I-Newswire – This year, hundreds of Christians will face jail, enslavement, and death while we lay on a beach, sunbathing and sipping our cold drink through multi-coloured straws, or while we sit in a comfy office with the only worry to trouble us being whether we are sitting too close to the PC monitor.
The mainstream media of many countries appear to be content to remain silent. How many newspapers were silent while North Korean, Kim Il Sung, ordered the death of Christians who were slowly run over, feet first, by steam rollers because they would not renounce their faith.
Archbishop Gary Beaver of the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain stated Christian persecution is growing at an alarming rate. More Christians are persecuted and martyred for their faith in this century than all previous centuries combined. It is estimated that over 160,000 were killed last year alone. Yet, the Body of Christ, the men and women of faith that make up the Church Universal, of all denominations, are strangely silent as a unified body while their Christian brothers and sisters are persecuted.
Today, over 2.7 billion people are living in nations where freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association are unknown concepts, an environment where a reality of freedom of faith is not known or understood. Recent estimates report 200 million Christians around the world face actual persecution, and another 350 million face discrimination and restrictions
Archbishop Gary asked How many of us face ridicule or receive strange stares and given wide berths from those around us if we take out and read the Bible in a busy café or at work during our break? How many of us experience the obvious movement away from the seat next to us on a train, when the person sees the Gospel in our hands, fearing a hard sell confrontation by a Christian fellow traveller? Although Christians have always suffered persecution, nearly two-thirds of all Christians today suffer some form of persecution for their faith in Christ, but as good Christians we either turn the other cheek or just learn to accept these occurrences as the norm.
So what is an acceptable level of such Christian discrimination before it becomes persecution? Archbishop Gary Beaver asked. Just how much longer are Christians prepared to permit the boundaries of what is acceptable ridicule and persecution to be pushed further and further ?
Violence against Christians is rampant and growing daily, not just on the continent but also amazingly, in the UK and USA, with priests being robbed at gun point in their own churches and Christian families being the focus of extreme religious harassment, “If this does not constitute an epidemic, then I do not know what deos” said Archbishop Gary.
Jesus warned that “if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you also.” ( John 15:20 ) As more and more governments separate the Church and State, which is a worrying reality, we should be aware of greater levels of acceptable persecution. “I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” ( Revelation 17:6 )
Archbishop Gary Beaver has commenced his personal crusade to raise public awareness of this dangerous epidemic of hate through the Doing Hard Time for God campaign, and also with his weekly radio show Got God! on Interfaith Radio 1, the official Live365 internet radio station of the Old Catholic Church which can be accessed via their website www.oldcatholic.co.uk.
Archbishop Gary Beaver condemned the growing abuse of human rights and calls for the immediate action by Governments and the United Nations to help stem the growing tide of persecution based upon one’s religious beliefs.