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Report on Christians’ persecutions

ICC Note

Over 200 Million Christians are suffering due to their faith in Jesus Christ. Fundamentalist Muslims are the primary persecutors of Christians. Please pray for your persecuted brothers and sisters besides supporting them in ways you can.

By Tomasz Musial

12/19/2008 Islam (Sunday Catholic Weekly)-The 20th century rightly deserved its name: a century of ‘Christian martyrs.’ It seems that the 21st century can also be marked by the blood of Christ’s followers. The report on the present persecutions of Christians in the world, presented at the beginning of this century by the organisation Aid to the Church in Need has 200 pages. The book ‘Persecuted and Forgotten’ gives only a concise outline of the situation of millions of people in several dozen countries. The reality is certainly much worse. It contains much more blood, pain and suffering.

Who is the biggest threat to Christians

Globally speaking, the first torturer is the Islamic fundamentalism, embodied by the secret terrorist units but it happens that the torturer is a legal country recognised by the international community. Another fundamentalism, which recently has raised its head high, has Hindu colour and exerts particularly strong influence on many Indian states. The religion of Buddhism, regarded as peaceful by numerous Europeans, intensified Christians’ sufferings in several cases. It happened in the countries where Buddhists were the majority. The next enemy of Christians is the totalitarian regimes, hostile to the teaching of Christ for a simple reason – it sets people free. In many parts of the world the regimes are doing well, feeding on tears, pain and blood.

Callousness…

The difficult fate of persecuted Christians is intensified by the indifference of the world. One can hear no protests, alarming voices, appeals for help for the afflicted. One has the impression that the mainstream media do not care for the fate of Christians or, most favourably, they underestimate their situations. The unequal treatment can be seen in a simple comparison of two events that happened in the places, which were relatively close to each other, in a short span of time – several months. We mean the protest of the Tibetan monks in March; the monks were pacified by the Chinese regime, and the planned pogrom of Christians in Orissa in India , which began in August. The whole world spoke about the first event. The second one was hardly noticed, and avoiding the word ‘unwillingly’, reported. The thing is not to have a bragging contest who suffered more. Both cases deserve to be publicised; the oppressors should be condemned and the alarm should be raised. The Indian Christians are not different people than the Tibetan or Burmese monks that the world spoke for successfully in 2008.

Scale of sufferings

Geography of persecutions

Sketching geography of persecutions on the basis of the report one can easily see that the situation of Christians in the Asian continent is the worst. Asia is the largest continent and at the same time it has the smallest presence of Christians, which is most frequently explained by cultural differences that were obstacles in the mass evangelisation of the ancient and rich cultures. However, the fact is that Christians have always met a wall of hostility and even hatred there, which the report clearly shows. This is also the reason why the continent to which the Gospel reached early has not really got to know Christ so far. The situation in some African countries, listed in the report, is also alarming. We mean Ethiopia , Eritrea , Somalia and Sudan . The difficult situation of Christians in these countries is caused by the constantly increasing zone of influence of Muslims, pushing from the north to the south of the continent.

The Church is in need

What to do? How to help our sisters and brothers in faith, who are tens of thousands kilometres away, who do not know ‘the day and the hour’? Distance cannot justify indifference. Most of all, information is needed. One should demand it. One should seek it. One should pass it on. May the subjects of our conversations also be pogroms, persecutions and sufferings and not only another episode of some popular serial or some scandal that occurred in an entertainment programme. Secondly, as Aid to the Church in Need advises – prayer. Constant, daily and not only occasional. Finally, financial support. One should rebuild the properties after the pogrom in India where churches and Christian houses were destroyed. Christians must live somewhere; must have their places of prayer so that the plan of the Hindu fundamentalists is not fulfilled. Their main aim is to throw Christians from these lands. We need means to rebuild houses and churches. Christians who belong to the poorest social groups in the countries that persecute them, who are fired for their faith, who are robbed, are not able to rebuild the properties themselves.

Rev. Dr. Waldemar Cislo, director of the Polish section of ‘Aid to the Church in Need, says,

The report shows the history of Christians’ heroism, which ends in death for faith in many cases. They are for us, people living in Europe that can enjoy freedom in confessing our faith, remorse. How often because of our consumerism, we forget about God. Is the blood of today’s martyrs not sufficient remorse when we wonder whether to go to Mass on Sunday whereas many of them going to church may face death?

Persecuted and forgotten

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