Archive for the ‘Persecution of Christians’ Category

Christianity and the intolerance of the liberal state
January 25, 2014

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., archbishop of Philadelphia, made numerous, important observations in the course of a homily delivered at the National Shrine for the 41st March for Life.  He particularly emphasised the counter-cultural nature of Christianity.  Against that he observed the deepening intolerance of the liberal state.  And he concluded thus :

If Jesus is the lord of the sabbath, he is also the lord of history.  And sooner or later, despite the weaknesses of his friends and the strengths of his enemies, his will will be done—whether the Pharisees and Herodians of our day approve of it or not.

Yet it remains the historical reality that Christianity has always depended to some degree, however modest, upon the tolerance of the state.  That has implications for Christians, especially if pro-life.  Nothing in the present–or for some time–has indicated that Christianity will survive as states become ever more intolerant.  One would like to hope otherwise but the evidence is, well, intolerant.


Update: There is one further observation to make.  I wrote this brief post because although I subscribe to First Things, I could not comment upon Dr. Chaput’s homily without logging-in in one of four ways (logging-in to the journal did not suffice).  I refuse to have dealings with any of the proffered options, at least three of which are doubtless hostile to the pro-lifers (what ‘Disqus’ refers to I do not know).



Christophobia, never herd of it—Oz
September 28, 2011

In Australia much glee at the courtroom defeat of columnist and blogger Andrew Bolt on the basis of provisions of the Racial Hatred Act 1995. These, Gary Johns of the IPA recalls, “were strongly opposed by the Coalition on the grounds that it might impinge free speech”. And so, apparently, it has proved.

Meanwhile, as you might say, out in the real world, regimes surely the envy of the nascent totalitarianism of the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens, show them how to do it properly. Thus:

An Iranian pastor who has refused to renounce his Christian faith faces execution as early as Wednesday after his sentence was upheld by an Iranian court.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who maintains he has never been a Muslim as an adult, has Islamic ancestry and therefore must recant his faith in Jesus Christ, the 11th branch of Iran’s Gilan Provincial Court ruled. Iran’s Supreme Court had ordered the trial court to determine whether Nadarkhani had been a Muslim prior to converting to Christianity. . . .

Nadarkhani is the latest Christian cleric to be imprisoned in Iran for his religious beliefs. According to Elam Ministries, a United Kingdom-based organization that serves Christian churches in Iran, there was a significant increase in the number of Christians arrested solely for practicing their faith between June 2010 and January 2011. A total of 202 arrests occurred during that six-month period, including 33 people who remained in prison as of January, Elam reported. . . .

Father Jonathan Morris, a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of New York and an analyst for Fox News Channel, said Nadarkhani’s case is “unmistakable evidence” that Iran is executing Christians simply because they refuse to become Muslims.

Morris continued: “Will President Obama, and the free world, allow the United Nations to continue in its cowardly silence on this matter?”

The answer to that is a resounding “Yes”. So much behaviour occurs of the iranian type, both judicial and extra-judicial, and all of it tolerated by the mostly dead West whose own contempt for the person is revealed day by day in manic technocracy and cultural oblivion. Free speech in Australia: Bolt never had a chance, nor any one who follows.

Update: From Fresno, California: Teacher penalizes students for saying “bless you”:

A Northern California teacher says he doesn’t want to hear a common courtesy in his classroom.

He’s even lowering students’ grades if they say “bless you” after someone sneezes.

Steve Cuckovich says the practice is disrespectful and disruptive. He’s banned saying “bless you” in his high school health class in Vacaville.

He even knocked 25 points from one student’s grade for saying the phrase in class.

Cuckovich says the policy has nothing to do with religion, but says the phrase is just a outdated practice and disrupts class time.

“When you sneezed in the old days, they thought you were dispelling evil spirits out of your body,” Cuckovich said. “So they were saying, ‘god bless you’ for getting rid of evil spirits. But today, I said what you’re doing doesn’t really make any sense anymore.”

After parents complained about students losing points for saying “bless you”, Cuckovich says he decided to stop the practice.

However, the teacher says he will just find another way to discipline students for saying “bless you” in class.

“Cowardly silence” has its roots in many things, not least the asinine behaviour of some school teachers.

The longer, the deeper
June 10, 2011

This from the Barnabas Fund:

An influential Islamic political party has called for Pakistan’s Supreme Court to ban the Bible describing it as “pornographic”, “blasphemous”, and offensive to Muslims.

A leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam or the JUI-S party, Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi, made the appeal at a press conference at a mosque in Lahore on 30 May. The JUI party, whose name means “an Assembly of Islamic Clergy”, is represented in the lower house of Pakistan’s parliament.

Nor is this persecution of Christians confined to Pakistan: it is rife throughout the Islamic world. Evidence abounds of a major intersection for Christianity in western Asia and northern Africa. This from Iraq (again courtesy of the Barnabas Fund):

The Christian community in Iraq is living in fear following the brutal murder of another believer. . . .

Christians in Iraq are said to be living in tension and fear as their community continues to be targeted by kidnappers and murderers. A senior Iraqi Church leader said that since Jacob’s death, more Christians had said that they wanted to emigrate, but that this was difficult because of the political crisis and uncertainty in neighbouring countries such as Syria, where Christians have historically been welcomed as refugees.

The issue is very alive in Indonesia, too. Benedict Rogers is East Asia Team Leader at Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a human rights organization based in London. In the  Wall Street Journal, 8 June 2011,  he asked: “Could Indonesia ‘Pakistanize’?” He concentrated less on Christians than on “Indonesia’s Ahmadiyya community, a Muslim sect regarded by other Muslims as heretical”. But the point was the same.

The rise of militant Islam has caused some in Indonesia to warn of “Pakistanization.” As a term to describe Indonesia today it is an exaggeration, but as a warning of what may come if action is not taken, it is valid. Pakistan’s path to extremism accelerated when the Ahmadiyya were banned in 1984; their treatment is a barometer of tolerance in a Muslim society.



More than cattle treated appallingly
May 31, 2011

Australian politicians could not get on the bandwagon fast enough regarding apparently appalling treatment of cattle in Indonesian slaughter-yards. Yet how many have taken the least interest in the relentless persecution of Christians throughout much of the world, especially that which is primarily Islamic. Instead they, like the dismal Australian and other media thrill over the use of western technologies such as Facebook for the overthrow of regimes, legitimate or otherwise. They don’t really care: it’s the thrill of defiance that holds their attention, assuming it’s not from climate change sceptics. The Barnabas Fund tells of the situations more as they are than what western media would have us believe. it makes for unhappy reading but better that than a drenching of falsehood and wishful thinking.