red-wednesday-2
Christian Persecution

Red Wednesday: Houses of Parliament turn to blood in honour of those who suffer for their faith

The Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral will be all be lit up red this evening to remember those who are persecuted or killed for their beliefs. The #RedWednesday campaign is an initiative of Aid to the Church in Need, and aims “to honour those who have suffered because of their religion, and stand in solidarity with millions of people, targeted for their beliefs and living in fear”. Many other churches, synagogues and mosques are also being lit up red to highlight the unprecedented wave of religious persecution sweeping the world, and the fact that three quarters of the world’s population live in countries which restrict freedom of religion, either with draconian blasphemy laws or the intimidation and repression of minorities. According to Open Doors annual World Watch report, “Christians are being persecuted in more countries and in more ways than EVER before”.

Ever.

Upper case.

Christians are being systematically cleansed from the Middle East: Christianity is on the verge of being extinguished from the lands of its birth. Those who suffer or lay down their lives for the Christian faith have always been specially honoured by the Church, but this is the first time that Parliament has turned to blood in solidarity with the witness of the saints. In the spirit of universal ecumenism, they honour, too, the courage and sacrifice of all who suffer and die for their sincerely-held beliefs. We cannot quibble over the spiritual sanctity to those who perish in doctrinal error: martyrdom transcends denominations, religions and beliefs. It is the greatest sacrifice.

But let’s not be content with making blood-red altars or erecting illuminated shrines over the memories of martyrs: we have too many cults of popular devotion; a whole industry of ribbons and red-letter days to inspire remembrance or induce guilt. There is no greater or more crucial freedom than that of religion or belief. Living with faith should not cost you your life. We must contend earnestly for this freedom – on Red Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday… even if it should cost us our lives.

  • magnolia

    Amen to that.

  • The Explorer

    ” In the spirit of universal ecumenism, they honour, too, the courage and sacrifice of all who suffer and die for their sincerely-held beliefs. We cannot quibble over the spiritual sanctity to those who perish in doctrinal error.”

    Kamikaze pilots suffered and died for sincerely-held beliefs. Islamic suicide bombers continue to do so.

    Are their actions, if done in sincerity, honoured by God? It’s not a rhetorical question: I’m genuinely uncertain.

    • Busy Mum

      But are their actions aimed at honouring God?

      “Them that honour Me, I will honour”

      • The Explorer

        No. The examples I cited either don’t know about the God you and I mean, or don’t believe in Him.

        They do, however, honour their own gods. That is where it gets tricky. The Thugs honoured Kali by strangling travellers for her. Would God respect that? I think not.

        • Busy Mum

          Definitely not – our God is a jealous God – thou shalt not have any other gods before Me.

    • magnolia

      “If I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing” surely.
      Hard to love as a suicide bomber I would think; more likely eaten up by hate. God knows what is done with hate and what is done, even pathetically, stupidly, inappropriately, stumblingly, with love. Kamikaze pilots? Obsession? Fear-particularly of being seen as dishonourable? Again, not love, but more desperation.

      • The Explorer

        Yes, in the contest between Elijah and the priests of Baal it could be argued that God should have honoured the priests for their sincerity. And yet, God didn’t. Sincerity is not enough.

        • Busy Mum

          And presumably, ignorance is therefore no excuse in God’s eyes either.

          • The Explorer

            “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him.”

            But whoever speaks a word against the Spirit will not be forgiven. I take that to mean that ignorance will be forgiven, but deliberate rejection will not.

          • That’s the Catholic position on all sin. It draws a distinction between objective sin and subjective guilt – including being a Protestant or Muslim.

          • If it’s genuinely invincible ignorance and not due to personal culpability, then God may look on it differently than we do.

          • Busy Mum

            Genuinely Invincible ignorance? Isn’t that saying that God is incapable of teaching that person?
            All His children shall be ‘taught of the Lord’.

          • Busy Mum

            Just noticed that my reply did not get through to you! I did query the existence of ‘invincible ignorance’ as that implies that God is incapable of overcoming their ignorance, whereas we know that all His children shall be ‘taught of the Lord’.

          • One may be ignorant of the Gospel message of Christ, Busy Mum, through no fault of one’s own. One can think of being raised in cultures that disregard Christianity. However, according to Catholic teaching, this, in and of itself, will not prevent God, in His mercy, making saving grace available to those called to salvation.

        • IanCad

          The priests of Baal were exposed to light. They rejected it,

    • CliveM

      Is sincerity enough? I can actually understand the motivation behind Japanese kamikaze pilots. They were defending a country and in a desperate situation.

      But can ‘religiously’ motivated rape, murder, torture and crucifixion ever have an adequate excuse or explanation? Are these people ‘faithful ‘ or psychopaths?

      Are they more likely normal people, who have allowed themselves to be seduced by a barbaric cult, who actually understand that they are doing wrong but have neither the strength of caracter or courage to act on this. They prefer the praise of their peers and the security of the crowd.

      None of which will help them on judgement day.

      • If they are acting against their individual consciences, and know they are committing evil, then, in the words of scripture, they are without excuse. Only God, not us, can judge this.

        • CliveM

          I believe that in their hearts they know they are committing evil. But I agree with your last sentence.

    • @ The Explorer—Are their actions, if done in sincerity, honoured by God?

      Allah expects Muslims to fight…

      [9:111] They will fight for His cause, slay and be slain.

      …he sees fighting as proof of sincerity of belief…

      [9:44] Those that believe in Allah and the Last Day will not beg you to exempt them from fighting with their wealth and their persons.

      …and he holds the fighters in greater esteem:

      [4:95] Allah has given those that fight with their goods and their persons a higher rank than those who stay at home.

    • Unlikely their actions are honoured by God if they contradict His nature. A nature that, according to scripture, is known to man without specific divine revelation and who’s will is written on our hearts. However, whatever cult these souls are embroiled in may reduce their subjective culpability, due to invincible ignorance, and, therefore, not constitute personal guilt. Jack guesses it depends on what position you hold on predestination, free will and total depravity. Who knows how God judges individuals? According to one school of Christian theology, God is wholly responsible for both the good and evil men commit and uses the reprobate as well as the elect to achieve His purposes without human free will playing any part.

  • The Explorer

    In the English Civil War the Roundheads rode into battle singing psalms, and the Cavaliers rode into battle after partaking of Holy Communion.

    Did God honour the dead on both sides for their sincerity?

    • magnolia

      He can see into the heart and motivation. It is all about motivation. Willingness to give your life for the love or desired protection of another takes someone close to the heart of what Jesus is about. How close and what further distance needs travelling surely must ultimately be left to the one who tells the story of the Father who rushes out before the foolish prodigal son has journeyed as far as the door knocker.

      Doesn’t God pity and love, and reward for slightly pathetic but sincere efforts to please, as an earthly father rewards a toddler, by and large, more than “honour”- by necessity?

    • Doctor Crackles

      Psalms are food for the mind as well as the spirit. To learn and sing them as battle anthems in English is, well, inspired.

    • Dominic Stockford

      There is an irony, maybe unintentionally, in your comment. The Cavaliers sought to impose a specific version of faith on all, which was why the Scots rebelled, starting the Civil War!

      • So did the Roundheads.

        • Old Nick

          To the extent of turning the clergy out of their parishes, a fact frequently forgotten by Puritan sympathizers.

        • carl jacobs

          But they were resisting domination by a foreign power.

          • The King was a foreign power????

          • carl jacobs

            Don’t be willfully obtuse.

          • It was ….

          • carl jacobs

            The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.

          • Christ has jurisdiction for all of His followers in all realms, regardless of national boundaries. The temporal order is subservient to the spiritual order.

          • carl jacobs

            The temporal order is subservient to the spiritual order.

            You see. You knew what I was talking about all along.

          • Surely you agree?

          • carl jacobs

            Well, yes. Except for that part about the Bishop of Rome having some authority according to the spiritual order.

          • Did Jack mention the Pope?

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, Jack did mention the Pope.

            I said …

            The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.

            To which Jack responded …

            The temporal order is subservient to the spiritual order.

            Which in context was an obvious reference to the Pope. Unless Jack wants to admit that the Pope does not possess the authority that the RCC says he possesses. In which case, we have no argument between us.

          • You mustn’t put words in Jack’s mouth.

            That’s a separate issue about God’s Truth and how man knows it. You say the bible and what amounts to individual interpretations of it; Jack says the Apostolic Church established by Christ, using the authority He gave her.

            So long as we agree the spiritual order has primacy over the temporal order and society only meets the full needs of men if it is ordered according to God’s laws.

          • carl jacobs

            Heh. I’m not putting words in your mouth. I’m putting YOUR words in your mouth – words that you have spoken many times. A Catholic king brought with him the Spector of Papal influence. Or are you now going to say that Henry VIII didn’t rebel against lawful authority of the Pope?

          • Always look for personal and economic interests behind these things, Carl. Charles believed in the Divine Right of Kings, not Parliament. Many had much to lose.

            Besides, Charles wasn’t Roman Catholic. He was attracted to Arminianism and was viewed as a heretic and potential Roman Catholic by Calvinist opponents. His sympathy to the teachings of Arminianism, belief in free will and a clerical Church, and his desire to move the Church of England away from Calvinism in a sacramental direction, were seen by Puritans as threatening.

            Charles was a son of the Reformation – just not a friend of Calvinism or Puritanism.

          • carl jacobs

            Is this your way of changing the subject so you don’t have to talk about whether you believe the Pope had legitimate temporal authority over kings by virtue of his office?

          • No. Just being historically exact about why the English civil war started and why Charles was executed.

            Popes didn’t claim authority over “temporal matters”. Papal supremacy is the doctrine that the pope has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, regardless of nation states, because, as the Vicar of Christ, he is the pastor of the entire Christian Church.

          • carl jacobs

            [Cough] Unam Sanctam [Cough]

          • You do know that not all of the Bull is considered dogma?
            It is a statement of Papal spiritual supremacy. It lays down dogmatic propositions on the unity of the Catholic Church, the necessity of belonging to it for eternal salvation, the position of the pope as supreme head of the Church, and the duty thence arising of submission to the pope in order to belong to the Church and thus to attain salvation.

  • Anton

    There is a marked use of the passive here: those who are persecuted or killed for their beliefs… Christians are being systematically cleansed from the Middle East…

    What we are being asked to uphold, but not in so many words, is the principle of freedom of religion regardless of what any religion involves. If the scriptures of a religion command its adherents to enact bloody revolution wherever their message is not accepted freely, I do not support that principle. Such a religion should be treated as a subversive political movement. I believe the churches should regret all shedding of blood but remember and honour their own martyrs specifically.

    • ‘I believe the churches should regret all shedding of blood, but remember and honour their own martyrs specifically.’ I am with you in this Anton.

    • David

      Also agreed.

    • And if that religion uses demographic growth and the democratic processes to obtain a majority and ascendency, what then?

      • Anton

        That would be the last election ever held.

  • That Parliament draws attention to religious persecution and condemns it is a good thing. To do so part of its obligation as God’s servant.

    • Dominic Stockford

      ‘Fighting’ by standing for public office as openly Christian would be an effective first step. Getting elected on a clear Christian ticket would be the next.

      • Anton

        Christian political parties get tempted to secular liberalism by the need to win votes. Just look at all the parties on the continent with “Christian” in their name who once trod that path. It is genuinely a fine thing to say that you are a Christian and that your faith informs your manifesto, but any party that restricts its membership to Christians is actually a branch of the church.

        • It seems to Jack, Christians should enter and seek to influence mainstream political parties – of both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’. We shouldn’t retreat and become a minority pressure group in what is (still) a nation whose roots and values are predominantly Christian. Democracy needs Christianity at all levels.

          • Anton

            Democracy needs *Christians* at all levels, but I think they should not organise in political ways.

          • Dominic Stockford

            We’ll get walked all over then. Enjoy.

          • Anton

            That’s the way of Christ, Dominic. You quit the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches and you still want political Christianity?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Jesus never told us to be doormats. He told us to spread the Gospel.

            And please stick to playing the ball, not the man.

          • Anton

            I think you made the right choices! The point is that politics is all about setting the laws, things which people have to obey whether they want to or not, whereas the church is (in the NT) 100% a voluntary society involving grace set in contrast to law. I am in no way advocating Christian withdrawal from the world, but I believe the tension between the world and the kingdom is meant to be felt by individuals, not institutions. Christians in politics should, wherever possible, work toward godly laws and institutions, but should not form parachurch organisations to that end.

            PS In response to your comment, how do Christian political parties spread the gospel?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Quote from my hustings speech last night:

            “Men and women are made in the image and likeness of God, and are therefore worthy of defending. Not just from an avaricious airport, but in every aspect of life, from conception to the grave. I stand to remind you of the truth of God, seen in the person of Jesus Christ, through whom alone true and lasting peace can be found.”

          • Anton

            I support – strongly – your freedom to stand for Parliament on any ticket you wish.

        • Dominic Stockford

          A party can restrict its membership to those it believes to be Christian, and yes, like many other groups, it is part of the church. That doesn’t mean that you only ask Christians to vote for you. However, by standing and proclaiming Christ from the hustings it is actually taking the truth of Christ back into a world where He is denied and his followers are denigrated.

          If someone doesn’t do that, take the Gospel into politics, the point of view and plight of Christians both here and abroad will continue not to be acted on.

          • Anton

            Christianity is about changing people for the better in ways that they cannot do themselves. Politics cannot do that; it can only do law. I am all for Christians (in politics and otherwise) arguing for godly laws, but I consider that they should do so using what Catholics call “natural law” arguments rather than arguments from revelation. Then they’d get votes from people disgusted with certain things going on today but who aren’t Christian.

  • David

    The global suffering is, in terms of scale, manly Christian. This is not to deny that other faiths are being persecuted, but taking the overall, global scale view, it is by a major factor, disproportionately Christians who are being attached. Moreover in the homeland of the Christian faith, the ME, its followers are undergoing genocide, as they are systematically eradicated. So statistically, it is one faith, Christianity that is salient here.
    However our government is determined to hide from the reality of the statistics and express solidarity with all faiths, thereby detracting from the major problem, the systematic attack on Christians. In blunt terms, they are misrepresenting reality. I find this both unsurprising but typical of our sleazy, intellectually lazy and essentially dishonest establishment who continue peddling their myths that all faiths can be regarded as essentially similar.
    By all means assist all faiths, other than Christianity, as well of course, but this should not be done by obscuring that, by several orders of magnitude, the major group that is suffering are Christians. But they simply refuse to identify the elephant in the room. The hope is that the public’s rapidly changing voting patterns will force sufficient political changes so that we obtain a government guided by reality, not its atheist/ humanist/marxist and whatever dogmas.

    • Anton

      The elephant in the room is not only who is being persecuted but who is doing the persecuting…

      • David

        Quite ! The latter group is the elephant I was referring to….
        How long can they keep their eyes closed ?
        My hunch is that most of them already know but, for many different reasons, cannot admit it.

  • Dreadnaught

    Christians are being systematically cleansed from the Middle East: Christianity is on the verge of being extinguished from the lands of its birth. Why not just spell out the name of the so called ‘cleaners’:

    Insane
    Scumbags
    Long
    AAddicted to
    Murder

    (unless of course there is a more appropriate alternative)

  • Dreadnaught

    Christians are being systematically cleansed from the Middle East: Christianity is on the verge of being extinguished from the lands of its birth.

    Why not just spell out the name of the so called ‘cleaners’:

    Insane
    Scumbags
    Long
    Addicted to
    Murder

    (unless of course there is a more appropriate alternative)

    • Paul Correa

      Since 611 AD.

    • chefofsinners

      Hi Dred
      The thing is, muslims are loved by God, just like the rest of humanity. Likewise, Christians are called love their enemies. That means murderers and non murderers from every race and culture.

      • Dreadnaught

        Individual Muslims are not a problem until they assert themselves as a ‘race’ apart and threaten this European (British) way of life that has evolved over millenia.
        Islam itself is the problem and Islam is not a blueprint for peace, but a 6th Century Arab supremacist political movement, committed to violence and oppression if opposed, and to everything that we currently stand for in 21st Century.
        That’s why I don’t subscribe to religion Chef; too many religions have come and gone, all claiming to hold the keys to the illusory afterlife or spirit world; none of which have brought peace.
        The only difference between us humans and the rest of the animal world is that we think too much.

  • Dominic Stockford

    I think our government also seeks to airbrush out of the picture the Christians in this country who, as a result of the laws brought in here, are losing their jobs and livelihoods as a result of living as Christians in their jobs.

    • In such a situation, we are called to be as wise as serpents and as pure as doves. Jack used to run workshops for Christians in the public services to help people develop strategies to stay true to their consciences in an increasingly hostile environment.

      • David

        Well done for having run those workshops, Jack. That was not an easy task to perform.

      • Terry Mushroom

        Jack, Know of any in Dorset, Devon & Cornwall? Would be grateful for any info.

        • No, sorry, Terry. It was a local initiative which Jack started after meeting with fellow Christians at Church and through ecumenical meetings.

          • Terry Mushroom

            Then Dorset, Devon & Cornwall must start something! Well done for doing what you did. I have wondered about a resource blog that would include pointers to HR and legal advice. It can be a very lonely furrow.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The Christian Concern website is a good place to start.

          • Terry Mushroom

            Thanks.

      • Anton

        Good work, Jack.

  • chefofsinners

    Minister for Virtue Signalling: We need a way to make it look like we care.
    Advisor 1: without actually doing anything.
    Advisor 2: or spending anything.
    Advisor 3: or upsetting minorities.
    Advisor 4: How about Red Nose Day, sorry, I mean Red Wednesday?
    Minister: Brilliant! I’ll put the red lightbulb on my expenses.

  • Royinsouthwest

    It is estimated that the proportion of Christians in Syria, before the civil war began, was 10%. You might expect the proportion among refugees from Syria to be higher than that since Christians, like Yazidis, have become a target for persecution by Muslims. Since the main victims of persecution by Muslims are other Muslims it would be understandable if Christians were not hugely over-represented among refugees but you would still expect the percentage of them to be higher than it was in the general population, but what are the facts?

    Why Are There So Few Christian Refugees From Syria In The UK? Ruth Gledhill CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 06 October 2016.

    Faith leaders and aid workers have spoken out against the tiny proportion of Christian refugees admitted to Britain under the Government scheme to help the suffering people of Syria.

    Under two per cent of Syrian refugees admitted to Britain since the scheme began are Christian, compared to 97.5 per cent that are Muslim.

    The faith of refugees admitted under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettleent Scheme (VPR) has not previously been made publicly available but Christian Today obtained the figures via a Freedom of Information Request.

    What about Syrian refugees in the United States?

    10,126: Administration Hits Syria Refugee Target; 0.5% Are Christians
    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/10000-administration-about-hit-syria-refugee-target-fewer-05-are

    The Obama administration is expected on Monday – a month ahead of schedule – to achieve its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year.

    Barring an unlikely last-minute shift, the number of Christians among the 10,000 will be less than half of one percent.

    The vast majority of the Syrian refugees permitted to resettle in the United States are Sunni Muslims – 9,726 of the 9,902, or 98.2 percent. Another 20 are Shi’a Muslims, and a further 85 are identified in the data simply as Muslims.

    In the case of appeals for more non-Muslims to be included among those admitted; the administration has characterized the calls as un-American.

    “When individuals say we should have a religious test and that only Christians, proven Christians, should be admitted, that’s offensive and contrary to American values,” Obama said last fall.

    In fact, most prominent figures raising the issue have not argued for “only Christians” to be admitted, but rather that as a directly targeted minority, a larger number should be admitted than has been the case.

    Obama’s defence of such obvious discrimination was quoted in the extract from article above. What has the British government got to say, I wonder?

    • Dominic Stockford

      Wearing red does nothing for those being killed.

      • Royinsouthwest

        I wrote nothing at all about wearing red. My comments were about how the refugee policies of Britain and the United States discriminate against Christians.

        • Dominic Stockford

          I know, I was pointing out that this ‘redness’ is meaningless posturing when real actions could be taken instead.

    • Anton

      The Hungarian government lets in Christians only. The Hungarian people have not forgotten 150 years under the Ottoman yoke in the 16th and 17th century.

  • IanCad

    “to honour those who have suffered because of their religion—“
    I see no creedal exclusion there. As it should be. There is blame enough for all if history is factored in. We cannot disconnect the present persecution of Christians in Muslim countries from our own idiotic foreign policy.
    Overthrowing Saddam, lingering in Afghanistan, pushing the “Arab Spring.” Ousting Gaddafi, and, daftest of all; trying to get rid of Assad in Syria.
    We are governed by minnows.
    It was never easy for Jews or Christians in the troubled Middle and Near East. Survive they did; not thrive, but in Damascus, Baghdad, and so many other ancient cities, a generally respectful co-existence chugged along for over a thousand years. That is gone, never to return within our lifetimes.
    It seems there are no consequences for failure – not to just pick on him – but William Hague is still being paid to make speeches.

    • Royinsouthwest

      In the case of Gaddafi our policy was duplicitous. A few years earlier he had been persuaded to give up sponsoring terrorism and reach an accommodation with the West. By overthrowing him we broke our side of the bargain. Perhaps that could be justified if our actions had led to the creation of a stable and democratic government in Libya but that did not happen. Furthermore other dictators, including Assad will be less willing to make agreements with the West after seeing what happened to Gaddafi.

      • IanCad

        So true Roy; but what, to me, was even worse, he was persuaded to give up Libya’s nuclear weapons program. Fine, if in exchange we would have let him alone.
        Now; can we have any hope of getting Plump Kim to give up his?

        • CliveM

          Plump? I think you mean fat b£(&@”d.

      • Sarky

        Watch the documentary ‘Bitter Lake’ on BBC iplayer and have your eyes opened!

        • IanCad

          Thanks Sarky, I was not aware of the film, and I shall watch AAWTM.

        • Dreadnaught

          Good call Sarks – Good call.

    • Jon of GSG

      Why is the Assad example dafter than the others?

      • IanCad

        Jon,
        Because it was the latest misjudgement. The inability to learn from previous mistakes.

        • Jon of GSG

          Oh I see. Yes, fair enough. Although, thinking about it, to be fair surely the Syria experience has been marked with basically no action at all – almost the polar opposite of what was done in Libya, Iraq and the rest?
          Obviously it’s turned out very badly, but I’m never sure what could have been done to stop it all.

          • IanCad

            Jon.

            I seem to recall it started in Tunisia. The Springtide of Democracy in the Arab world, or so those enthralled by such a religion thought. Look at what it has wrought! And that after the foolishness of overthrowing Saddam was already apparent.

            “Freeing oppressed nationalities is perhaps the most dangerous of all philanthropic enterprises.” — William Bolitho …

          • Jon of GSG

            Yes, it certainly did, and that one went right through more or less with no outside intervention. It hasn’t brought about milk and honey, but a bit of progress is better than none. I can’t see that the West really bears any direct responsibility for the Syrian uprising unless you take the view that the West should have intervened.

          • IanCad

            Jon,
            Assad was a bogeyman for the West and seemed like an easy target, thus the agitation for his overthrow. We don’t like dictators, but fail to realise that in many lands that rule is the best.

          • Jon of GSG

            That’s true of course – but I’m afraid what has happened in Syria is in no way an indication that brutal dictatorship is what that particular country needs. All that we’re seeing is the natural result of a brutal dictatorship and a repressed people.

  • dannybhoy

    (Spoof telephone conversation between Lambeth Palace and the BBC on being told …)
    “O Alleluia!
    O well done Archbishop Justin,
    O well done all ye Anglican bishops,
    Such wonderful news… I – I-
    Er, w-what’s that?”
    (Mumbles, http://www.acnuk.org/ )
    “No no, surely there must be some mistake?
    Check the spelling then, it’s W-E_L_B-Y J; not NI-CH-OLS…
    Yes yes I’m quite sure. He’s the current head of our established Church, and of course we officiate at all State occasions..”
    (More mumbles)
    “What do you mean, the Catholics organised it? But their robes are so-ooo dowdy! The colours are all wrong and -well yes, I know they’re symbolic of er, erm (mutters) ‘blood’, but Oh! so passe!
    What! they’re taking part? Shi’ites and Sunnis?
    (Sniffily) Well, in all our interfaith meetings they’ve never said ANYTHING about it, nothing at all! Yes, we knew the Jews would get themselves involved somehow..”
    (More mumbling)
    “Well yes, yes, we will be there to officially endorse the whole thing.
    Umm.. can you at least assure me that special provision been made for the LGBT wing of the Chu-?
    (line disengages..)

    But seriously though folks.. the Catholic Church has yet again taken the initiative in standing up for persecuted Christians and making a stand for the Kingdom of God. And for that they have my humble and grateful support. http://joannabogle.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/floodlit-for-red-wednesday.html
    I have been praying that the Lord would raise up leadership who will call us to national days of repentance, re-dedication and worship of the One True God, and here we see the Catholics taking a lead where the Cof E drags its feet…

    Which just goes to show, you can’ tell God what to do, or how to do it..

  • David

    I fear that regarding the government’s support for this scheme, it is no more than cynical virtue signalling; primarily this is because it is so very culpable of causing the persecution of Christians. Moreover having caused such suffering it does little to alleviate their sufferings.

    Conservative governments have deliberately attached innocent countries in North Africa and the ME which has caused breakdown in law and order and the subsequent extermination of Christian communities. The two most notorious, latest examples are Libya, where Gadaffi had stopped terrorism, and Syria, where Assad’s secular rule provided protection for minorities. Before the government deliberately destabilised these functioning societies it must have known, more or less, what the consequences of eliminating the leadership would be, as the disastrous example of Iraq was still fresh in everybody’s minds.

    Moreover having caused the destruction of entire Christian societies, they cannot even ensure that the proportion of Christian refugees entering the UK, from the war zones that the government created, fairly reflects the percentages of Christians in the refugees various home countries.

    • Jon of GSG

      Isn’t the point about Syria though that they were not attacked at all by the West, and it has become just as bad – actually almost certainly worse – than any of the other places that have been attacked?
      And I for one wonder whether decades of brutal dictatorship are a price worth paying for inter-communal peace. I don’t really see that anyone has a clear answer to how Syria should have been handled.

      • Dominic Stockford

        The ‘uprising’ in Syria was clearly encouraged by the ‘West’, just as the brutal and murderous overthrow of the democratically elected government in Ukraine was encouraged by the ‘West’.

        • Jon of GSG

          I think you under-estimate the hatred the average Syrian has (to my knowledge) of the Assad government. I have a friend from Homs and he says although he’s been very disappointed by the response of the world to what’s gone on in Syria (no UN condemnation for, for example, dropping napalm stuff on school playgrounds, or randomly shooting dead children walking in the street) it was brought about by what was going on in other Arab countries – Egypt and, before that, Tunisia.
          But s for encouragement, I’d hope in one way we would encourage it, because just as I don’t want repressive government for myself, I don’t want it for those I love either.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Christians in Syria were protected by Assad.

          • Jon of GSG

            Yes, but there are other mainly Muslim countries where Christians and Muslims rub along well enough together without a despotic regime that allows its soldiers to kill for fun (Malaysia, the Lebanon, Morocco…)
            Christians may hate Assad less than Muslims, and they are of course right to be fearful of radical Islam, but that doesn’t mean that Assad isn’t basically second-to-worst.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Having visited Malaysia I can tell you that they don’t ‘rub along nicely’ – Christians are vaguely tolerated in some parts of the more British outback – but don’t try and become one if you aren’t – you’ll end up in serious trouble.

            Morocco is a country where white people have been attacked and killed because it is assumed that being white means they are Christians. It is also the source of some of the most significant hacking attacks on Christian websites in this country.

            The Lebanon is a very mixed bag, and certainly not mainly Muslim any more.

            Assad/Syria protected/s Christians. Iraq used to protect Christians. Libya used to protect Christians.

          • Jon of GSG

            I don’t know – I’ve visited Malaysia too and met quite a lot of Christians (accidentally) and there didn’t seem to be any obvious animosity. They also weren’t afraid to talk about their faith in public. I take your point about conversion though.

            I still don’t think, though, that the price of this “protection” is worth it – in all those cases that protection was at the price of enormous death and destruction. Surely protecting Christians doesn’t give licence to any and every other excess of greed and violence? Of course, and unfortunately, in places like Morocco you do get individual people committing those sorts of crimes, but I would find it difficult as a Christian to say that, in order for my protection, I’m happy to have a government which allows its soldiers to shoot people dead at random for fun (I mean that in the most literal sense).

            I also seem to remember that, in the Syrian example, the Free Syrian Army – which was probably the most legitimate voice of Syrian dissent, as opposed to those other groups which subsequently turned up with foreign backing – is (or was) avowedly pluralist. Syria before the conflict was a country with a magnanimous enough politics generally that it could realistically have hoped to remain so had this not descended into sectarianism as a result of those other foreign groups appearing.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I understand and accept your point regarding protection, though there is a significant difference between protecting and persecuting.

            It is interesting to note that most of these dictators only have a go at those who seek to overthrow their regimes. If we tried to overthrow the government here (by undemocratic means) we may well find not dissimilar reactions to our actions.

          • Anton

            The average Syrian has a choice between Assad and ISIS and would do well to ponder why the choice is so lousy.

          • Jon of GSG

            Yes, yes indeed. Difficult to see what the average Syrian can do though. It seems to have come out all right in Tunisia, or at least much less bad. I remember at the beginning of it all thinking (and hearing an analyst say on the radio) that if the conflict, between Assad and the Free Syrian Army weren’t sorted out very soon, jihadists from all over the world would move in. And now here we are.

          • Anton

            The Free Syrian Army are al Qaeda. What a choice.

      • David

        Some point to alleged evidence that Syria “insurgents” were organised, trained and payed by US and Saudi sources. I cannot be sure, but someone is training and equipping them. Does the way that western powers aligned themselves against Assad, who had previously been present for many years, add weight to that claim ? One thing is sure, that there has been a move to destabilise one ME regime after another. Iraq and Libya “succeeded”, with disastrous results. In Egypt it backfired with the M.Brotherhood being ousted.

        • Jon of GSG

          I don’t see that it is sure that there has been a move as such to destabilise one regime after another. I can’t see any reason why these things shouldn’t have happened spontaneously – it was started, if you remember, by that man who set fire to himself in Tunis. I can’t really see him doing that because he was being paid to by some western government. And it seems to me that there is a way in which Arabs do think of themselves as one people, so developments in one country affect developments in another to a far greater extent than we are used to here.
          I think there’s a bit of a modern falsehood which has taken root, and which I see a bit of on these comment threads, which says that democracy is a thing which western governments like to foist on other countries, and that’s all it is – the peoples of those countries are quite happy with whatever else it is. That under-rates the jealousy with which a lot of people from more authoritarian or chaotic states regard us; whenever I’ve met anyone from Syria, Burma, Zimbabwe or wherever, if the conversation turns to politics then they all want a proper democracy, not necessarily on our lines, but something better than what they have. (I realise of course that I meet these people mostly in this country so they are probably not a representative sample!)

        • Jon of GSG

          Actually (sorry, re-reading what you’ve written and I think I misunderstood it at first) I think we have to draw a distinction between the Free Syrian Army, which is probably most of all the authentic voice of Syrian dissent, and those Islamist groups like the Militants Formerly Known As the Al-Nusra Front, which may well be funded by western governments – rather to our shame, if so. There’s little hope for Syria, unfortunately, as long as it’s symbolic of the power struggles of its neighbours, rather than just a country in its own right.

  • Inspector General

    This kind of thing used to be called a gimmick years ago. A bunch of ever so sincere caring types would organise themselves and do something really worthwhile. And they day would come and the beaming smug faces involved would light and heat a room. The day after though, and it’s as if nothing happened. All forgotten. Except maybe the smug righteousness of the participants. They say it has a narcotic effect on the brain, you know.

    Anyway, perhaps they’ll all be able to feast on Northern Irish Christian Cake on the day…or would the stuff be politely declined by the goodly participants. Inappropriate, or whatever – “Likely to upset some of our supporters!”

  • Inspector General

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    It has been clinically proven that the best way to stop persecutors is to give them what they want. This is not always possible though, as the majority of persecutors want you dead, or to become like them, and thus do some persecuting of your own with them.

    Christians are excellent at ridding the world of horrid types – by killing them.

    Here’s testament from a grateful God. “Damn good show. These followers of my lad certainly know what to do and how to do it. Bringing a bit of peace to the awful crowd on Earth. A better sort you won’t find, not on that planet.”

    Christianity. Be a winner – join us today!
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    • jsampson45

      WTF, as they say, whatever F means.

    • Once again, Inspector, you have excelled yourself in demonstrating your ignorance of scripture and Christ’s message.

      • Inspector General

        Ah, Jack. fifty years ago, how the young Inspector was most put out to hear the nuns tell us about Cain and Abel. And his then best friend Kenny said to him, ‘what if Abel could see the danger and ambushed Cain that fateful day. Do unto others, etc’

        We MUST survive. Bottom line..

  • jsampson45

    “What a good idea” I thought. Disappointing but not surprising that a “Christian” organisation instigates a publicity stunt which sows confusion.

  • Paul Correa

    I like it much better than our failed president lighting up the White House in the AIDS colors.

    • Inspector General

      This is interesting. “Multiple Strains Of HIV Can Be Present In AIDS Victim”. And the number of strains to date – 181. One wagers that number wasn’t lit up in bright colours at the White House…

      http://www.rense.com/general8/multiple.htm

      • Paul Correa

        Esteemed Inspector, it’s almost like God knew what He was talking about when He said don’t do that, isn’t it?

        • Inspector General

          One has nothing but sympathy and compassion for those afflicted by this dreadful disease. That must be the Christian way. But one cannot for the life of him understand why the lifestyle that promotes this infection is so celebrated by those in political power in the West – at whatever level. However, the good news is that you chaps in the USA has seen sufficient to give yourselves President Trump, and it is still true that where the USA goes, the rest of us will follow…

          • Anton

            To understand it better, might I suggest that you google “bisexual” in conjunction with some recent Presidents, presidential candidates and Prime Ministers? You will draw some blanks or read some conspiratorial nonsense about *some* of them, to be sure. But…

            Ungodly gossip? I am reluctant to name names, but I am conveying what I believe to be true and relevant to our national life.

          • CliveM

            Really Anton, I’d expect better. Google just about anything ( including Lizard people) and a name of a PM and President you’d get some dross.

          • Anton

            I do have specific people in mind. Miranda is one.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The first article is from Pink News, which is interesting at least. They seem to want to claim everyone is ‘one of them’.

          • Paul Correa

            That was fantastic news about Trump, I expect the anti-Christian persecution to stop. The weeping and gnashing of teeth by the left over here is deafening, although entertaining. The gay agenda is part of the liberal culture of death, along with abortion, euthanasia, and the importation of millions of Muslims, many more interested in domination than assimilation. Strange why we actively discourage smoking in young people, but encourage this lifestyle that in men at least is just as deadly as smoking.

          • eyesopenwider

            wrt smoking…me tinks that was more a (very successful) social engineering project…

          • eyesopenwider

            hmmm…your last sentence reminded me of something I read…hmmm can’t quite put my finger on it…ahh yeah, got it…something to do with a large group (all) of peoples wondering after a beast…or something like that…

    • chefofsinners

      AIDS is transmitted by heterosexuals too, and through blood transfusions, and in the womb.

      • Paul Correa

        Yes, gays can pass along AIDS to the innocent. Gay men are 2% of the US population but account for 67% of all new AIDS cases according to the CDC.

        • Ivan M

          The buggers single-handedly, largely destroyed the efficacy of the penicillin-type drugs, Got to hand it to them, never do things by half.

  • wisestreligion

    We much all pray for our fellow believers abroad suffering physically to an extent that we do not yet experience in England.

    However, “Draconian Blasphemy Laws? Intimidation and repression?”
    Not just over there in the Middle East.

    An iron blanket has descended over Europe, smothering our ancient free speech; it is the blasphemy law of a godless religion. It is known as Political Correctness and it ensures that the free speech that has underpinned Christian Europe and America is being determinedly extinguished. The English-speaking peoples who stood together so valiantly to defeat military tyranny have now been all but overcome by cultural totalitarianism. Today the once-free Englishman is subjected to an utopian ideology that in its short existence has already perpetrated untold damage to our people and the fabric of our culture and nation.

    If Churchill had lived to our day to pen a 5th volume of his History of the English Speaking Peoples how would he have recorded the suicidal moral decline that set in when our culture decided it would throw away the trusty anchor of Christianity?

    • Inspector General

      Chin up, that man!

      Political Correctness lacks a coherent definition. So what is it. One of the best explanations, probably the best, the Inspector has come across is that it is the act of surrendering yourself to the wishes and views of your elected politicians. In that case it’s over. It’s had it’s day. It no longer exists. Brexit, you see. Brexit!

    • David

      I agree with you that things are at a pretty low pass.
      But remember, for a Christian, despair is a sin.
      We are expected to remain in hope of Christ’s eventual victory over evil, and this provides us with strength.
      In the meanwhile we are urged to be practical and busy, and to do all within our individual and collective power, to work to change things, here and now, for the better.
      As the incorrigible Inspector says, “Chin up, ..”.
      Indeed there are grounds for hope, that PC’s stranglehold is weakening … cracks are appearing.
      Brexit is within our grasp.
      Trump may not be everyones cup of tea, but he says that he is committed to draining the swamp….
      Hope springs eternal …
      Half a century of Cultural Marxism strengthening its death embrace of society, may be about to change…
      Work for change ..
      Pray for change …
      Never surrender…

      • Dominic Stockford

        Christ’s eventual victory? He has already won, and we are victors in Him.

        • David

          True ! The Christus Victor approach to atonement applies. I was of course referring to His eschatological destruction of evil, as in Revelation, and perhaps I should have made that clearer.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I hope my comment was for the benefit of those readers who may not have been able to guess that was your intention.

          • David

            Understood.

        • Oisín mac Fionn

          If it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist.

          So where are the concrete measures of Christ’s victory?

          I’d like specific numbers of saved Christians currently gambolling in heaven and reasonable proofs of their state of permanent bliss, please.

          Similar proof of the nature and demographics of hell would also be admissible as evidence.

          Without these concrete proofs backed up by multiple independent corroborating witness statements and accompanied by physical evidence, for instance of the existence of such a thing as a soul, the strident “witness” of Christians can only be viewed as subjective and unsupported opinion and must therefore be treated with deep skeptism.

          Show me your Christ and provide me with convincing proof of his victory and then you’ll be believed.

          Keep on proclaiming something for which you can provide no justification and you’ll continue to be viewed as a fantasist whose goal is to bend others to his will and make them conform to the rules of his fantasy.

          If you want concrete proof of how Christians are viewed, look to your score in the last election. Only an infinitesimal proportion of voters cast their ballots for you. If your arguments had been credible, who could have failed to support you?

          Had you not been viewed as a crank who’s away with the fairies, you’d now be participating in a Christian government and applying your Christian principles to the penalisation of sin and the punishment of all those who ever crossed you. You’re not though, are you?

          Why?

          I leave that for you to figure out. And I shan’t be surprised if your explanation is just as self-serving as the Christian notion that the universe exists for the sole purpose of providing Christians with eternal bliss. One delusion opens the door for another.

    • Anton

      Not very well. Churchill’s History was superb at the politics but woeful at describing social movements and thought. Despite the importance of the Renaissance and Reformation he dealt with them in precisely four pages at the opening of volume 2.

  • chefofsinners

    No red lights on London’s City Hall? I wonder why?
    No doubt The Police are singing: ‘Sadiq Khan, you don’t have to put on the red light.’

    • Royinsouthwest

      He has flown the Rainbow flag before. I wonder if the London press will ask him about this?

  • Inspector General

    Well done, Cranmer, re-tweeting Welby’s image of Lambeth Palace bathed in red. The only problem is that the Inspector feels in his water that this is a form of idolatry. Bowing down to a non Christian worship. Still, it could be just the Inspector, but do others feel uneasy about this business, or has he left you lot far behind in your earthly whatevers….

    • Anton

      Inspector, as you regard Christ as not divine and therefore a created being, yet call yourself a Christian, that means you worship something you regard as non-divine. You would do well to sort out your own beliefs first, preferably by acknowledging Christ’s divinity.

      • Inspector General

        Do let up, Anton. The Inspector would not like your presence on this site to descend to embarrassing itch level. Quite enough of those around already, albeit thankfully few in number. Christ’s divinity as such is not in question – the dictionary definition of divine encompasses the angelic chorus as well as God Almighty who called said chorus into being. Can we not agree to disagree on the matter?

        • Anton

          When you talk about the rise of Islam and political correctness, most certainly. When you talk theology, you ought to take the plank out of your own eye first, as Christ himself said…

          • Inspector General

            That’s a “Yes” then. Praise be. One was thinking about leaving the site for a rest otherwise…

          • Anton

            Don’t do that. Acknowledge Christ’s divinity. I’m not bullying you.

          • Inspector General

            Not an idle threat. Inspector Towers winter DIY campaign starts, or should start soon. Ripping wallpaper down, shelves need a coat of brown muck sold in small tins, and paintbrushes need to be on the scene. Can’t do that and blog with a monkey on his back…

          • Anton

            Who do you consider you are threatening?

  • Very strange! I wonder what this will achieve. Are the Christians suffering persecution in various parts of the world supposed to find comfort in this gesture?

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/10/10/syrian-nun-warns-europe-has-let-in-wolves-with-migrant-policies/

    • David

      This was in Breitbart some time ago I remember ?
      It just shows that Europe’s political leaders are deliberately ignorant of history and present reality, and therefore totally blind guides.

      • Exactly. When I think of the situation in Europe, I am reminded of Isaiah 3:12 –

        “O My people! Their oppressors are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your path” (NASB).

        • IrishNeanderthal

          When I think of the situation in Europe

          Even more so, I think, with our involvement in the Middle East, especially since the turn of the Millennium.

  • CliveM

    Id like to know, how many had heard of this campaign before this post by HG? I hadn’t heard of it. Which may say something about it’s wider impact I think.

    • David

      Good point. It’s not mentioned in the MSM outlets I skim-read.