The War on Christians you don’t know about
With a significant amount of coverage in the news recently concerning claims of discrimination against Christians in the United States, one might think that American Christians have it pretty rough.
While it is true that many of us are rightly concerned about churches getting kicked out of NYC public schools, government requirements regarding health care and contraception, and campus groups losing their charters on college campuses because of their beliefs, we must also realize that many of our brothers and sisters in other places are facing far greater challenges.
Even with the appearance of the lack of concern for the rights of Christians in the U.S., the treatment of Christians in my home country is far from the worst in the world. In a recent Newsweek cover story, Ayaan Hirsi Ali sheds some light on what is happening to some Christians in other parts of the world:
“We hear so often about Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants in the Arab Spring’s fight against tyranny. But, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.
The portrayal of Muslims as victims or heroes is at best partially accurate. In recent years the violent oppression of Christian minorities has become the norm in Muslim-majority nations stretching from West Africa and the Middle East to South Asia and Oceania. In some countries it is governments and their agents that have burned churches and imprisoned parishioners. In others, rebel groups and vigilantes have taken matters into their own hands, murdering Christians and driving them from regions where their roots go back centuries.
The media’s reticence on the subject no doubt has several sources. One may be fear of provoking additional violence. Another is most likely the influence of lobbying groups such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation—a kind of United Nations of Islam centered in Saudi Arabia—and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Over the past decade, these and similar groups have been remarkably successful in persuading leading public figures and journalists in the West to think of each and every example of perceived anti-Muslim discrimination as an expression of a systematic and sinister derangement called “Islamophobia”—a term that is meant to elicit the same moral disapproval as xenophobia or homophobia.
But a fair-minded assessment of recent events and trends leads to the conclusion that the scale and severity of Islamophobia pales in comparison with the bloody Christophobia currently coursing through Muslim-majority nations from one end of the globe to the other. The conspiracy of silence surrounding this violent expression of religious intolerance has to stop. Nothing less than the fate of Christianity—and ultimately of all religious minorities—in the Islamic world is at stake.”
While it is true that Christians should be concerned about the mistreatment of any persons no matter what faith they subscribe to, we mustn’t minimize the very real suffering and persecution that Christians around the world face everyday — whether the mainstream media covers it or not. Kudos to Newsweek for bringing further attention to this matter.
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