Religious Freedom 2014
Christian Persecution

The persecution of Christians increases, but politicians don't care

 

In theory our parliamentarians should have a better grasp of the realities of religious persecution around the globe than possibly any other group of people in this country. Since the start of this year alone there have been plenty of events organised within Westminster’s walls specifically to inform and educate MPs and peers on this pressing subject. Speakers have included Justin Welby; Andrew White – the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’; Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh – two Iranian women imprisoned for 259 days and threatened with death sentences for their Christian faith; Hea Woo – a North Korean Christian refugee; and even Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, who has put in a great deal of effort attempting to drum up interest from within his own party.

And Prince Charles has made a number of significant interventions, most recently via video to a gathering in the House of Lords in which he referred to the decimation of Christian communities in the Middle East as an “indescribable tragedy”. The Prince’s message was given to promote the launch of the Religious Freedom in the World Report 2014 produced by the Roman Catholic organisation Aid to the Church in Need. This substantial report examines the state of religious freedom in every country in the world and confirms what we have been told numerous times before – namely that the levels of persecution are increasing dramatically and globally. The main findings include:

  • Of the 196 countries studied from October 2012 until June this year, 81 have religious freedom impaired (classified as ‘high’ or ‘medium’) or it is in decline. Some 35 countries had some religious freedom issues ‘of concern’, but with no deterioration in their status. The remaining 80 countries indicated no concerns.
  • In the period under review, global religious freedom entered a period of serious decline. Change for the better was noted in only six countries. Deteriorating conditions were recorded in 55 countries (including the UK).
  • In total, 20 countries are designated as ‘high’ with regard to lack of religious freedom. Of these, 14 experience religious persecution linked to extremist Islam. In the remaining six countries, religious persecution is linked to authoritarian regimes.
  • Muslim countries predominate in the list of states with the most serious religious freedom violations.
  • Christians remain the most persecuted religious minority, due partly to their wide geographic spread and high relative numbers. However, Muslims are also experiencing a serious degree of persecution and discrimination, both at the hands of other Muslims and from authoritarian governments.
  • Religious freedom is in decline in Western countries that are predominantly or historically Christian. Two principal factors explain this. First, there is disagreement over the role to be played by religion in the ‘public square’. Second, openness to religious freedom is under threat from increasing societal concern about extremism.

The brutal hatred of ISIS toward any minority they come into contact with continues to hit the headlines and dominate our television screens. But there are other daily stories of oppression and violence from elsewhere that fail to gain the same level of attention. If we look to Pakistan – regarded by the report as one of the worst offenders – there is no shortage of examples. Two days ago it was reported that a Christian couple there were beaten to death by a mob after being accused of desecrating a copy of the Koran. In May, gunmen in the city of Multan shot dead a lawyer who had been defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy. And last month a court upheld the death penalty for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman again convicted of blasphemy four years ago, despite highly dubious evidence.

Yesterday the Church of England’s Director of Communications, Rev Arun Arora, drew attention to the injustices of the Asia Bibi case. In doing so, he joins with many other voices including Pakistan’s former Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, and Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, who were both assassinated as a direct result of their stance and their own Christian faith.

Bhatti’s brother, Dr Paul Jacob Bhatti, has written the foreword to the Report. He says:

The cause of religious freedom is one that has changed my family’s lives and mine forever.

When Shahbaz was killed, I had a choice to either continue the life I had in Italy, or pick up the baton left by my brother and continue the task he had set himself. My conscience left me in no doubt; I believe I was directed by God to continue his vision and mission, protecting those whose basic human rights are too often violated because of discrimination, extremism and religious hatred. Consequently, I took up the role of Federal Minister of National Harmony and Minority Affairs in the Pakistan Government.

Nobody should have to suffer physical violence and psychological intimidation for declaring what they hold dear and adhere to. Religious freedom is a right and a responsibility that involves everybody; all of us are entitled to express our beliefs, respecting the faith of each other.

It is the most critical need of the moment in a divided world where, in some parts there is a religious revival and in others, a trend towards religious indifference and atheism. In an increasingly polarised world, a growing consensus about the nature of and respect for religious freedom could prove crucial in our struggle against fanaticism and a culture of violence, be it by the State, extremists or by terrorist groups.

The Report concludes that in order to begin to establish any form of consensus, responsibility for combatting violence and persecution rests, first and foremost, within religious communities themselves. The necessity for all religious leaders to loudly proclaim their opposition to religiously-inspired violence, and to re-affirm their support for religious tolerance, is becoming ever more urgent.

Although not explicitly phrased, this would appear to be directed toward Muslim leaders who too often have been unwilling or slow to condemn acts of violence carried out in the name of Islam. The Report has identified places where positive inter-religious bridges are being built at a local level, but these are few and far between.

There is certainly a need for this to happen in the UK, too, if the current national tensions surrounding the Islamic faith are to improve. And this an issue that our politicians must do more to address. The Report states that there is a pressing “need for the West to develop a fuller and more sophisticated understanding of religious motivation. The religious illiteracy of Western policy makers is creating a formidable barrier of understanding between the West and other parts of the world”. This is “hampering productive dialogue and effective policy making”.

Perhaps an indication of the reasons behind this lack of attention and action can be found in the findings of a poll released this week by the UK arm of the Huffington Post. It found that more than half of respondents said they thought religion caused more problems than it solved, with less than a quarter believing faith to be a force for good.

As our country has become increasingly secular and irreligious, toleration for religious practices and beliefs continues to decline. In doing so, religion and those who hold religious beliefs are increasingly seen as irrational and outdated in their thinking. When observing the religious conflict and persecution around the world, there appears to be an underlying assertion that if citizens of those countries aren’t willing to initiate progress and embrace liberal secularism and democracy, then all sides might as well be left to fight it out amongst themselves and deal with the consequences. Living in the UK, where, for so long, religious faith has been unassuming and often seen as a personal matter, it is beyond the understanding of many as to why anyone would take religion so seriously that they would either kill or be willing to die for their faith.

We might be proud that we have elevated ourselves above the perceived nonsense of religion, but in doing so we actually display a great deal of ignorance and fail to understand the different motivations and attitudes that are held by the vast majority of the world’s population.

Religion is, in fact, a broad and vague term, and yet it is too often used to lump a whole range of beliefs and faiths together as if they were in some way more or less the same and of equal value. If we are not willing to explore the differences between faiths and their accompanying political ideologies, how can we make sense of these increasing levels of persecution that brings fear and suffering to the lives of so many?

The religious illiteracy that afflicts so many of us – including our politicians – reduces the empathy for those who hold tightly onto their faith and suffer as a result: we effectively reduce them to second-class humans, disregarding the basic human right of the freedom to hold religious beliefs. If this were not so, would there not be a more significant response than just a few MPs fighting the cause of religious minorities and concerned about the plight of persecuted Christians in particular? The suffering of women in countries where they lack basic civil rights is well supported and rightly so, but how is it any different for those who hold to a particular belief and are trying to get on with their lives peacefully and without prejudice?

Dr Bhatti writes that his dead brother’s “strong, unwavering conviction and discussion with me always was that non-involvement is not an option; we are obligated being one human family to struggle for those who are too weak to speak and defend themselves”.

Shahbaz Bhatti risked his life for this cause and paid the ultimate price. His brother has now stepped into his shoes and (probably) awaits the same fate. But in the eyes of both, this is a price worth paying for the sake of justice and freedom.

Until more of our MPs are able to appreciate the scale of this catastrophe and how serious it is for the millions who live under the dark cloud of spiritual oppression, influential people like Prince Charles will need to keep banging the drum in the hope that the message will eventually get through.

  • Busy Mum

    In the first instance, His Royal Highness needs to be asking himself what he’s doing banging a Roman Catholic drum – not inappropriate given that yesterday was 5th November!

    • Aren’t you on the wrong thread Busy Mum?

      • Busy Mum

        No, this does follow on from the previous day’s thread but I am referring to the second and final paragraphs in this post.

  • carl jacobs

    For a victim to be important globally, he must first represent a class that is important locally. The local reaction to external persecution is an extension of local judgments about both the relative worth of people and the reasons for which they are persecuted. The egalitarianism that drives so much of Western thought has no purchase in this calculation. There is a definitive hierarchy of victim hood. “Can I identify with the victim?” Yes or no. “Can I identify with why he is being persecuted?” Yes or no. When the answers both turn up “No” then the natural conclusion is “Well, it could never happen to me so what do I care?”

    There are also some less than noble unspoken motivations that proceed from the increasing hostility to religion in Western culture. The persecution of religion by religion tends to confirm the Secularist’s view of himself and his world. He looks upon it and says to himself “See how much better I am. I have progressed above all that.” It also serves as a useful case study for “Why we need to get rid of religion.” If he perceives local benefit from the persecution to his local struggle against religion, then he won’t have as much motivation to oppose it.

    This BTW is the danger in self-referential morality. When we are the measure, then morality extends only as far as our concerns. And if we aren’t all that concerned?

    • CliveM

      “The persecution of religion by religion tends to confirm the Secularist’s view of himself and his world. He looks upon it and says to himself “See how much better I am. I have progressed above all that.” It also serves as a useful case study for “Why we need to get rid of religion.” ”

      Yes that sums it up nicely.

    • Thank you Carl. Very well put.

  • Graham Goldsmith

    In a secular culture there is probably little sympathy for the plight of religious people because the caricature is that ”religion causes more war than anything ” or ” well they started it with the crusades” so its just a case accepting thats what its like with religion. Its further confirmed in that we have a brutal manifestation of religion at this time in the form of extreme Islam. The other aspect is that due to cultural sensitivities the authorities probably fear a backlash against Muslims at home should this issue be given too much prominence. If it was any other people group there would have been much more condemnation and a call for action. Even Christians point to the teachings of Jesus, saying that we should expect and even welcome persecution in his name. Looking at all the wars in the last thousand years very few have been fought solely on religious grounds and many more people have been killed as a result of secular ideologies although some wars have had religious elements. Inaction is partly down to fear in a multi cultural setting plus there is a sense of war weariness and a realisation of the limits to what direct action by western powers can achieve. The situation there is occupying our prayer life like no other.

  • The Inspector General

    I say, steady on Gillan, we don’t want you turning into a foot stamping schoolgirl, now do we. Yes, it’s horrible in much of the world, but you get that with the lower orders of humanity. One pointed out yesterday that many of the races out there have little regard for human life, even their own. Respect for others just isn’t in their makeup. No one’s fault, unless you are daring to point the finger at God Almighty, for whom we owe our existence, however we choose to live it. We are as he designed it. There’s no getting away from that.

    You blame our politicians for showing little interest. Why should they. Their remit is the best interests of this country. Most of them are unable to achieve that, as they fawn before the EU. You also realise that if you seriously want politicians to do anything about it, you need to kill people. A great many people. But you don’t want that, do you. No. You want to summon these unpleasant types to a Western meeting and then they’ll all go away and implement YOUR wishes.

    So forget it then. If you want to do something useful, highlight the Islamification of the UK. You might even have time to cover black crime and well. We may have invited these lower orders in, but we don’t have to put up with their alien ways. Let’s put Britain first, shall we.

    Now off you go, and type away…

    • Ummm … its not just “religious illiteracy” that “reduces .. empathy” then.

      • The Inspector General

        There’s empathy here. So much so that your man will do his utmost to install and maintain strong arm men in these areas to ‘guide’ their wretched people.. That’s the only way you will stop persecution. THERE IS NO OTHER !

        • But why are they “the lower orders of humanity” and why do they “have little regard for human life”?

          • The Inspector General

            Looks as if God’s plan for his human creation somewhat differs from your expectations thereof. Hard bloody luck…

          • So the “lower orders of humanity” and their “little regard for human life” was all a part of God’s plan for his human creation?

            Did He make the white races superior is some way?

          • bluedog

            Read ‘Why the West rules – for now’ by Dr Ian Morris, then rethink your question.

          • The Inspector General

            Well, that’s how it has panned out. Do drop this quasi Marxist line. You are not the equal of some IS man who shoots some luckless captive in the back of the head for having the temerity to exist. Neither is the Inspector.

            Mind how you go, you fool…

          • “Well, that’s how it has panned out.”

            Has human history come to an end then, Inspector? No hope at all for the “lower orders of humanity”. Or are you claiming there is something inherently superior about white people that permitted their advance and just does not exist in others?

          • The Inspector General

            You mentioned colour Jack, not this man.

            You need to shake off the remnants of your former Marxism if you are going to make it as a Christian.

          • Not colour … or race? Are you denying this has any impact, Inspector? If so, how are you distinguishing between these
            “lower orders of humanity” and other, presumably,
            “higher orders”?

          • The Inspector General

            Behaviour. What else is there ?

          • Good …. but what causes behaviour, Inspector? Surely it applies across groups?

            “You might even have time to cover black crime and well. We may have invited these lower orders in, but we don’t have to put up with their alien ways.”

            So why use skin colour as a determinant? Or is Jack misunderstanding you?

          • The Inspector General

            The Inspector has concluded his case. The jury must now decide…

          • What case? “Nolo contendere”, more like. Come on; unlike you to be coy.

            What did this mean: “One pointed out yesterday that many of the races out there have little regard for human life, even their own”?

          • The Inspector General

            Do you at least acknowledge that God’s plan is working, and in entirety right now, or does your breath-taking arrogance deny that ? Would you also admit that God’s plan is standalone. It
            does not need religious devotion from any of us to succeed. We play no part in it in essence, other than to be here. God does not need our cooperation, and it shows. We really are left to get on with it, as we amuse and delight (?) our creator.

          • God’s plan of salvation is, of course, working. That doesn’t mean we can’t be on the wrong side of its unfolding. And just how do you think God achieves His purpose in human history?

          • carl jacobs

            some IS man who shoots some luckless captive in the back of the head for having the temerity to exist.

            Yes, Jack, get with the program. It’s not like white people would shoot some luckless captive in the back of the head for having the temerity to exist. Can you name any examples of that happening?

            Oh, wait…

          • Yes, Jack knows. its my youthful Gramscian Marxism, you see. Mea culpa. Jack just can’t get it out of his head that culture, particularly faith systems, impact on behaviour. Christianity, wedded to Greek philosophy and Roman law, has had nothing to do with raising the West from the gutter.

            Jack must remember its all to do with racial and group DNA and the superiority of the Master white race. France in the 18th century and Germany in the 20th century were aberrations. Yes; that’s it. Aberrations that prove the Inspector’s rule.

          • The Inspector General

            To prove an earlier point about ingrained wickedness, the
            Inspector has next to him a devout Syrian muslim….

            “Now, sit there and be quiet, you awful person.”

            “Effendi, Allah Akbar !!!”

            “Oh Lord, the bastard’s coming at the Inspectorate with a
            scimitar in his hand ! Now, he’s trying to cut one’s head off !!”

            Will the Inspector survive this attempt on his person, or is
            this his Islamic end. Tune into Cranmer tomorrow and find out !

            {To end with ‘Devil’s Gallop’…}

          • carl jacobs

            You forgot “Same Bat time. Same Bat channel.”

          • The Inspector General

            Yes, one has always thought of you sounding like the narrator thereof…

    • CliveM

      Oh dear, why do I laugh when I know I shouldn’t. I thoroughly disapprove of a lot of what you said whilst agreeing with the gist of it.

      If their is Purgatory, every time I read one of your “carefully considered” posts, I get given an additional 100 years!!!!!!!

      • The Inspector General

        Clive, you too are granted a plenary indulgence. It means you can laugh in church if you so desire. The going rate is thirty bob, payable to Cranmer’s paupers collection box.

        • CliveM

          Cheap at half the price!

          Can you loan me it?

    • James60498 .

      Hague was at a meeting last week saying that we have to use our influence in the Commonwealth to promote “gay rights”

      Cameron has said that he wants to export “gay marriage” and that he is looking to tie aid to better “treatment of gays”.

      How is this concentrating on “the best interests of this country”?

      • The Inspector General

        Have given up on Hague. Similar ages are that man and this one here. Thought he might have been a Conservative warrior, but he now reminds one of that fellow who lived in 10 Rillington Place.

        Cameron is a metropolitan arse, who has abused Conservative supporters, of which this man is, due to the blighter, is no longer…

      • Politically__Incorrect

        It’s apparently in our best interests to appease the Beelzebum god instead of focusing on the plight of those who are genuinely suffering. Why should we be concerned about Christians being beheaded and crucified when there is the more pressing humanitarian issues of gay men not being able to glide up the aisle in a wedding dress?

        The problem is that those who are dying in darkness don’t have much time to care about anybody else’s life. Our nation is in spiritual torpor. Nothing matters except these false gods they have created. In the Old Testament, Israel suffered terribly when it turned from the Lord. This country has probably not seen the worst yet.

      • DanJ0

        Almost every thread here tangents to the topic of homosexuality. Christians in general seem obsessed about it. You people seem to think about homosexuality more than I do, and I’m a homosexual! It’s no wonder the religion is slowly dying in the UK.

        • Phil R

          There are a lot of “worthy” issues that we could use our influence (LOL) to promote with the commonwealth.

          e.g. Take the previous thread on gender selective abortion or female circumcision/education, political freedom, access to healthcare or even the persecution of Christians.

          Instead we decide to make an issue over gay rights. Which only affect 1 or 2 % of the population at best.

          Why then is accepting your behaviour, so important to human flourishing that we must promote it above all other issues?

          • DanJ0

            “Why then is accepting your behaviour, so important to human flourishing that we must promote it above all other issues?”

            It’s not just behaviour, it’s essential being. But hey. I suspect it’s all bound up in the notion of human dignity, human individuality and human rights. That is, we’re promoting the acceptance of diversity in general by focusing on specific things. Just a thought. Of course, the UK promotes a lot of things behind the scenes in the Commonwealth countries. Abolition of the death penalty is one example.

          • Phil R

            Clever reply

            Divert and associate with something the majority will have no issue with.

            Good one

          • DanJ0

            Feel free to explain why you think the Government is allegedly promoting it above all other issues. Preferably without reference to articles by the Family Research Council etc.

          • Phil R

            Family Research Council

            Proscribed ?

            But I thought you gays on this blog believed in free speech?

          • DanJ0

            Christ on a bike, you’re a berk at times.

          • Phil R

            Carl has also commented on your debating style

            Resorting to insults whenever it suits.

            True to form?

          • DanJ0

            You’re claiming that comment to which I replied was a reasonable part of a debate? Or the one before it? If so then I refer you to back to my comment again.

          • Phil R

            This is ridiculous I am not wasting any more time,

          • DanJ0

            Ridiculous and hysterical is what I thought of your cretinous comment about proscription and free speech. You’re a bloody drama queen at times.

          • Phil R

            “Ridiculous and hysterical”

            is worrying about

            “proscription and free speech”

            Glad to hear it

          • DanJ0

            Oh f’god’sake. What proscription, you half-wit? You’re on a blog site run by a libertarian Christian. Can you get any more fecking dramatic?

          • Phil R

            Thank you

            You last answer was actually very informative

            Have a nice day.

          • DanJ0

            Why wasn’t it immediately obvious, you berk? You should join the local amateur dramatics society, you have a natural talent there by the look of it.

        • Phil R

          “no wonder the religion is slowly dying in the UK”

          A number of Churches would agree with you that being out of step with the culture is a reason that certain Churches are losing members and influence.

          However the opposite seems to be the reality. Those Churches that preach a more orthodox position seem to be growing and those that try to adapt current cultural norms seem to be losing members.

          I think that Churches have always made the mistake of following the culture. In recent history they jumped on the band waggon of supporting WW1 and later many Christian Churches to our shame, agreed with Eugenics and Racism that was so prevalent in the 1930s. In the 1960s and 70s it was “Liberation Theology” and more recently a focus on individuals claiming spirit based revelation and prophesy that is counter to scripture.

          Many churches now state that homosexual relationships are a good thing and “marrying ” and accepting homosexuality is away to proclaim Gods love.

          Many who post here consider those churches to be wrong as were the churches who glorified war, or were racist etc.

          In a few years time the culture will have moved on and we will be having a discussion about accepting the next new thing that the current culture considers acceptable but the Bible states otherwise.

          • Coniston

            The Church should always be counter-cultural. If not there is something wrong with it. It should never just follow the zeitgeist: it so often leads to heresy.

        • James60498 .

          The article is about the government not helping Christians abroad.
          The inspector said that the government was not interested in helping Christians abroad because it’s job was to concentrate on people at home.
          I pointed out that it is VERY interested in helping homosexuals abroad just not anyone else.
          I don’t see that as going off at a tangent.
          If you want to complain about people obsessing over homosexuals then your first point of call it would seem should be the government. Perhaps they might listen to you as they certainly don’t listen to anyone else.
          And I certainly agree with PhilR. Churches who hold out against cultural change are doing very well.

    • sarky

      ‘Respect for others just isn’t in their makeup’

      its just clicked, inspector you MUST be one of the ‘lower orders of humanity’ that you talk about. How else would you have been able to describe yourself so beautifully! !!!

      If you are one of the ‘higher orders of humanity’ that you seem to think you are, then we truly are f####d!!!!!!

      • The Inspector General

        This sarcasm business. Do work on it…

        • CliveM

          I think he gets paid by the exclamation mark…….

    • Phil R

      You are right Inspector

      The Christian teaching of both forgiveness and loving your neighbour was completely at odds with the Roman and Greek culture and is completely at odds with many cultures today.

      I think our Hague and Co go around the world believing that that the people they meet who want to kill them (and us) basically think same as us and can who can be put on the straight and narrow if they just see sense and accept a bit of cash for passing the “right” laws (Which will never be enforced)

      They think we are weak and stupid. If our aim is to just export liberal tolerance without Christianity they are right and they are right to take our money and laugh. The values they want to export are meaningless without Christianity and the non Christian world gets it, but our leaders are too stupid to realise this fact.

  • Owl

    Is the problem really religion or is it the underlying culture which not only allows it but, dare I say, “encourages it”?
    In more simple days, Brits had a culture which many people even died for. MultiCulti has left us wide open (thanks Tony and ilk).

    • dannybhoy

      I think you’ve nailed it.
      This is not another multiculti rant, but in the Great Britain I grew up in, society was almost totally homogenous. We were white British. there were county differences and rivalries, Welsh/Scots/Irish and English rivalries and historical episodes, battles and wars etc.
      But it was our history, our story, and when it mattered we pulled together. Religious beliefs and practices were either Catholic, Anglican or non Conformist (Yay!) and people pretty much understood the differences and accepted them.
      The strange thing today is that it is the Christian faith under attack; “religion” is branded as superstition and backward, yet there is one religion which is neither dissected nor disparaged.
      It is not historical British Christianity that is causing the problems, but it is Christianity that is becoming the religious whipping boy..

      • CliveM

        The Church of Scotland is not non conformist. It is the established church in Scotland, part of the UK. Stop having such an Anglo centric view of Britain! 🙂

        • dannybhoy

          Sorry Clive. Quite right to correct me.

          • CliveM

            I was being a pedant!!

          • dannybhoy

            So what do you do in your spare time? 😉

          • CliveM

            Wind up the wife by spending time on this site!

          • dannybhoy

            Remember Clive.
            It’s God first,
            Family (wife) second,
            Cranmer third,
            Church fourth,
            and Scotland last of all… 🙂

          • IanCad

            I feel so much better now, knowing that I am not alone.
            Misery loves company.

      • Owl

        Danny,
        I think that the main difference was that people from other cultures came to Britain and accepted our culture and were prepared to integrate regardless of race, colour or creed.
        Our culture has been systematically watered down and now appears weak.
        I think this is the main problem. We need more people to stand up for our own culture and stop this failed multiculti experiment.

        • dannybhoy

          Yes, I’d agree with that.
          Certainly Sikhs and Hindus settled in, asked no favours (apart I think from Sikh turbans) and made no demands. The Jewish community is our oldest and likewise has contributed greatly in all areas of national life.
          I think Human Rights legilsation has caused serious problems. The Commission for Racial Equality whilst well intentioned, also became an avenue of discontent and unrest.
          To have allowed the growth of different identities, cultural and religious representation, has made us less, not more integrated.

  • len

    In the minds of many people secularists have destroyed the credibility of Christianity and have reduced Christianity to the level of ‘myth and legend.’ So Christians are seen by many as out of touch and living in a bygone age.
    So Christianity is seen as being of no value to modern man.
    This is as much a failure on the part of the church as those outside the church who wish to’ break free of the restrictions of religion’ and’ do their own thing'(which seems to be mainly what religion has restricted for the common good.
    Secularists attacked the foundations of Christianity and replaced Biblical Truth with a theory (which was not aimed at finding truth but eliminating the Creator from the equation)
    So man feels free now to reject God and to make his own laws and his own moral codes in the illusion that he is breaking free of all restriction.
    Now the restraining hand of God is off and we are beginning to see what really lies at the heart of man.
    There is only one solution to the predicament of man and God has already supplied the solution in the redemption offered by Jesus Christ and the wise will choose it.The Gospel must be preached in a clear simple fashion as the disciples did to a dying world and the church does not seem to be doing that!.

  • James60498 .

    There are undoubtedly some people in Western governments that do care that Christians are being persecuted.

    I would suggest that they are quite content for it to continue, and they are all but funding it. For the majority, you are right. They don’t care.

  • David Trevett

    Lion Time for Christians.

  • IanCad

    An excellent and disturbing post Gillan.
    Thank you for telling us of Dr. Paul Bhatti.
    Religious liberty must be for all.
    Prayers for that man.
    As an aside; the approval arrows in this new format – at least as far as I’m concerned – make it tempting not to comment and to rather just click a box.
    In my case that may be a good thing. Long winded and all that.

    • CliveM

      Aaarrgh read your first paragraph, up voted, then read the rest!

      Now feel a bit foolish.

  • len

    For Christians to restore the credibility of Christianity we need to go back to the very foundations (which is the Genesis account) and replay the historical fact of the fall of man and its consequences and effect on the whole human race.
    Secularists (and some Christians ) have proposed the theory that man is’ basically good ‘ and that education and environment are all that is needed for man to progress and to live in complete harmony with the environment ( the ‘environment’ has become almost a religion today) and his fellow man.
    This is the concept behind all those who have endeavored to create a ‘ utopia’ on Earth.
    The truth is far from this ideal man has the ability to do good but also the ability to do great evil these are but two sides of the same coin.

    God knew that from the fall of man that a’ coalition’ would be formed (intentionally on the part of man or not) with the adversary of God who deceived the parents of mankind into distrust and ultimately rebellion against God .This led mankind into bondage and under the direct authority of all that opposes the moral order of God.
    In the beginning God spoke into Chaos and created Light and order without that Light and order we descend back into darkness both moral and spiritual .

    God has given us the solution to the dilemma we find ourselves today(Jesus Christ) but it seems few will find Him or even desire to know Him)

  • SidneyDeane

    I just can’t believe God is allowing this to happen.

    • len

      It is the secular world that has’ allowed this to happen’..at least put the blame in the right place…..
      There seem a certain smugness in your attitude to the persecution of Christians Sidney which to me shines a spotlight on why the secular world seems content to turn a blind eye to the suffering of Christians …
      Remember they came for us first and you did nothing…..

    • That is because you don’t know your Bible.

    • carl jacobs

      That’s OK. You seem to believe that a collection of organic molecules somehow became self-aware. Your capacity to believe is quite intact.

  • WE need to understand that persecution is the default position for the true Church of God, and that lack of persecution means that the Church is not doing its job properly.
    ‘Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s suffering.’ (1 Peter 4:12f).
    “Blessed are you when men hate you and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of man’s sake.
    Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. But………..woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets”
    (Luke 6:22-23, 26).
    The fact that the Church of England has been so well thought-of for so long speaks volumes. Perhaps she is just coming to realise her true calling.

  • len

    Judeo/Christian moral principles are the very bedrock of a civilized society.We are beginning to learn the cost of discarding these principles.
    It will be a hard lesson as we are already finding out.
    Some of our politicians are beginning to realise that things are starting to get out of control but have no idea how the get ‘the genie back into the bottle’ now it has been released.There seems to be a certain power in ‘lawlessness’ which is exponential.

  • steroflex

    ” toleration for religious practices and beliefs continues to decline.”
    Not for Muslims!