West Falters in Defense of Christians, Who Are Being Persecuted in 131 Countries [Excerpts]
Perhaps the gravest under-publicized atrocity in the world is the persecution of Christians. A comprehensive Pew Forum study last year found that Christians are persecuted in 131 countries containing 70% of the world’s population, out of 197 countries in the world (if Palestine, Taiwan, South Sudan, and the Vatican are included). Best estimates are that about 200 million Christians are in communities where they are persecuted. There is not the slightest question of the scale and barbarity of this persecution, and a little of it is adequately publicized. But this highlights the second half of the atrocity: the passivity and blasé indifference of most of the West’s media and governments.
The ratings of offending countries always put North Korea as the worst, followed by Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, the Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Laos, Pakistan, Sudan, and, farther back but still prominently odious, Libya, Syria, Oman, Egypt, Kuwait, the Palestinian Authority, Vietnam, Cuba, and China. While there is no shortage of incidents in India, where there is serious religious friction between Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs as well, most offending countries are Islamic or Communist.
The reluctance of the leading predominantly Christian countries to speak out against these outrages is remarkable. Many of the delinquent countries are ostensible allies such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, Oman, Egypt, and Kuwait. Obviously, some countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, etc.) are in too chaotic a condition to be expected to maintain religious liberties, but Saudi Arabia is a tightly controlled state that in many respects cooperates closely with the United States. It is a joint government of the royal House of Saud with the leadership of the extremist Wahhabi Islamist sect. While the Saudi government is a functioning ally, especially against any extension of Iranian influence among Shiites in Sunni-led countries such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia also pays for 95% of externally financed Islamist institutions across the Muslim world.
Zimbabwe under the infamous Robert Mugabe is one of the latest regimes routinely to attack Christian institutions because of Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Evangelical criticism of the violence and corruption of his governing ZANU party. South Sudan was the scene of perhaps the vilest and most widespread abuse, as the Muslim Sudanese government killed approximately a million South Sudanese Christians and animists over the last decade or so. (Unfortunately, tribalism in South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, has partly replaced the oppression of the Muslim north.)
The Palestinians, despite their generations-old and very effective portrayal of themselves as a dispossessed and brutally abused minority, discriminate scandalously against Christians….In general, secular oppression strengthens the Christian churches, a lesson the Chinese are already starting to learn, to their embarrassment. They admit to 80 million Christians in China, though the real number is probably about 120 million, or almost 10% of the country’s population.
[TBC: "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also" (John:15:20).