The Easter massacre in Sri Lanka (at least 290 dead and 500 wounded) highlights the worldwide upsurge in Christian persecution. According to the Open Doors Foundation, the number of Christians killed for their faith increased five-fold, from 1,201 in 2012 to 4,131 last year. It’s estimated that one in 10 Christians is persecuted or discriminated against somewhere in the world.
We regularly hear that no one cares. In terms of the mainstream media, political establishment, and even many Christian leaders (who are afraid of bucking the tide of political correctness), this undeniably true.
But many of us keenly feel this affront to humanity. As a Jew, I care because:
- Been there, done that – Jews may be the most persecuted people in history, going back to the pharaoh of Exodus. Over the course of 3,000 years, we’ve endured pogroms, expulsions, forced conversions, segregation, demonization, and attacks on our sacred symbols, culminating with the Holocaust, but extending into the age of terrorism. In other words, we can relate.
- Their enemies are our enemies. The same creatures committing atrocities against Christians are howling for the blood of Jews – and often getting it – ISIS, the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran and every other Islamic regime. The Muslim Brotherhood had a saying: “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.” We’re all targets of the international jihad.
- Increasingly, Christians support Israel. With 2 million members, Christians United for Israel is the largest pro-Israel group in the United States. Without the help of Christians, U.S. support for Israel would be would be endangered. Donald Trump isn’t the best friend Israel has ever had in the White House to shore up the little support he has among Jews, but because he needs to keep his evangelical base happy.
- We share a biblical worldview. Judeo-Christian values isn’t a cliché. The moral perspective of Christians and Jews comes from the Jewish Bible (the Old Testament for Christians, the Torah for Jews). The United States was founded by orthodox Christians based on Biblical-values. Like my father and grandfather before me, I think America is a pretty great country and feel a profound sense of gratitude to its Christian founders.
Besides the slaughter, Islam is squeezing out Christianity – in the land of its birth and the continent once known as Christendom. The Christian population of Bethlehem has gone from 86% in 1950 to 12% in 2016. Lebanon was once a Christian country. Increasingly, Paris resembles an Arab souk. The Palestinians want all of Israel and believe it will soon be their’s.
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Immigration, birth rates, terrorism and agitation are being used to reverse the verdicts of Tours, Vienna, Lepanto and 1948.
The American left has made Islamism its unofficial religion. Both are drawn to violence and repelled by the notion of human rights
My concern about the persecution of Christians and the spread of radical Islam is in part moral and in part practical.
Ben Franklin’s advice about hanging together or hanging separately is as relevant for Jews and Christians today as it was during our War of Independence.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.