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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Why is Christian persecution ignored by the West?

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FACING the alarming rise in anti-Christian prejudice and attacks throughout Europe, it is worth asking the question: Why do politicians and the mainstream media ignore this?

This is the acceptable bigotry rarely addressed in the West. Marches are held in European cities to protest against Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, week by week tens of thousands march through our cities in support of Palestine, but when was there a rally in defence of Christians? On rare occasions the mass media will report on atrocities committed against Christians in countries such as North Korea and Nigeria, but are Christians, never mind the wider populace, even aware of the extent of anti-Christian prejudice throughout the West?

There is an extreme reluctance even to discuss Christian persecution. Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a Nigerian teenager, thanked Jesus on social media for helping her with an exam. She was falsely accused by a classmate of blasphemy against Muhammad and was murdered by a mob of Muslim students. In May 2022, a motion to debate the issue of persecution of Christians, in particular the case of Deborah, was dismissed in the European Parliament with 231 votes in favour and 244 against.

One of the most serious cases of Christian persecution and ethnic cleansing in Europe has taken place against the ethnic Armenian Christian enclave of the Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) region within Muslim Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan established an illegal blockade of the remaining Armenian-controlled areas, and in September 2023 launched a military offensive. 120,000 Armenian Christians were displaced when Azerbaijan seized the territory, this involved the widespread destruction of cultural and religious heritage belonging to the world’s oldest Christian nation. The region has witnessed what is arguably the most serious ethnic cleansing event of the 21st century. Still, it remains largely overlooked by media in the West.

In 2021 the French Ministry of the Interior released a report about crimes classified as anti-religious in France. In all, there were 1,659 such acts of which 857 were categorised as anti-Christian. Another 589 were logged as anti-Semitic and 213 as anti-Muslim. Despite this, authorities in France, as they are throughout the West, are mainly concerned with what they see as a rise of Islamophobia.

According to the latest Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe annual report, 748 anti-Christian hate crimes were committed in Europe last year, 38 of which were violent physical attacks and three were murders. The report noted that ‘there had been a surge of clear extremism-motivated attacks’. The majority of these attacks were committed by groups with far-left, satanic, Islamic, feminist or LGBT affiliations.

France alone reported 105 anti-Christian arson attacks last year, an increase of 45 on 2021. These have continued in 2023: in a single January week three churches in Paris were set ablaze. Churches which have withstood a violent revolution and three German military invasions plus civil disturbances suddenly seem prone to combustion.

Europe has seen ‘hate speech’ legislation weaponised against Christians. Numerous street preachers have been arrested in the UK for allegedly causing distress to those who disagree with Christian teachings, and Finnish parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen was charged with ‘war crimes and crimes against humanity’ for quoting Scripture.

Why the silence concerning persecuted Christians? There are economic reasons for downplaying or ignoring attacks on Christians. The West needs Azerbaijani oil and doesn’t want to upset them. Pandemic-related economic challenges plus energy shortages caused by the war in Ukraine combined with international competition in trade have resulted in selective blindness and deafness among Western leaders. Governments, including that of the UK, which pride themselves on being modern liberal standard-bearers cynically ignore internationally recognised standards of human rights when it comes to Christians.

China’s Marxist ideologues and Hindu nationalists in India not only reject Christianity but try to exclude Christians from the public sphere for ideological reasons. Despite superficial similarities Islam is inimically opposed to Christianity and tries to suppress it wherever it has control. Christians have been forced to flee their historic homelands in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and the Holy Land itself. In the early twentieth century Christians constituted 13 per cent of the region’s population: they now comprise only 5 per cent and shrinking.

But what about progressives in the West who have been brought up in and reaped the benefits of a civilisation built on Christian principles? Why should they oppose Christianity and support Islam, which is fundamentally against much of the progressive agenda?

Progressives and Islam share a desire to bring down the Western culture which emerged from Christianity. The great majority of Muslims are non-white, and racist definitions are vitally important to the supposedly non-racist Left. Islam is viewed as one of the global underdogs, unpolluted by power. On the other hand Christians deserve no sympathy for theirs is the religion of the West marked by imperialism and oppression. Christian victimhood is invisible to the progressive worldview, even though by the Left’s definition the majority of Christians are non-white. In the liberal West’s hierarchy of oppression, Christians are seen by politicians, media and influencers as being at the bottom of the pile.

The indifference of the right is apparently paradoxical: they claim to uphold the Christian heritage of the West, especially against the encroachment of Islam, yet they have no interest in Christianity. The right despise liberal Christianity as a spineless enabler of the liberal status quo, and sees any return to an authentic Christianity as a threat to their libertarian amorality. Placing restrictions on human behaviour does not go down well on the right.

Christianity is isolated, and those opposed to Christianity see with far greater clarity than most Christians that the one belief system able to resist and eventually overcome their desire to replace the West is biblical Christianity. This is precisely why they are silent about bigotry against Christians: they wish to obliterate Christianity and the threat it represents to their agenda.

This article appeared on A Grain of Sand and is republished by kind permission.

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Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack
Dr Campbell Campbell-Jackhttp://www.agrainofsand.co.uk/
Campbell is a retired Presbyterian minister who lives in Stirlingshire. He blogs at A Grain of Sand.

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