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-An International ‘War’ on Christians?- Part III

by Dr. D ~ November 4th, 2013

English: Ruhollah Khomeini ?????: ???? ????? (...

        (R. Khomeini: Wikipedia)

Previous posts in this series:

-An International ‘War’ on Christians? 

-An International ‘War’ on Christians?- Part II

In the previous two posts we presented the problem which is the persecution of Christians around the world resulting in an average of 100,000 death a year over the last decade.  We are attempting to provide several contexts for understanding how most of these deaths that seem arbitrary and take place in many diverse different countries are actually related.

I believe that the first important context for understanding the current persecution of Christians is the rise of radical Islam which began in the last half of the 20th century and continues today. In Part II we looked at the rise of radical Sunni Islam and in this post we will start with the rise of radical Shia Muslims beginning with the Persians.

The Rise of Radical Shia Islam

1979 brought on a revolution that saw the pro-Western government of the Shah of Iran replaced with an anti-Western theocracy under the leadership of  the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Immediately the new Islamic Republic of Iran became an international pariah when the USA embassy was over-run and 52 American diplomats were held hostage for over a year. Like the Saudis, the Iranian Shiites began spreading their own brand of radical Islam. Soon they were involved in the civil war in Lebanon and sponsored radical groups like Hezbollah to counter the Israelis.

Today Iran not only sponsors terror groups all around the world, they are particularly active in supporting radical Shiite groups in Iraq including al Sadr’s Mahdi Army, and have provided troops and weapons to back Assad’s Syrian regime in their civil war. More importantly they have spent billions preparing radical Hezbollah linked communities in Southern Lebanon for war against Israel. In the process they have placed tens of thousands of improved missiles all aimed toward Israeli cities.

Even more problematic, Iran is now on the brink of becoming a nuclear power. While claiming it is all for peaceful power they actually have thousands of centrifuges enriching uranium far beyond what is needed for strictly peaceful uses. Meanwhile the new Iranian strategy is to pretend to be going through a more moderate phase and even give President Obama the conversations he has been seeking therefore decreasing the American support for any possible Israeli preemptive strike against the Iranian nuclear program while they push it across the finish line. At least one writer saw this ‘moderate’ pretension coming months ago.

Some in the West do not see the prospect of Iran gaining nuclear weapons as a real problem that could affect international peace. After all, Pakistan and Israel already are nuclear so Iran could be seen as merely balancing out the Israeli nuclear force. On the other hand they do view a potential Israeli preemptive strike as an escalation that could get out of control and bring on a major Middle Eastern confrontation that could include a number of International players like Russia, USA, and Turkey.

What many in the west do not understand or clearly fathom is the importance of the current Shiite eschatological teaching and understanding of the ‘Hidden Imam’ and how that plays into actions in the Middle East and on the International stage. It is the eschatological passages of the Quran that have given vision and purpose to the rise of radical Shia and Sunni Islam. It has also given a major context for the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians that up to now had been left alone to live in peace for over a thousand years.

In our next post in this series we will look at the prevailing eschatological understanding in radical Islam which I believe provides one of the major contexts for current persecution and ‘war’ on Christians in the Middle East and around the world.            *Top

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1 Response to -An International ‘War’ on Christians?- Part III

  1. mark

    And Muslims see a war on Islam, both perspectives are correct. Most Christians see Islam in it’s totality as a bad religion and the consequences of that attitude plays out in the global region as much killing of those identifying themselves as muslim. In-group identification is the over-arching consideration and religion cannot be segregated from ethic binds as the focus of group enmity. This article serves only to strengthen group identification and is another example of self-serving analysis.

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