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

by Dr. D ~ November 11th, 2013

Previous posts in this series:

Islam

                   (Photo credit: rogiro)

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

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

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

An average of 100,000 Christians a year have been killed for their faith during the last 10 years. Most of the persecution has happened in Muslim dominated countries but there are some major exceptions. In the final two parts we will explore what I believe are the major ‘religious’ contexts for this large number of deaths.

The rise of radical Islam in the last 50 years is historically familiar to most. However there is a major religious component and understanding that is the primary motivation and foundation behind that rise- the eschatological hopes and expectations taught within the Quran.

Major  Context: Islamic  Eschatology

With the rise of Iran in 1979, Islamic eschatology once more became a driving force in the Middle East. The Iranian religious leaders immediately began telling their people and all Shiites that the Iranian revolution was a sign that the culmination of history was about to take place. Soon the ‘Hidden’ Shia ‘12th Imam’ would appear and the yoke and influence of the Western nations would be expelled from Muslim lands forever. A new Caliphate was on the horizon, and eventually Islam would dominate the whole world and all other religions and competing philosophies would be eliminated.

In the scheme of this modern Shiite eschatological teaching, the USA –the great Satan and the Little Satan- Israel were the major opponents standing in the way that must be defeated. Then the ‘Hidden Shia Imam’ would take his place as the leader of a new Islamic Caliphate which would eventually dominate and conquer the world both politically and religiously.

The ‘Hidden 12th Imam’ would become or prepare the way the promised messianic ‘Mahdi’ of the Quran and rule the world along with prophet Isa (the Muslim name for Jesus) who would return and demand that all join Islam or suffer death. Jews and Christians would be Isa’s major initial targets. See links below for some of the posts that I have written on this Shiite eschatological scenario.

A similar eschatology provided the theological foundation for the rise of radical Sunni Islam (sans the teaching about the 12th Imam which is a Shia wrinkle). From the Sunni perspective, represented by major Sunni imams and teachers in the Muslim Brotherhood, it begins with the expulsion of Western rule and culture from Muslim lands. A secondary goal is the eradication of the Jewish state of Israel with Jerusalem once again solely under Muslim rule. Then the establishment of a new Islamic Caliphate. Culminating in the rise of a new Muslim ruler -the promised ‘Mahdi’ who would conquer and rule the whole world with the prophet Isa (Jesus) at his side who would demand the sole worship of Allah with Islam as the world’s only legal religion.

Westerners do not understand the power of these ‘end-time’ Quranic teachings. While only roughly 10% of the Muslims support the rise of radical Islam nearly all of the Muslim population around the world have been infected and enlivened with a new hope in and though the rise of  Islamic eschatological teaching in the last 30 years. Most Muslims now expect and look forward to the rise of Islamic influence, the eclipse Western power, along with the establishment of a new Caliphate and eventually world domination. They only disagree upon the tactics.

The Saudi rulers travel enough around the world to realize that Muslim countries in the Middle East are too far behind the West technologically and economically to dominate right now so their strategy has been to wait and to educate and prepare the next generation. While radicals like al Qaeda’s bin Laden and the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood looked upon the Saudi ruling family and other leaders like Mubarak in Egypt, and those in Tunisia, Libya, Jordan and others as supporting the West and standing in the way of progress toward Sharia law and a new Caliphate.

That was what the ‘Arab Spring’ was really all about. The Western press got it entirely wrong. It was really all about replacing Western supporting despotic leaders with more radical Islamic leaders and regimes who would ‘purify’ the Muslim lands and rule according to Sharia law overthrowing the influence of the West both culturally and politically. It is no surprise that it started in Tunisia, the most moderate Muslim country where Muslim women were required to dress in Western garb rather than Muslim hijabs and burkas until the Arab Spring revolution.

This new emphasis upon eschatological teaching in Islam has affected how Muslims now view other religions. The Islamic radicals are pushing to eliminated all other religions in Muslim lands. For example, in Afghanistan the Taliban destroyed the ancient Buddhist statues of  Bamiwam and outlawed Christianity bringing an end to the last church in that country.

This is the context that has led to the persecution of Christians living in the Middle East who had been there living with their Muslim neighbors in peace for over a thousand years. But now the Muslim lands must be ‘purified’ according to this new eschatological emphasis. Christianity is associated with the West and the oppressors and the Western culture that must be eradicated along with all other religions. So began the open season on Christians. Much of the time it is literally encouraged by the teaching of local imams.

So the current eschatological teaching in Islam has become the foundation on which Christians in Muslim dominated lands have been targeted for persecution and even death. Some are even now questioning whether there will even be any Christians left in the Middle East in 10 more years or so after being there for nearly 2,000.

Over 500,000 Iraqi Christians fled that country after the fall of Saddam Hussein when radical Islamic gangs went house to house in Christian neighborhoods forcing them to convert or leave. Now the same thing is happening in Syria and in some parts of Egypt. The worst example of what we are talking about is happening in Nigeria with the Boko Haram (name: “Western education is sinful”) who continue to attack Christian villages, schools, and churches killing thousands every year.

So hundreds of thousands of Christians in the last ten years living in Muslim lands have faced the choice of death, conversion, or leaving behind lands, businesses, and homes that have been in their families for over a thousand years and in many cases even predated the founding of Islam.

However, not all killing of Christians for their faith has happened at the hands of radical Muslims. There is another context which has brought on the deaths of Christians in China, North Korea, India, South America, and other places around the world. This second major context will be covered in our next and final post in this series.            *Top

Posts related to Shiite eschatology:

-Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei Telling Advisors The ‘Hidden Imam’ Will Be Coming While He’s Still Leader

-Ayatollah Khamenei Commands All Muslims to Follow His Orders

-Iran: Ayatollah Khamenei Tells His Nation to Prepare for ‘End-Time’ War

-Iran: Annihilate Israel and Kill All Jews

-Ahmadinejad: New ‘Age of Enlightenment’ Coming Soon

-Iranian Eschatology: Why They Call USA the ‘Great Satan’

Posts on Sunni views and the Caliphate:

-Muslim Brotherhood Goal: “United Arab States” Caliphate with Jerusalem as its Capital

-Leading Candidate for Egyptian President: Christians Must "Convert, Pay Tribute, or Leave"

-Revolting Muslims Really Seeking New Caliphate and World Dominance?

-What is behind the Middle East Turmoil? An Islamist Revival

-What the Syrian Radicals Want: Islamic Caliphate, Sharia Law, and Jihad

-Will Turkey Lead a Revived Islamic Empire?

-Turkey-Syria-Iran: A Rising New Axis of Islamic Power

-Is Turkey Becoming NATO’s Trojan Horse?

-Is ‘Gog and Magog’ Beginning to Line Up?

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

  1. -A New 'Age of Martyrs'? | APOLOGETICA

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