WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE

When we look at the widespread and growing persecution of Christians throughout the world we find that prominent amongst the enablers are Western governments, and foremost amongst them is the UK.

The 2014 World Watch List ranks the 50 nations where the greatest persecution of Christians occurs. They are designated as perpetrating ‘extreme’, ‘severe’, ‘moderate’, and ‘sparse’ persecution. Naturally enough North Korea gains top spot. Let’s face reality, it is difficult to compete with a country run by a bunch of communist gangsters as crazy as a box of frogs on steroids. North Korea is an aberration by anyone’s standards, who could beat them?

Give them their due Muslim countries have a jolly good try. After North Korea you have to go some way down to find a persecuting country which is not Muslim majority. Of the 50 worst nations for persecution, 37 of them or 74%, are Muslim. In the 13 other countries, even in Christian majority countries such as the Central African Republic, those doing the persecuting tend to be Muslim.

One can only suppose the reason a report on the widespread persecution of Christians in Muslim countries was largely ignored by the media was because it is a commonplace fact that Muslims persecute Christians, not news at all. What other reason could there possibly be?

Interestingly for our Western governments Syria comes in third place, followed by Iraq in fourth and Afghanistan in fifth. Libya crawls in at 13th. All four countries receive the strongest designation ‘extreme persecution’.

In three of these persecuting nations, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya the British government has been active in either creating or supporting the regimes which are persecuting Christians or allowing persecution to take place unhindered. In the case of Syria it was only a rare bout of common sense in the House of Commons following public outcry which prevented David Cameron and William Hague from linking the UK even more closely with the ‘freedom fighters’ against the regime, many of whom are more deserving of the label ‘terrorist’.

Our Syrian 'Allies'

Our Syrian ‘Protoges’

Open Doors, a non-denominational group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, says that in 2013 it documented 2,123 ‘martyr’ killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012. There were 1,213 such deaths in Syria alone last year. ‘This is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm,’ said Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors. Estimates by other Christian groups put the annual figure as high as 8,000.

As a result of the activities of terrorist groupings, Syria a country which was once religiously tolerant, is now in the top three for the extreme persecution of Christians. Amongst Muslim nations only Somalia, the very definition of a failed state, ranks higher as a persecutor of Christians.

Even the slowest on the uptake should be aware by now that the supposed ‘Arab Spring’ so welcomed at the time by our elites has turned out to be less than billed and has failed to live up to its publicity. The unfortunate fact is that wherever Western powers have interfered in an Islamic nation, anti-Christian Islamists have come into power.

In Afghanistan the supposedly ‘moderate’ Karzai government, propped up by British and US service personnel, continues to enforce many of the laws initially imposed by the Taliban. The sharia based legislation includes an apostasy law which viciously persecutes any who convert to Christianity. In 2011, whilst British service personnel were dying and being maimed to maintain Afghanistan’s freedom from the Taliban the last Christian church in the country was deliberately destroyed with the connivance of Western governments.

The Last Church In Afghanistan

The Last Church In Afghanistan

In Lybia, where the UK dropped bombs in order to help overthrow the dictator Qaddafi and succeeded in installing al-Qaeda backed terrorists, churches have been bombed and Christians have been tortured and killed for refusing to convert. Christians have in large measure fled the country.

In Iraq, where Western service personnel died in a war to topple the dictator Saddam Hussein, it is estimated that a Christian is murdered every two to three days. Terrorist groups with a stated aim of ridding Iraq of Christians operate with impunity, and are succeeding.

We should not expect the elites controlling Western governments and media to have any sympathy for Christians or any other minorities persecuted in the Muslim world. They, however, would do well to remember that wherever anti-Christian factions gain power anti-Western factions also gain power. As religious intolerance grows so does anti-Western sentiment.

At least Islamists recognise what our elites fail to see, that Western civilisation was founded upon Christian principles.

It is possible that the objective of Western intervention, to democratise the Middle East, may yet be realised. Sadly to date democracy in the Middle East is proving less tolerant than the dictatorial regimes it has succeeded. Unfortunately it is highly likely that these democracies will evolve into bastions of intolerance and violence to a degree not seen since the Germany of the 1930’s.

It is questionable that these democracies will progress inevitably toward liberty and pluralism, as some naïve optimists continue to forecast. Rather, they are more likely to end in the ordered barbarism of our ally Saudi Arabia where, according to Amnesty International, legal punishments include beheading and crucifixion.

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About Campbell

Now retired but once upon a time a parish minister in Glasgow, before that the South West and initially the Black Isle. Been a prison chaplain and lecturer. Still am constantly bemused by the weird world around me.
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