Prince Charles - persecution2
Christian Persecution

Prince Charles: Defender of faith, freedom and religious liberty

 

“It is an indescribable tragedy that Christianity is now under such threat in the Middle East,” says the Prince of Wales in a video message to mark the launch of the Religious Freedom in the World Report 2014, produced by Aid to the Church in Need. In setting out a comprehensive assessment on the threats to religious liberty in 196 countries, the Report reiterates what we already know: Christians are the most persecuted group in the world today, and the leading persecutors are Muslims. It is disagreeably stark – even offensive – when expressed so succinctly. But, unlike President Barack Obama, the ostensible leader of the free world, Prince Charles isn’t sheepish about apportioning blame to the core religious ideology which is intent on eradicating Christianity from the land of its birth; nor is he tight-lipped about the inexcusable silence of many Muslim leaders. Here’s a verbatim transcript (which differs slightly from media versions):

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you will forgive me not being with you in person as you gather together for the release of this most comprehensive report on religious freedom, compiled by the international charity Aid to the Church in Need. The horrendous and heartbreaking events in Iraq and Syria have brought the subject of religious freedom and persecution to the forefront of the world’s news.

We have learned with mounting despair of the expulsion of Christians, Muslims and Yazidis from towns and cities that their ancestors have occupied for centuries. Sadly, incidents of violence in Iraq and Syria are not isolated. They are found throughout some, though not all, of the Middle East; in some African nations; and in many countries across Asia.

Thankfully, despite this bleak picture, there are inspirational people of different faiths joining together to overcome division and hatred. And, if I might say so, it is a well established principle of interfaith dialogue that we judge each other by the best expression of our faith rather than the worst.

Over several decades, I have been working to encourage dialogue and greater understanding between different faith traditions. Indeed, last December, I hosted a reception at Clarence House in response to the growing plight of Christians threatened by persecution in the Middle East. Having listened to their concerns, I did my best to highlight the gravity of the crisis. In February, during a visit to the Middle East, I attended an inter-faith dialogue in Qatar which included key Christian and Muslim scholars and clergy during which we discussed the subject of the Christian-Muslim relationship.

It is an indescribable tragedy that Christianity is now under such threat in the Middle East – an area where Christians have lived for 2,000 years and across which Islam spread in 700AD with people of different faiths living together peaceably for centuries.

It seems to me that our future as a free society – both here in Britain and throughout the world – depends on recognising the crucial role played by people of faith. And, of course, religious faith is all the more convincing to those outside the faith when it is expressed with humility and compassion, giving space to others whatever their beliefs.

With this in mind I would like to suggest several tangible courses of action that I believe might be helpful. First and foremost, rather than remaining silent, faith leaders have it seems to me a responsibility it seems to me to ensure people within their own tradition respect people from other faith traditions. We have yet to see the full potential of faith communities working together. However, to do this effectively, with a truly fraternal approach, requires not only maturity in one’s own faith but also an essential humility.

I believe that to speak to another faith tradition and to defend those who follow it, it is profoundly helpful to speak from the core of one’s own spiritual experience. My own Christian faith has enabled me to speak to and to listen to people from other traditions including Islam and, as Pope Francis has recently said, such interfaith dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world and should be seen as a duty for all Christians, as well as for believers from other religious communities.

Such efforts aimed at peace and mediation are possible. The report from Aid to the Church in Need highlights the example of a Muslim Imam, a Catholic Archbishop and a Protestant Minister coming together to form an inter-religious peace group in the Central African Republic. These seeds of hope can germinate even in nations and regions torn apart by war and violence.

Secondly, it is essential that governments honour their duty to uphold the right of people to practise their faith. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clear in stating that this right includes the freedom to change one’s religion or belief. Yet even in the West this right is often challenged. Sadly, in many other countries, an absence of freedom to determine one’s own faith is woven into the laws and customs of the nation.

However, in seeking to persuade others of our point of view, it is essential that we all take steps to understand the values and beliefs of others. It is for this reason that I can only commend a recent initiative by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to establish an in-house training programme aimed at British diplomats on the subject of religion and foreign policy.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, we are living in a world in which we are frequently presented with so many profoundly disheartening news stories, yet it is important that, on a personal level, we do not lose hope. And this is why I was encouraged to see the story of Meriam Ibrahim feature in this report. Imprisoned in Sudan, pregnant, and facing a death sentence for reportedly converting to Christianity, Meriam remained true to her beliefs.

It is cases such as that of Meriam, who was eventually released, that remind us of St Paul’s words, so relevant to all of those enduring persecution for their faith, that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us.

So, my heart goes out to all those around the world, but especially at this time in the East – whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or Hindu – who are so brutally persecuted solely for the faith they profess. I pray, too, that all people in communities will engage in building respect and tolerance, for without these, the very freedom on which society is built is threatened with destruction.

It reads like a pastoral letter – a New Testament exhortation for believers to endure their present sufferings because the Day of Salvation is near. Building bridges across the faiths is a laudable objective: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. It is good and right to acknowledge all those who work tirelessly for peace, reconciliation and mutual understanding, of which the Prince of Wales is rapidly becoming a leading and increasingly influential figure.

Some will dismiss this message as being of little political consequence: mere words from a plaintive prince in search of a role. But words are not inadequate when they come from the lips of the future Defender of the Faith: if Prince Charles were to become as active in the pursuit of religious liberty as he has been tireless and tenacious in the defence of architectural aesthetics, the natural environmental and alternative medicine, he will rise to be leader of the religiously free world – because no one else seems to want the job. So don’t mock or scorn: please pray for him. He may have no armed divisions at his literal command, but he considers theology and wrestles with philosophy, and grasps the spiritual reality that we battle not against flesh and blood but jihadi principalities and powers. And they will never be defeated by bombs and bullets, but by the words that proceed out of the mouth of God.

  • bluedog

    Well said, that man – HRH Prince of Wales. As the future Governor of the CofE and Fid. Def., the Prince of Wales is indeed entitled to speak his mind on the matter of religion, and should continue to do so. Let us hope that his words will bring understanding to those whose obsession with pluralism blinds them to evil.

  • Methusalem

    It’s good to hear the Prince worry about the fate of Christians in Islamic countries — but that he is often cuddling with those persecutor Arabs makes all his statements in this regard untrustworthy. Just February 2014 prince Charles took part in Saudi Arabian sword dance while Christians in that part of the world were exterminated.

  • dannybhoy

    Well said Sir!
    Prince Charles has done what some ahem! notable Christian figures have failed to do, and pointed out our peaceful Muslim’s responsibility to come out and condemn the persecution and murder of Christians and other minorities in Islamic nations; (all the while they enjoy the benefits and opportunities afforded them in this Christian nation.) Italics mine.
    That he has studied Islam and sought to see the good in it is to his credit, and we Christians should applaud his forthright defence of Christians across the world.
    There is yet hope for the Royal Family!

    • Coniston

      The Prince talked of “an area where Christians have lived for 2,000 years and across which Islam spread in 700AD with people of different faiths living together peaceably for centuries”. Peacefully? Non-muslims were distinctly second class at the very best, and often far, far worse.

      • dannybhoy

        I agree, but I think Prince Charles has a good grasp of diplomacy. He still deserves our respect for speaking out.
        As I said earlier no other establishment figure has..
        Incidentally there is a book called The Dove Flyer by Eli Emir, about the Jewish community in Bagdhad before they were expelled to Israel in 1950. It describes the daily life of a group tolerated by their hosts and without any real power or representation.

  • Martin

    The problem is that ‘faith’ is not the solution. After all, even the Atheist has faith in his own opinion. The question is who the faith is in.

  • Philip___

    It is good he said this.
    Perhaps he could maintain his constitutional requirement to defend “the” faith (i.e., the established reformed protestant faith), but adding a pledge of a more general commitment to defend freedom of (any) faith, thus including his wish to be “defender of faith”

  • carl jacobs

    So this would never actually be mistaken for an Epistle by Paul. It is too invested in the concept of disembodied faith. As in ‘people of faith.’ That’s an interesting phrase. It focuses the concept of faith on man instead of on the object of man’s faith. In what do we place our faith? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we exercise faith. The goodness and validity of faith therefore shifts from the object of the faith to the sincerity of the believer. Faith doesn’t have to be focused on something real. It simply has to illuminate the character of the man. This is an anthropocentric focus that makes the truth claims of the faith system irrelevant. That’s why people speak of ‘faith traditions.’ Traditions don’t necessarily make truth claims. They can happily coexist with other faith traditions. If we focus on ‘faith’ instead of faith’s object, then we can all safely inhabit a pluralistic universe where no one has to be wrong.

    Which is how you know that Paul would never have written this address.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Prince Charles does not claim to be an apostle. He is the heir to the throne and as such is doing what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:20.

      Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

      • carl jacobs

        Royinsouthwest

        I was referring to this statement by the author of the post.

        It reads like a pastoral letter – a New Testament exhortation for believers to endure their present sufferings because the Day of Salvation is near

        No, it doesn’t. It reads like a modern day paean to religion as a manifestation of man’s spiritual character instead of religion as a reflection of man’s relationship with the Living God.

        • dannybhoy

          Also true.

  • Religious freedom and interfaith dialogue should be directed by Christians at spreading the Gospel.

    “Thou believest that there is only one God; that is well enough, but then, so do the devils, and the devils shrink from him in terror.”
    (James 2:

    • dannybhoy

      The idea that all religions are equal is one endorsed by the Pink and Fluffy Brigade and the Freemasons, both liberally represented within the Cof E, I’m afraid.
      It may be that in our own generation some of us may be called upon as martyrs for our faith, but the real issue is that in this blessed land that has been so affected by the Gospel we must repeat must, stand up and fight against anything and everything that would seek to overthrow the supremacy of Christianity and our right to worship Him, and Him alone.

      Our politicians will not do it. Our social engineers will not do it. Nor the enemies of our Faith.They will take the easy way, the cowardly way of appeasement or attrition.
      Only God’s people of whatever background and practice have the right to call upon His grace and mercy to forgive and heal our land.

      • The Evangelist John warns us against deception:

        “Many false teachers have appeared in the world, who will not acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in human flesh; here is the deceiver you were warned against, here is Antichrist.”

        (2 John 1:7)

        What Christians must guard against is that the belief in a ‘supreme being’ – any one will do – is acceptable.
        Have a look in your hospital chapel next time you’re there. If its anything like Jack’s, then it will contain a mishmash of diverse religious symbols all in the one room. Jack finds the experience of visiting it disturbing and far from comforting.

        • dannybhoy

          I find hospitals disagreeable places anyway, but I know what you mean.
          All this has come about because of the State’s decision to abandon, even denigrate our Christian tradition and wipe out all traces for fear of offending those of other faiths who came here knowing that it is/was a Christian nation.
          We cannot ever trust politicians of no faith to stand up for Christian values. We have to do that ourselves.

          • The Chapels in hospitals should all be Christian only.

          • dannybhoy

            I so agree.

          • …. with a side room for those of all faiths and none.

          • sarky

            Sorry but I forgot only christians get sick!!!

          • Rather than turn Christian chapels into syncretic and idolatrous places they should be preserved as centres for Christian prayer. This is a Christian nation. If need be, and to remain ‘politically correct’ and ‘diverse’, have an alternative centre for those of other faiths or none.

          • avi barzel

            Rather than turn Christian chapels into syncretic and idolatrous places they should be preserved as centres for Christian prayer.
            I don’t understand your reasoning here, Jack. Hospital or airport chapels are really nothing more than rooms provided as a courtesy to patients or passengers into which clergy from all sorts of denominations, Christian and other, can wheel in their paraphernalia for a specific service. The rest of the time, they just remain as quiet rooms, where anyone can escape the din and bustle, the phones and the announcement systems and pray or just stare into space and chill. Are you suggesting publicly funded institutions must provide fully furnished chapels for Christians only? And which Christians? My guess is that in England this would be for Anglicans only, given that the C of E is, well, the C of E. I’m guessing that means you, Uncle Brian, Albert and the Inspector will have to hide in closets and priest holes?

            Hospitals funded even partially by particular religions will, of course sponsor permanent chapels dedicated and paid for by a specific faith group. Thus, St Joseph’s in Toronto has a permanent and consecrated Catholic chapel and Mt Sinai has a synagogue with a Torah ark and a bimah. Both hospitals provide regular chapels…pleasantly appointed quiet rooms…to members of other religions or denominations. You can have non-kosher food at Mt Sinai, which is what is usually provided unless you specify kosher, or halal, or vegan or whatever Food Services can arrange for within reason. You can hang as many crucifixes or icons in your room there as you want as long as you don’t damage the walls or interfere with the medical equipment and, as I discovered from a brief stay at St Joe’s, I can have the crucifix temporarily removed and a kosher menu brought in within hours and the nice priests and sisters will contact a rabbi on their list should I ask for one. What’s wrong with such an arrangement?

          • Good day, Avi.

            Such arrangements are good … nothing wrong with them. The faiths are recognised as distinct and respected.

            Jack was referencing the approach adopted at his own local hospital. There one finds an ‘altar’ with icons from all world religions displayed, including some weird and strange objects. On the floor there is a compass mapping out East whilst the ‘altar’ faces North. The seats are all skewed, this way and that. It’s an uncomfortable and terribly disjointed place and not one for quiet reflection at all. Its a feng shui nightmare. Indeed, the nearby toilet has a more spiritual feel to it !

            Britain is a Christian nation. Surely its institutions should reflect this? What unites Christians is greater than that which divides us. Is a place without distraction and a Cross and Bible too much to ask for? And, perhaps, another room for all the paraphernalia from other faiths.

            Out of interest, what do the hospitals in Israel do?

          • avi barzel

            The board at your local hospital needs to be replaced, Jack. Anyone who thinks any Christian, Muslim or Jew would conduct a service in that pantheon of idols is either a numpty, or chasing away those religions and making space for the New Age wingnuts was the plan all along. Nuts.
            Nevertheless, I’m still puzzled over how you think such a major change as enforcing and funding Christian chapels without major legislative or constitutional revolutions would be doable. While the C of E may understandably enjoy certain privileges, all modern secular states have, almost by definition, gone out of their way to do exactly the opposite; to limit, not prop-up ecclesiastic authority. I imagine by a “Christian state” you mean any state whose population is predominantly Christian. In that case, I don’t see a problem; the earnest Christians and others need to either change their governments, or instead of dreaming of imagined good old times, to put up funds and make suitable arrangements with institutions on individual basis for the provision of the kind of religious services they want to offer to a largely indifferent majority. Essentially, what we now have in most democracies.
            Good question about Israeli hospitals. Fortunately, never had to avail my self of one and as a visitor didn’t notice their arrangements. Knowing that Israeli hospitals are managed by Christian and Muslim, as well as Jewish staff and judging by the lack of kvetching on this issue from the usual complainers, I imagine everyone is reasonably happy.

          • CliveM

            Hi Avi

            Hope you don’t feel I’m still after your whisky!

            Thing is we are talking the NHS, paid for by all tax payers, secular, Christian, Jew, Muslim etc

            Indeed in at least some of the cases the Padre is paid for by the NHS. In such circumstances it would be hard to justify a purely Christian space. The only realistic options for Christians (or other faiths) is either to put up with the mish mash as it is, or remove ourselves completely.

          • avi barzel

            Hi Clive, you can go after my whisky…have all the Jameson’s and Crown Royal you want…but stay away from my single malt scotch!

            Well, you have forgotten the third option; denominational sponsorships of specific chapels and on-site clergy. Works rather well. If I wasn’t bothered by a stay in a Catholic hospital with impressive religious statuary and stained glass windows all over the place (and gorgeous Gothic Revival stone tracery), especially since I got my kosher meals from an amazing local institutional catering service, so I can’t imagine how an absence of religious symbols in the public spaces could be a problem. Sure, one can use private hospitals if funds and medical circumstances allow, but in many cases one’s better off in the large teaching hospitals with topnotch specialists and labs. Even if the clergy may take an hour to arrive at the bedside, and the chapel has the feel of a bland board room.

          • CliveM

            In a whisper – I don’t like whisky. Don’t tell, no one will believe I’m Scottish! The inspector knows, I think I lost all remaining credibility with him then!!

            With regards Hospital Chapels, your 3rd way would be an option and actually I think you are right it would be the best option and probably the most honest.

          • avi barzel

            Wish I could take credit, but at least in Canada this arrangement has worked quite well for decades.

          • Avi
            No services are held in the room Jack is referring to. It wouldn’t be big enough. It is supposed to be ‘space’ for spiritual ‘nourishment’ according to the sign outside.

            Jack may take some photos next time he is there to demonstrate just how God awful a place it is.

          • avi barzel

            Sounds like a neat place for stoned people to trip out in, though. And it amused you, so value it as a sort of monument to post-Modern syncretism. Yes, photos would be good for a chuckle.

            As for what’s next, it’s for your electorate to decide, I suppose. Curiously unbeknownst to many native Canadians, Canada’s head of State is Her Majesty. However, Canada has no formally recognized state religion and nominally Catholic Quebec severely limited its once dictatorial Church after the Quiet Revolution, and predominantly Protestant Ontario still funds only Catholic separate schools in an antiquated and absurdly preferential arrangement. Most Jews send their kids to private Jewish Schools, wealthy WASPS to the various ivy-covered private “academies” …all starting ar thirty thou per head and up…and the Filipino care takers who look after the spoiled offspring of both groups send their kids to even better schools paid entirely by everyone’s taxes. We all grumble around tuition payment time, but no one has seriously made a federal case out of the issue, much less taken out the flintlocks and put up barricades.

          • “Stoned” … now you mention it, one ‘faith’ group appears to be left out – Rastafari.

            I and I must mention to Babylon absence of de spiritual smoke for the bredren when I’s next in de hood.

          • DanJ0

            “I imagine by a “Christian state” you mean any state whose population is predominantly Christian.”

            Well, that rules out the UK then.

          • sarky

            This is a christian nation only in name. Do you really think hospitals have room or resources to set up another room??? Or do you think we should sack a couple of nurses to pander to your intolerance? ???

          • Well, the NHS could close down the abortion clinics to start with. The £120m saved would go a long way to fund respectful Christian chapels.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            I want you to know just how unhappy I am that you have put me in the position of agreeing with sarky. This should not be, Jack. You need to be more discerning in the future. Here I was so nice to you on Sunday, And this is how you repay me.

          • Who could reasonably disagree with the proposition that non-Christians experience illness?

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            CSKA moscow could disagree with the proposition that non-Christians experience illness?

          • Carl

            No, they would also agree with Sarky.

            Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan probably didn’t feel too grand last night.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            This attitude you possess towards Freemasonry. It’s somewhat … paranoid. Black helicopter/Knights Templar stuff. There are Masonic symbols on US money but to say it goes further than that is simply not accurate. Is this some kind of European thing? I notice darks hints of freemasonry on British TV shows all the time.

            carl

          • Carl
            As the Chinese say: “The Fish is the last to see the Water”.

          • avi barzel

            Not to mention the absurdity of having a Yankee Calvinist and a Jewish Canuck to explain English principles of religious liberty and tolerance to a Brit in the UK.

          • Happy Jack is not given to conspiracy theories but he does wonder about the influence of Freemasonry on the elite of this nation and more generally in the West.

          • dannybhoy

            Freemasonry is rather like a fifth column working away in the background, doing favours for each other and helping a brother to get on.
            In some ways admirable, in other ways insidious.
            Another group I have heard people expressing concerns about is Common Purpose. You would have to do a bit of Googling to find out what those reservations are..
            I think conspiracy theories can lead one into fear and spiritual darkness.

          • Freemasonry is much more than that, Danny.

          • dannybhoy

            (With apologies to Frasier..)
            “Go ahead HJ
            I’mmm listening..!

          • Much too dangerous on an open forum …. they do bad things to peo ……….. aaaarrrggghhhhhh

          • dannybhoy

            !!! 🙂

  • Busy Mum

    “It seems to me that our future as a free society….” With all due respect, Your Highness, you are labouring under the delusion that you and your future subjects are living in a free society.

  • It’s good that Prince Charles speaks out like this. Some of his
    recommendations and remedies will be beneficial but, Islam can NEVER
    be described as equal to Christianity. I can see that he is trying
    to unite here, but unless Islam becomes violence free it will never
    come anywhere near being equal to Christianity. I am sure that one
    can pray to Allah without all the barbaric activities and violence attached to
    it.

    • DanJ0

      He isn’t saying Islam and Christianity are equal, he’s advocating religious freedom and associated rights for both.

      • dannybhoy

        The problem there is though that Islam does not believe in equality if religion. It doesn’t even tolerate those within the faith whose views are in any way suspect.
        Again one has to go back in history to our Middle Ages and see how badly Christians behaved towards each other: and we had no real excuses as the BIble told us to love, not torture each other..

        • DanJ0

          Hence why the State needs to be secular and to guarantee those rights and freedoms.

          • dannybhoy

            You mean like France?

          • DanJ0

            Not really. France has a tradition of a certain type of secularism because of its specific history. It also has social issues beyond immigration because of its ex-colonial relationship with North Africa.

          • “France has a tradition of a certain type of secularism because of its specific history.”

            Yep …. that tradition is called The Reign of Terror. It saw the massacre of priests and the destruction of churches across France. Even went so far as to attempt to replace the Church with civic festivals and the Cult of Reason.

      • I know that he is indirectly saying Islam has to start to be tolerant
        of other religions and none. It’s the Christians that need the
        freedoms and rights though, and as long as Islam advocates violence,
        intolerance and barbarity they can not ever be treated as equals.
        Their freedoms and rights should be curtailed by prohibition of
        acting out what is in the Quran. They can read it and study it but
        it should be against the law to propagate it and there should be the
        risk of arrest and a jail sentence for enacting out anything it
        advocates that is contra to our society norms. You know the Zaki
        Naik’s going round the Universities promoting the Quran advocating
        men beat their wives if they disobeyed them and all the other 7th
        century rubbish, should be arrested and fined heavily or jailed for advocating violence.

        • DanJ0

          What you are saying of course is that Muslins should not have a right to freedom of religion etc. That’s a difficult position to hold because some Muslims can and are saying much the same thing about Christians in the Middle East.

          • CliveM

            DanJo

            You make a study of the law. If I advocated beating wives, would I be breaking any current laws?

          • DanJ0

            Probably not.

          • CliveM

            Thanks – curious so if I advocate beating a minority I will be picked up for a hate crime, advocate beating my wife and nothing can be done.

            It’s a strange old world!

          • DanJ0

            I doubt even advocating beating up minorities is breaking the law … unless it’s in front of a crowd of people or published to incite hatred. Luckily, as a Christian, you’re protected under our strange and uncomfortable hate crime law.

            That said, a hate crime actually requires a crime to have been committed first. The law makes some things offences in their own right, and also provides a means for some crimes to be treated as aggravated based on motivation.

            No doubt some Muslims will claim that disciplining one’s wife is a religious right as it’s in the Qur’an and god’s law trumps man-made law. How do we argue against that? Afterall, I see something similar often enough here.

          • CliveM

            Well I would say tough, the advocating of violence is not acceptable and I don’t care if this impinges on your believed religious freedom.

            I believe in reasonable accommodation, but that doesn’t mean we accommodate violence. It would be one of those instances where I would be happy to be un- Liberal.

            With regards Christians advocating civil disobedience (let’s say for Sunday observance) that’s fine. After all civil disobedience has a long history in this country. If some were to advocate violence, beating up homosexuals for example, that is not fine and they need to suffer the consequences. I suppose we just have to say these are our nations values, based on our Christian heritage, live with it.

          • DanJ0

            You’ll probably find some wives also believe their husband has the right to beat them, as head of the household. By beating, no doubt Muslim scholars will say that it is physical admonishment, administered reluctantly for good reasons, rather than beating them up for abusive reasons. Like smacking children, perhaps. As I read it, Islam doesn’t support Western notions of gender equality even if men and women are equal in the eyes of god. I’ve heard some of the more off-piste Protestants talking along the same lines about gender roles and the like here from time to time, though I can’t say I’ve heard anything about physically admonishing wives, thank goodness.

          • CliveM

            Well I have to be honest and say for me the issue is simplified for the simple reason I don’t believe all faiths ARE equal. So if a Muslim woman feels it is ok for her Husband to beat her, it is still tough. I probably will be unable to stop it happening in her house, but I will certainly try to stop it being acceptable for any reason, even religious freedom, in the eyes of the law.

            Every facet of life has its extremists, not all are dangerous. I am only willing to defend what I think is right and what I believe the Bible is telling me. I leave others to justify their own understanding. 🙂

          • DanJ0

            Well, I’ve been supporting Article 9 here for years whilst pointing out the qualified nature of it to various Christians who expect to manifest their religion as they see fit. It’s the nature of theistic religion to apply its strictures universally, and for its adherents to proceed on the basis of their beliefs being undoubtedly true. Obviously things come to a head when two religions have conflicting strictures and beliefs. This is one advantage of being an a-theist and a liberal in the JS Mill tradition: it’s implicit that one makes space for other beliefs and opinions, and that one allows for the fact that one’s own beliefs and opinions may be wrong. In practice, that doesn’t really apply to me because I’m almost always right anyway, and demonstrably so. 🙂

          • CliveM

            DanJo

            Do you actually ever get sleep?

            Well we all have to nail our colours to the mast and stand up for what we believe. Even atheists.

            If the followers of Islam advocate violence, I am sure you will find yourself on the same side as most Christians in opposing them. Even allowing for the fact that most Christians would view opposition to wife beating as a belief that is universally true!!

            I’m sure your liberalism wouldn’t stretch to allowing it!

          • DanJ0

            I do sleep. I normally get up early anyway but the clock change has thrown me this year so I end up going to bed very early and waking up at stupid o’clock. I then end up messing about on my smart phone, lying in bed.

            As for opposing the advocating violence, I do. I’m happy to argue against Muslim men physically admonishing their wives. I’m just a little uncomfortable legislating so they can’t even argue for their beliefs. Yet I’m happy that the State is able to prosecute if they act on some of their religious beliefs in the UK. Let them try to convince the rest of us that their actions are acceptable if they can. Similarly with some Christians who argue for things that many of us find oppressive, or archaic, or inappropriate, or distasteful etc.

          • CliveM

            Ok it depends the method of advocating for a position. Screaming at a crowd urging the death of apostates, unacceptable. Writing a letter to your MP, acceptable, although distasteful.

          • DanJ0

            Naturally, I’m quite happy to judge religions by values which are external to them. 🙂

          • Note:

            “I am only willing to defend what I think is right and what I believe the Bible is telling me.”

            And advocating the killing of homosexuals … is that a crime?

          • CliveM

            “Luckily, as a Christian, you’re protected under our strange and uncomfortable hate crime law.”

            As I am sure you remember most if not all Christian Churches opposed the law. Again I’m sure you know, the law was an attempt to shore up Labours Muslim vote following the Iraq war.

          • DanJ0

            This was when Rowan Atkinson was campaigning against it as I recall. I think lots of people realised that it was a double-edged sword.

          • Try advocating the stoning of homosexuals.

          • That’s not quite what I’m saying Danj0.
            Of course they should have a right to freedom of religion etc. BUT, that this should be conditional in the UK upon being reformed and enlightened, tolerant, violence free, compliant with our laws and non pervasive. All those things Christians are in other countries.

            They need to be interpreting the Quran in a spiritual metaphorical sense and the laws of our land can help them do this. One has to be very firm and disciplined when dealing with the Muslim temperament.

          • DanJ0

            “They can read it and study it but
            it should be against the law to propagate it”

            It’s an odd sort of right to freedom of religion when you limit it like that

          • Well because it’s a load of barbaric tosh that they want to spread around that does our culture and way of life harm rather than any advancement and good. Also, they are not interested in learning anything of Christian culture or any other religion for that matter either. So it is never mutually beneficial. Unless they reform and renounce violence and the advocating of it, they should be forbidden from going into schools, colleges and universities and schools that do not wish to host them should not be punished either. We will only
            accept islam as we do the other religions* when it becomes benign and non invasive.

            *All other religions should be secondary to Christianity.

          • DanJ0

            All you’re really doing there is asserting your opinion, you’re not making compelling arguments. But hey, mere opinions are fine of course even though they’re more suited to the Daily Mail comments section.

          • The argument is whether or not to accept muslims and their Islamic culture here as it is and give them what they want – the right to turn Britain into and islamic state, or use the law to enforce them to tone it down and become more civilised so that they fit in with our society in order that they may live peacably alongside us as others do.
            Unfortunately the Daily Mail don’t publish any of my comments, haven’t done for some months now? Probably worried about complaints no doubt?

    • The Inspector General

      ” I am sure that one can pray to Allah without all the barbaric activities and violence attached to it.”
      Sadly not, Marie. You see, you must take into account racial profiling. Many of the races who adhere to Islam have such a poor regard for human life, including their own, that respect of others is quite unknown to them. It’s lost to us nowadays, but was readily recognised a century ago when the British and their descendants administered a third of the world.

  • DanJ0

    Charles: “And, of course, religious faith is all the more convincing to those outside the faith when it is expressed with humility and compassion, giving space to others whatever their beliefs.”

    This.

    • CliveM

      DanJo

      As I have often said, I am not the sharpest tool in the box. I find “This” a bit on the cryptic side??

      • William Lewis

        It’s an expression of agreement and/or approval. As in “I agree with this”.

        • CliveM

          Thanks!

          • Uncle Brian

            It was a new one to me as well.

          • CliveM

            I was always told that a day is never wasted if you learn something new!

          • Uncle Brian

            This!

  • len

    All religions should be allowed to express their views up to the point where they advocate violence to impose their views upon others.
    It is good that Prince Charles has decided to speak in defence of the most persecuted religious group in the world ..namely Christians.
    Possibly the reason that Biblical Christianity is the most persecuted amongst the religions is that it is the only path to salvation endorsed by God and the enemy of God(and mankind) is doing all he can to discredit and silence the Gospel as revealed by Jesus Christ .

  • The Inspector General

    Now, let’s get this straight. We are to call on muslim leaders to tell their muslims to stop being muslims ?

    How do we do it ? We meet with them, silly, and pour out our concerns about being persecuted, and they, as decent human types like ourselves, will order their people to stop and desist immediately. Or so we hope.

    One problem becomes clear all too obviously. This silence of muslim leaders to condemn their own, which our good Cranmer points out. Has it occurred to anyone that these muslim leaders are even more muslim than the rag tag bands of thugs going around murdering people in Allah’s name. Has it occurred to anyone that these muslim leaders are enjoying a quiet delight as they hear of the latest pleasing actions that are working towards turning the whole world Islamic.

    This is Charles’ dilemma then. He would know that he must at least try, it’s expected of him by middle class Christians relaxing in the comfort of their western homes, but he will also know that for all his efforts, nothing will be achieved. One does not envy his situation one bit.

    And now to end on a positive note. A reflection on another point made by Cranmer “And they will never be defeated by bombs and bullets”. True. All too true. To fully eradicate the problem would require the most terrible measures that even your Inspector would baulk at. But there is one thing we can and should do. We can thin the blighters out a little. By God, we can do that !

  • The Inspector General

    More on Prince Charles onerous task…

    Anyone recall seeing a few months ago the graphic images of a muslim being chased into a field by outraged Buddhists in the Far East. When they caught him, they beat him to death, although we weren’t shown that. The Inspector doeth believe that if you meet your end at the hands of observers of the most well-known peaceful faith in the world, you must have been a right rotter. Western film crews followed, and we were shown a young Mohamed, aged about 11, looking terrified. No doubt this wretch will become part of the problem in a few years’ time when he reaches his majority, and becomes as good a muslim as the fellow in the field was.

    Buddhists, eh ? Even them. The Koran respects no one, and spares no one.

    Later, the Inspector recalls seeing Buddhist women holding a banner ‘The World is not Just for Muslims’. As evocative tee shirt wearing by politicians is now suddenly in vogue, maybe Charles would like to sport one with that slogan on when he attends his futile meetings with these scoundrels…

    • Inspector,

      You are strangely naïve concerning Buddhism. In Burma, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, Buddhists are routinely persecuting Christians. They may not always be quite as extreme as their Moslem counterparts, but they are still rather unpleasant.

      http://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/worldwatch/burma_myanmar.php

      Did not our Lord say, “All men will hate you because of Me” (Luke 21:17) and ” A time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God” (John 16:2)?

      • The Inspector General

        Martin, there’s persecuting, and there’s killing. Any Christians killed by Buddhists lately, if at all ?

  • I give two cheers for Prince Charles. He has done what he can in speaking out against persecution, and it is gratifying to hear that he actually claims to be a Christian, something of which I was by no means certain.
    However, pleas for moderation by the Good and the Great are not going to stop ISIS (ISIL, IS or whatever they call themselves). May I suggest a consideration of Habakkuk 1:5-11? Sometimes the Bible is more up-to-date than tomorrow’s newspapers.