Rorate Caeli

Aldo Maria Valli: If even the BBC wises up to the fact that Christians are being persecuted…

Aldo Maria Valli
H/T Ricognizioni 
(once known as Riscossa Cristiana)
June 4, 2019

Our persecuted and forgotten brothers and sisters in Christ

“The persecution of Christians is at a level near that of genocide.” This statement is from an unexpected source - the British BBC, which reports on a study commissioned by the Foreign Minister, Jeremy Hunt, and carried out by the Anglican Bishop of Truro, Philip Ian Mounstephen.

Reportedly, one out of three people in the world is suffering religious persecution, and Christians are decidedly “the most persecuted group, so much so, that in three areas of the world the level and nature of the persecution is ostensibly nearing the international definition (adopted by the United Nations) of genocide.”
In this regard, Jeremy Hunt, notes how Western Governments seem to be “fast asleep” and incapable of reacting or at the very least of showing sensitivity in the face of such a situation. 
According to Hunt, there is perhaps embarrassment, on the part of the West, connected to the fact that some European countries have a guilty conscience in that they are former colonialist countries. Even if such an attitude is in part understandable, we need to stress that in reality, many of the Christians most persecuted in the world, have never had anything to do with colonialism and with the presence of Western missionaries. Christians threatened with genocide, for example, the Assyrians of Syria and  Iraq or the Coptics in Egypt, were Christians many centuries before the forefathers of the European colonizers became Christian and went on missions.

Nigerian Christians

The BBC report identifies  the “politically correct” [phenomenon]  as the main reason for the West’s indifference, an absurd attitude, given that, as Hunt explains, very frequently, the Christian populations persecuted are also the poorest in the world.  
However, Raymond Ibrahim (whose latest book is The Sword and the Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West) in an article for Gatestone Institute, notes that albeit the BBC rightly denounces “the politically correct”, in turn, they show themselves to be a victim of it when they avoid indicating who is actually persecuting the Christians and why.     

Syrian Christians

“The overwhelming majority of Christian persecutions” – writes Ibrahim – “take place in predominantly Muslim nations.” According to World Watch List 2019 of Open Doors, which studies the fifty nations where Christians are most persecuted, “Islamic oppression continues to have an impact on millions of Christians” and in seven of the nations most afflicted, the cause of the persecution is specifically Islam. Which means that for millions of Christians openly following Jesus may have painful consequences, including death. 

Among the worst persecutors are the countries that govern by Islamic law - the Sharia.  In Afghanistan it is simple: “Christianity cannot exist”, says the Open Doors report.  Since it is an Islamic State constitutively, government officials, ethnic groups, religious officials and citizens are programmatically hostile to Christians.

Likewise in Somalia, the small Christian community is under constant threat of attack, given that the Sharia is an integral part of the country’s constitution and the persecution of Christians almost always involves violence. Also in Iran, the report states: “society is governed by Islamic law, which entails that the rights and professional possibilities for Christians are greatly limited.” Similarly significant is the fact that thirty-eight of the fifty nations in which Christians are the most persecuted are predominantly Muslim.    

Church destruction in Syria 

“The intention to erase all signs of  the Christian presence in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Egypt, north-east Nigeria and the Philippines, is made evident by the removal of crucifixes and the destruction of religious buildings and other symbols. In some parts of the Middle East, Christians risk being wiped out.  In Palestine, they are reduced to 1.5% of the population. In Syria they have dropped from 1.7million in 2011 to less than 450 thousand and in Iraq they have plummeted from 1.5 million before 2003 to less than 120 thousand today.”  

In conclusion, when you hear that Christianity in those countries is at risk of extinction  - it is no exaggeration.
Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana