Column: Randy Bright
February 14th, 2008
This week, after our pastor and two others returned from a mission trip to India, my Sunday School classmates talked about how the church was persecuted in other countries. I later spoke to one of those who had made the trip to India. Though they were not aware of it while they were in India, they learned after returning that two Christian pastors had been arrested in India for converting people to Christ and had been burned alive.
Afterwards, I got on the Internet to see if I could find any news of the execution, and while I could find none regarding that particular event, I did find many more reports of how the church, Christians and pastors are frequently targeted for persecution by Muslims, Hindus and others.
That persecution includes beatings, shootings, murder, burning of Christian’s homes and burning of churches. One report from Nigeria said that during a period of several weeks (it was unclear what year this occurred), 1,500 Christians had been killed and 173 church buildings had been destroyed.
A very recent report on the Door of Hope International website stated that in India the year 2007 had been the “most violent ever for Christians since independence.” (India gained its independence from the British in 1947.)
According to the report, records indicate that between 1950 and 1998 there had been 50 attacks on Christians. From 2001 to 2005, there was a total of about 200 attacks, and in 2006 there were 128. In 2007, the number of attacks jumped to more than 1,000.
In 2007, there was an outbreak of violence in the state of Orissa that led to the murder of at least four Christians and the burning of 730 homes and 95 churches. In addition to the four known murders, a number of other Christians were missing and presumed dead.
The attacks were carried out by Hindu extremists, and despite the fact that there are laws to protect Christians, authorities ignored it.
Just as Muslims seek to impose Islamic law over secular law, Hindu extremists seek to do a similar thing with their ideology. According to the same Door of Home International website, in another event in 2002, Hindus killed around 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, as pro-Hindu government officials did nothing to stop them.
Persecution against Christians is going on in many other countries around the world: Somalia, Turkey, Indonesia, China, Egypt, Libya, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Eritrea, just to name a few.
The question is, when will this kind of persecution come to America, and are American Christians ready to endure the type of persecution that others around the world have been enduring for many years?
I recall that for at least twenty years before the 9/11 attack, experts had been saying that there was no question if there would be a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, only a question ofwhen. And when it happened, we were surprised!
We need only look at Europe as a model to see that Islam is taking over without ever firing a shot or burning a church. They have been able to do so because the Europeans’ lost their faith and turned their backs on God. Eventually all of Europe will fall under Islamic rule, and it is then that the bloodbath will begin to eliminate anyone who isn’t a Muslim. A similar thing may happen in India and other Asian countries as Hindus impose their rule on the people of those questions.
We know from research that the United States is slowly losing interest in its traditional faith and Judeo-Christian values. With the mantra of tolerance (for any religion but Christianity) that we hear from “enlightened” secular people, perhaps it won’t be too much longer before the homes and churches of Christians in the United States are burned while an unsympathetic government looks on.
Ridiculous? Perhaps. But then 50 years ago we thought that the idea that abortion would be legal was ridiculous. But over 50 million unborn children have been murdered under the protection of the government. We never thought that prayer would be taken out of school, but 40 years later our schools have become a dangerous place for children, both culturally and physically. We never thought euthanasia would come, but in a few states it is either legal or will be soon. We thought terrorism would never come to America, but it did.
So why should we think that the idea that Christians would be persecuted in America is ridiculous? Something to think about while there is still time to do something about it.
©2008 Randy W. Bright
Randy W. Bright, AIA, NCARB, is an architect who specializes in church and church-related projects. You may contact him at 918-664-7957, email@example.com or www.churcharchitect.net.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Column: Randy Bright