Friday, 20 December 2013

Attacking Faith?

It has been recently claimed that 100,000 Christians are killed each year, and that most 'qualify' as martyrs. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, a journalist writing for the BBC news, has questioned the numbers and the whole question of whether they can be called 'martyrs'. She attempts, in true media style, to reduce the numbers by excluding all those killed in civil wars on the grounds that 'they would have been casualties anyway'. She continues by attempting to argue that the presence of Muslim fighters on the 'other side' doesn't prove that the killings are motivated by an 'anti-Christian' movement.

This ignores, as the organisation which produced the figure states, the fact that two-thirds of the world's Christians live in 'non-Christian' countries, many of them actively hostile to Christianity. That covers all Muslim ruled countries, despite the protestations that they 'allow' the practice of other faiths. The truth is that, from the moment a child enters the school system - if they are allowed to - they are under pressure to convert to Islam. As adults they are often excluded from holding any position of authority if it places them over Muslims. The practice of their religion is also proscribed, with rules forbidding them to discuss it with Muslims or to attempt to convert anyone to it. In at least one Middle Eastern country, even the holding of services in churches is structly controlled by the state - and services can be cancelled without notice. In one I visited, Christians met in the hall of a primary school - but their use of it depended on the man who held the keys, and he frequently 'went away' on the days services were due to be held, taking the keys with him.

Throughout the lands once Christian in the Middle East, Christianity is being driven out. Laws forbidding the appointment of Bishops or Patriarchs 'trained outside of the country' are in force - and so are the laws which closed down the training colleges for the priesthood. The current Patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul) will very likely be the last, since Turkey has a law that makes it illegal for this post to be held by anyone from outside Turkey. The lands that were the cradle of Christianity are being purged of Christians. The world knows, the UN knows, the media ignores it.

Something I have noted the government, the Church of England  and the media fail to mention is that Israel has a growing Christian population, while the neighbouring Muslim States - and the 'Palestinian Territories' in particular, have a net exodus of Christians. This is due to several factors, the first is most likely the constant threat from their neighbours, certainly there are economic factors in play, but one cannot ignore the frequent attacks, and murder of Christians. What is not acknowledged by the various supposedly 'neutral' Muslim governments is that their laws against 'blasphemy' and for the 'protection' of Islam are frequently used to obtain the judicial mureder of Christians, their dispossession or to drive them out of communities.

The ignorant journalists are patently unaware of the fact that a Christian reciting any of the Christian Creeds, is committing 'blasphemy' according to the teaching of Islam. This is being used in Egypt, Syria and several other Muslim States by fundamentalists to kill Christians and seize their property. In Pakistan it is not uncommon to find Christians being accused of 'insulting the Prophet' or 'insulting the Quran'. One such case did get a mention, probably because it involved a young woman, but there are many more that don't get a mention at all. In Northern Nigeria Christians are the daily target of Islamic fundamentalists attempting to succeed from Nigeria and who wish to create an Islamic State there. Even in the UK, there is pressure, in predominantly Muslim areas on 'Christians', though this is not always obvious, and certainly not acknowledged.

Sadly it is not just in Muslim countries that the Christian Faith is under attack. 'Inclusive' religious education presents a very biased picture to children of what the major faiths teach and believe. In presenting them all as 'essentially the same', Christianity is reduced. Add in the onslaught of media promotion of the humanist and atheist mantra that all religion is 'just mythology' and you begin to understand the reason that the latest Polls give a picture of a country where those who admit a faith are equalled by those who admit none.

Whether the number of 'Christian Martyrs' per year is 100,000, 1,000 or 1 is, in my view, immaterial. That fact that there are any at all is a disgrace, that it is a situation ignored by politicians, twisted by the politically correct media, and denigrated as 'typical example of the stupidity of religion' by atheists is a scandal.

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