I did not fear any repercussions from my co-religionists when I, a Jewish woman, married a man who grew up in the Methodist faith. There were a few murmurs of consternation from the more religious of my friends, but I had no fear of being murdered for marrying outside my faith. If my husband had chosen to convert to Judaism he would not have faced a death penalty. We live in a country where our Judeo-Christian ethos ensures that we are free to marry whom we wish and convert to another religion if we want to. We are also free to follow our religious beliefs without fear of persecution or death. Christians in Islamist countries and territories are not so lucky.
Last year was the most violent for Christians in recent history. Over 7,000 were murdered for their faith, mostly by Islamist governments and terrorists. Open Doors, an American organisation which monitors Christian persecution, keeps a depressing list of these outrageous occurrences. Christians are being slaughtered and ethnically cleansed from their homes in parts of Africa, Iraq and Syria by Islamic fundamentalists. The sheer number of Christians being massacred and oppressed means that many are forgotten.
How many remember the 200 Christian school girls kidnapped by Islamist terrorists, Boko Haram, in northern Nigeria? Most have been enslaved since they were taken from their loved ones in April 2014. This travesty heralded the start of hashtag virtue-signalling, led by Michelle Obama. Her mournful face was seen all over Twitter, above a poster saying #bringbackourgirls. I doubt that the savages of Boko Haram were quaking with fear at the sight of her insipid response. How weak the West must seem to these terrorists.
Islamic fundamentalists also target Christians in other parts of Africa. Al-Shabaab, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, are based in the failed state of Somalia. Their sole purpose is to establish a caliphate by cleansing the land of all non-Muslims, who they accuse of being colonisers. To achieve this aim, Al-Shabaab engages in vicious and deadly attacks against Christians in neighbouring Kenya. In November 2014, Al-Shabaab captured a bus on its way from northern Kenya to Nairobi. These Islamist slaughterers shot to death 28 Christians when they were unable to recite a passage from the Koran.
Self-styled Islamic State (Isis) massacred its way into Mosul in the same year. Christians were told to convert, pay the dhimma tax or be killed. Over half of Mosul’s 60,000 Christians fled. Only a quarter remain in Iraq of the 1.2 million who were there fifteen years ago. Although we all familiar with Isis’s persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria, we must remember our anger and disgust. We have become desensitised by the scale of suffering we are witness to. Our motivation to act is wavering. Voiceless victims are being forgotten as new ones are created each day.
Nine months ago a man called Mohamed Al-Ghaid, a Sudanese Christian, was beheaded by Isis in Libya. Isis claimed his death was revenge for ‘Christian aggressors’ and threatened to kill all Christians. This horrible murder is symbolic of the connection between Islamist terrorists in Africa and the Middle East. As they unify and strengthen, the lives of Christians become more precarious.
It is not only lawless terrorists who are persecuting Christians. Islamic governments, like that in Sudan, afflict terrible damage upon their own Christian population. Sudanese Christians are bombed and harassed daily by their own government as a way to get them to accept Islamic law.
The UN has its own peace-keeping forces in Darfur and South Sudan. But Christians are still at risk of genocide and potential civil war there despite their presence. This is emblematic of the uselessness of the UN. Britain has led the way by leaving the corrupt EU. Maybe now it can lead the way in creating an effective organisation, run by the West, to fight Islamic fundamentalism and save Christians from further persecution. The funding which we are obliged to pay the UN can instead be channelled to help those who truly need it – Christians. The time of pandering to the Islamists and despots who run the UN is over.
Western governments should also come to the aid of countries who ask for help in fighting Islamist terrorists, which France did so effectively in Mali. The monsters of Isis will damn us if we do and will damn us if we don’t. So we might as well fight back instead of quavering behind hashtags.
Christianity in Africa is a mystical mix of Biblical tenets and traditional African belief systems. This unique approach to Christianity will soon be wiped out by Islamist terrorists if we sit by and do nothing. The Left, who are so fond of ‘diversity’, should surely be screeching in protest at the depravity of Christian persecution instead of warning us about Islamophobia. There will be no ‘diversity’ left in Africa and the Middle East if this genocide against Christians continues.
Is the West so paralysed by an extreme form of Stockholm Syndrome that it is prepared to sacrifice Christians on the altar of political correctness? We need to remember our Judeo-Christian roots. The Talmudic saying – ‘He who saves one life saves the world entire’ – is now more applicable than ever before. We cannot allow ourselves to get distracted by the sound and fury of useless idiots who purport to lead us in Church and State. We owe it to our Christian brethren to highlight their plight, truly to fight back and to save their lives. Our own freedom and our souls are at risk if we do not.
Christians are the forgotten victims of Islamic fundamentalism. For too long Western leaders have played semantics with the words persecution and genocide. It’s time to name this catastrophe for what it is. Genocide. Candle light vigils and inane mantras like ‘love will win’ are not particularity effective ways to fight the evils of Islamist terrorism and to save these Christians. While Westerners indulge themselves in making themselves feel good, Boko Haram, Isis and their ilk continue, unabated, to attack and murder the most persecuted people in the world – Christians.