Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another Sign of the Times: Persecution

This is a fascinating video and well worth watching, as it involves a British parliamentary debate on the worldwide persecution of Christians - recall that Jesus mentioned persecution as a sign of the last days in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24).

Video: The Plight of Persecuted Christians

In addition to the video, there is an accompanying article with a few interesting quotes:

David Simpson MP began the debate by announcing the issues being discussed: ‘the violent persecution of Christians internationally and restrictions on or the denial of civil and religious liberties for Christians in some parts of the world.’ Mr. Simpson then described some of the horrendous acts that have been committed against Christian victims on the African continent.

In Nigeria, more than two thousand Christian men and women have been killed in ‘targeted violence’ in the last year alone. After the recent election in Nigeria, in which Muhammadu Buhari, an avowed Muslim and former military leader, was defeated at the ballot box by a margin of almost two to one by a Christian candidate, ‘massive simultaneous attacks against Christians’ were carried out throughout the north of the country, which is predominantly Muslim.

In the United Kingdom, the policy seems to be that people can do whatever they like against Christianity — criticise it or blaspheme the name of Christ — as long as they do not insult Islam.’

Tony Baldry MP continued the debate by saying that what is happening in northern Nigeria is ‘frightening’. Mr. Baldry said, ‘A system of religious repression is developing in parts of northern and central Nigeria, and effectively there has been imposition of sharia law in those areas.’

Jim Shannon MP stated that in northern Nigeria, ‘deadly religious violence occurs with regularity, with the result that hundreds of people are killed at a time.’ Mr. Shannon provided details of some of these ‘horror stories’. In an attack on 17th March 2010, twelve Christians, including a pregnant woman, were ‘massacred.’ This ‘atrocity’ was carried out, according to several reports, by ‘Muslim herdsmen’ who entered the village of Byie armed with guns and machetes.

Mr. Shannon also cited an incident that happened ten days earlier, the details of which are quite appalling. Some five hundred Christians were murdered in an outbreak of what one newspaper described as ‘Muslim fury’

Now the attackers set fire to the homes of their victims and lay in wait at the villages’ exit points. Some used animal traps and nets to catch their victims. The attackers murdered entire families while shouting out the takbir. Many children were ‘macheted in their necks, their heads’, at least one was scalped, and many were burned to death.

Staff working for Christian Solidarity Worldwide counted the bodies of four babies and twenty-eight children younger than five years old in just one of the villages.

Mr. Shannon then described the legal situation in Pakistan, a country which, as he too noted, receives substantial financial aid from the United Kingdom. Mr. Shannon stated that, ‘Pakistan’s blasphemy laws authorise government and societal persecution of Christians.

Indeed, Pakistan absolutely refuses to progress towards being a religiously free society. According to Pakistani law, blasphemy against the name of Muhammad is a crime punishable by death, and desecrating the Koran warrants life imprisonment.’ Mr. Shannon reminded us that Christians in Pakistan need not actually do these things, they just have to be accused ‘and the retribution comes right away.’

These stories above represent just a tiny sample of the vast array of examples from around the world involving Christian persecution. Many estimates from several watchdog groups state that approximately 150,000 - 160,000 Christians are killed annually simply for believing in Christ Jesus.

There has never been an era of Christian persecution like this - even during the Roman Empire days the number of Christian deaths was no where near what we see today. And it rarely gets even a passing glance by the MSM.

You may want to bookmark the following link, as weekly updates are provided for Christian persecution from around the world:

Voice of the Martyrs

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