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
“Between citizen outrage and Rep. Smith’s threat to bring the matter before the full Congress, the Park Service quickly reversed its new policy,” reports Hawkins. Bureaucrats in the National Park Service wrote to the Congressman that, ‘As of today, the park’s policy has been clarified to state that no permit will be required for baptisms.’”
Fighting back also worked when Florida Atlantic University student Ryan Rotela was told by a professor to write Jesus Christ’s name on a piece of paper and stomp on it.
Rotela defiantly refused and in retaliation, a formal disciplinary action was started against him.
“But, before the system could roll over Rotela, a funny thing happened,” writes Hawkins. “The word about what was happening to him got out, Christians became outraged, and suddenly the university’s tune quickly changed. FAU’s Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Charles Brown, has since issued a groveling formal apology. Next thing you know, the disciplinary action was waved off following a withering public response that included complaints from the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott.”
All of these instances demonstrate that Christians have to push back, says Hawkins.
“Had Christians not risen up, the student who refused to stomp on Jesus would have been the one punished while the professor would have paid no price at all. If there’s a lesson here, it’s that when Christians refuse to back down, we usually win. What that means is if enough Christians stand up for our faith, you’ll be surprised how fast the people in power lose their nerve about going after us.”
In Nigeria — an African nation that is officially 50 percent Christian, 50 percent Muslim, violence against Christians has resulted in the declaration of a state of emergency in three northern states. An extremist group called Boko Haram recently killed least 10 Christians, including a youth leader in Maiduguri and a medical student, a pastor and his son in Yobe. Their church was burned to the ground. One eyewitness told Reuters, “They started gathering students into groups outside, and then they opened fire and killed one group and then moved onto the next group and killed them. It was so terrible.”
In South America, Father Bernardo Echeverry, 62, and Father Hector Fabio Cabrera, 35, who ministered in San Sebastian Roman Catholic parish, Roldanillo village, Valle department, Colombia, were found murdered after confronting drug cartel leaders. Neighbors reported to police two men running from the parish shortly before the priests’ bodies were found in the church rectory. In Medellín, disabled priest Luis Javier Sarrázola Úsuga was found dead, stabbed in the chest more than 30 times. He had operated a charity called Educational Foundation for Peace and Social Freedom, which served the poor in Medellín’s Carambolas neighborhood. Open Doors says that in the last year eight priests have been killed.
So, why doesn’t this make the CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, NBC’s Today Show or even the Fox News 24-hour news cycle?Americans’ silence about the worldwide persecuted church “is inexplicable,” writes Powers in Politico.“American Christians are quite able to organize around issues that concern them. Yet religious persecution appears not to have grabbed their attention.
The recent bloody attack by terrorists on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya is only a glimpse at the worldwide problem, reports the Religious Freedom Coalition.
“During the four-day hostage stand-off by Somali al-Shabaab terrorists, these monsters raped, tortured, beheaded, dismembered, castrated, gouged out eyes, amputated fingers and hung hostages on hooks from the roof” after finding out that they were Christians.
So, “why aren’t Western Jesus-followers more aware or engaged on this issue?” asks Jonathan Merritt, author of A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars.