It should alarm you that over 245 million Christians were targeted for persecution last year around the world. 80 percent of all religious persecutions were against Christians, according to a recent study commissioned by the British Government and conducted by the Catholic Church.
The Foreign Commonwealth Affairs (FCO) report was established by the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, HM Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and chaired by the Bishop of Truro, Rt. Rev. Philip Mounstephen, and it focuses on several regions of the world where persecutions of Christians are most intense, including Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
But Mountstephen says the scope of the report doesn’t include dozens of other countries where Christian persecutions occur in increasing numbers. The Bishop also affirms that the report is meant to emphasize the Human Rights abuses which face all people who are entitled to Freedom of Religion and Belief, as has been agreed to as a core human right by all nations under numerous charters agreed to by global Parliaments, Members of the U.S. Congress and members of the UN General Assembly.
And yet, these abuses continue.
ISIS and Boko Haram are probably the most vicious, but China is also a major oppressor of religious rights, as is Pakistan, and most of North African countries like Libya and Egypt.
This report is a call to all people who believe in God. There is not A greater sin, in my opinion, than to oppress or to bring harm upon any human being simply because they want to exercise their rights to worship, or to gather in fellowship to worship.
What is happening to Christians now is happening to all faiths. As Mounstephen writes, “religious rights are fundamental to all other rights, the rights of conscience, the right to free speech, etc.”
The report says it is not a condemnation of Islam, but rather, those radical factions of Islam (like ISIS or Boko Haram, and increasingly so, the Taliban in Afghanistan), who have most certainly participated in the extermination and “racial cleansing” in many Middle East and Central African regions. The scope of persecutions extends to non-Muslim countries like China, North Korea and Cuba, where atheistic governments seek to remove thr Christian religion because of its perceived threat to State power.
To put things into perspective, right now, one third of the planets‘ population of Christian believers are being persecuted or oppressed.
If you really don’t care, you should, because oppression always starts with the others until it becomes your problem.
The fact that Western Media doesn’t cover it is predictable.
We suffer from what Mountstephens calls “Post Colonial Guilt.”
I would also add that, thanks to constant badgering of Christians by the left in order to protect LGBTQ advocacy, many in Western Culture have no problem defending gender rights, but they seem to exhibit a real disdain against the religious rights of Christians – whom they despise.
But remember. Though Christians bear the brunt of persecution, as Mountstephen says, this is about the human right of religion and belief.
Article 18 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
As a Christian I find it shameful that this Genocide is occurring at a time when so many millions of us celebrate the very freedoms and liberty that derive from Christian principles, which led to the recognition of human dignity in modern times.
I find it shameful that the people who have most benefited from the charters of liberty are deaf to the sufferings of people simply because they don’t think Christian suffering matters.
Food for thought for people of faith: instead of trying so hard to find and save new souls, maybe we should, instead, focus our efforts to help rescue our brothers and sisters who fear for their lives while we lavish under the banner of liberty living in a free society.
James R. Watkins is a media consultant, author and host of the weekly Podcast Speaking Out