by Dr. D ~ October 29th, 2013
(Photo credit: PlanetObserver)
In the 1940’s journalists failed to report upon the very real holocaust that was killing thousands of Jews everyday.
Many believed that it was too terrible to be true and that a ‘civilized’ Western country like Germany could never be involved in such a monstrous enterprise. Others considered it to be mere war propaganda or excited exaggeration. Besides no one really had access to the death camps until the war was substantially over. Then the truth turned out to be far worse than anyone had ever imagined. Millions of Jews and many others slaughtered- men, women, and children.
Today we are in the midst of a ‘war’ on Christians all around the world mostly being perpetrated by radical Muslims and mostly ignored. Documented estimates put the number at around a hundred thousand killed a year. Nothing like the holocaust in Europe of the 40’s but maybe closer to the persecution and genocide of the Christian Armenians in Turkey during WWI.
Nevertheless, here’s a Jewish writer asking if we are not seeing another ‘Kristallnacht’ this time in the Middle East against Christians:
The persecution of any religious minority anywhere by anyone is an evil injustice. It requires all persons of conscience to speak out and, when possible, take action.
The upcoming 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht makes this an auspicious time to raise awareness about the contemporary violence targeting religious minorities and their places of worship. Of particular concern are attacks against Christian minorities that have occurred with alarming frequency from Syria to Egypt, from Iraq to Pakistan, and from Kenya to Sudan.
The writer- Steven Nasatir goes on to document what is happening to Christians in the Middle East particularly in Syria and Egypt (HT: Get religion ).
It is happening in so many different countries that the immensity of it all is somewhat distorted and most Christians in the West aren’t really aware of how huge this really is. Plus it is really difficult to keep up with it all.
Just this last week alone I read one article about how Iraq is quickly becoming a country where Christians can no longer safely live even in their own villages in the north. Over 500,000 Christians have fled that nation. Then I read another account about the rebels in Syria attacking another Christian village and burning churches and killing how many no one really knows. Hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled that nation also. Then there was the wedding in Egypt where Muslim radicals killed four which seemed like nothing when you read about what the Islamists did in Nigeria killing Christian students at a school. That was just in the last week or so.
Here’s another article that defines an even greater international context for what is happening to Christians around the world. From The Spectator:
… According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet.
According to the Pew Forum, between 2006 and 2010 Christians faced some form of discrimination, either de jure or de facto, in a staggering total of 139 nations, which is almost three-quarters of all the countries on earth. According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, an average of 100,000 Christians have been killed in what the centre calls a ‘situation of witness’ each year for the past decade. That works out to 11 Christians killed somewhere in the world every hour, seven days a week and 365 days a year, for reasons related to their faith.
In effect, the world is witnessing the rise of an entire new generation of Christian martyrs. The carnage is occurring on such a vast scale that it represents not only the most dramatic Christian story of our time, but arguably the premier human rights challenge of this era as well.
Response: What is really lacking is a context to make sense of it all. The media is covering all of these events and you can find references to each and every one on the Internet. But most of these stories are ignored in the American MSM or find their way in the last pages of part 2 or 3 in American newspapers if they are even covered at all. Each story is presented as standing alone in the midst of some greater context that doesn’t really involve religion except in a minor or accidental way.
Since so many in the Western media are secular folks in which religion is only a minor part of their everyday lives and experience, it is really hard for them to even consider that religion could be a major motivator behind many events around the world. As it is most reporters project their own secular views and perspectives into their understanding and analysis of news.
Intellectually they realize that religion is important to the folks they are covering but look for any other possible explanation to frame the news in. So many of the instances where Christians are persecuted or killed are explained away as unique events brought on by on-going political battles, civil war, or racial/cultural strife.
In our next post we will explore possible contexts for making sense of what is happening to Christians all around the world in the beginning of the 21th century. *Top