In a theses of the 21st century, an Oxford student drafted and distributed a charged call to action demanding his peers recognize the reality of religious persecution. Speaking to Meriam Ibrahim’s case, the student marveled at the taboo nature that has grown around speaking out on the behalf of Christians suffering for their faith. A moving “wake-up call,” the below hopes to serve not as an international, but a local motivator. A challenge to strike-up conversation over coffee, write a letter-to-the-editor of your local newspaper, speak to your church, or rally student outrage on your college campus. All of us can take to heart this students cry for global outrage over the plight of Christians persecuted the world over for their faith.
06/14/2014 Oxford (The Oxford Student) – We need to wake up. The tragedy of Meriam Ibrahim, a woman sentenced to hang for marrying a Christian, has brought into sharp focus the full extent of religious persecution worldwide. The Times reported two weeks ago that 100,000 Christians are martyred every year – more than at any other time in history. A secret, silent killer, this is a breach of human rights which goes beyond one woman. We need to respond.
Our young liberal class has been astonishingly quiet on this issue. It is striking that at this university, somewhere that vibrant activists congregate, one is more likely to find someone shouting ‘save the Whale’ than ‘save the Christian’. One reads in the Oxford Student newspaper countless articles on the rights of women or sexual minorities in Britain, a sign that many care about human rights, but very few pieces on this tragedy, even though it has far more fatal consequences.
How does one explain our inaction? It could be understood as a legacy of the embarrassment that our increasingly secular society feels about its Christian heritage. Or maybe our ‘tolerance’ means that we don’t feel able to critique the radical Islamist groups who many believe are the major protagonists of abuse. It may be simply a matter of location. There is little apparent religious persecution in Britain so it is easy to forget about it elsewhere. Whatever is the root, it took a woman being forced to bear a child whilst in chains to draw a national response. The last few weeks have seen #SaveMeriam trending on twitter and all three of the (at least traditionally) leading British party leaders crying out against this injustice. This hidden injustice has finally been brought into the light. We need to make sure that light doesn’t go out.