, tortured, kidnapped, beheaded, and evicted from their homes.” “two-thirds of whom have vanished from the country.”
It’s not just Christians, either. Over 850,000 Jews have been expelled from Muslim countries over the last 50 years, writes Lela Gilbert, author of the book Saturday People, Sunday People. The title of her book comes from an Islamist slogan, “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People,” which means “first we kill the Jews, then we kill the Christians.”
Gilbert wrote recently that her Jewish friends and neighbors in Israel “are shocked but not entirely surprised” by the attacks on Christians in the Middle East. “They are rather puzzled, however, by what appears to be a lack of anxiety, action, or advocacy on the part of Western Christians” and the disinterest of the media.
“It’s no surprise that Jews seem to understand the gravity of the situation the best,” notes Powers in the Daily Beast. “In December 2011, Britain’s chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, addressed Parliament saying, ‘I have followed the fate of Christians in the Middle East for years, appalled at what is happening, surprised and distressed that it is not more widely known.
“‘It was Martin Luther King who said, In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,’” said Sacks. “That is why I felt I could not be silent today.’”
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