Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Jews Urge Christians to Stand Up to Persecution--"Learn from our example," they urge
Persecution.org ^ | 3-19-97 | Larry Witham

Posted on 02/01/2004 12:31:28 PM PST by SJackson

Pioneers of the 30-year effort to save Soviet Jewry urged Christians yesterday to use the lessons of the Jewish experience in defending their brethren being persecuted around the world.

"There was a sense that we, as the Jewish community, could no longer be passive," said Jess N. Hordes of the Anti-Defamation League, recalling the start of the movement that eventually saw the migration of 1.2 million Soviet Jews to freedom.

At a day long forum in the Capitol organized by the center for Jewish and Christian Values, Mr. Hordes was one of six Jewish leaders--including two U.S. senators--who recalled how American Jews struggled in helping Jews in the Soviet Union and elsewhere.

"Many of the lessons are transferable, in my view, to the issues before us today," Mr. Hordes said, referring to Christian persecution in Communist, Muslim and other closed societies.

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, noted that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world today.

"We are only now becoming aware of the dimensions, the enormity, of the persecution....The campaign to save Soviet Jewry took place in a much larger context [of human rights]," he said, adding that support for Christians overseas could build a similar human rights movement today.

"The international persecution of Christians must stop, and Americans must lead the effort to stop it," said Lieberman, adding that he will mention the treatment of Chinese Christians to government officials he will meet in Bejing next week.

Sen. Arlen Specter, a luncheon speaker at the forum, described bipartisan legislation to be introduced in both houses soon.

A Senate bill, the Pennsylvanian Republican said, would require the White House have a special advisor on religious persecution and that different levels of sanctions be set up to punish U.S. international trading partners who violate human rights.

Rabbi David Saperstein, representative for Reform Judaism in Washington, said the key to the campaign for Soviet Jews was that "we spoke with a unified voice," an effort he described as an "extremely painful process."

But he said American Jews' ability to avoid arguing over what divided them led to a movement with "Free Soviet Jewry" signs in front of synagogues, concerts, letter writing, questions to local law makers, and a 250,000-member rally in Washington when Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev arrived in 1987.

"I believe that any one of these strategies is replicable in churches across the country," Mr. Saperstein said. "This is a fight that needs to be fought."

He also said quiet diplomacy still has its place and warned that Christians should not combine efforts to proselytize with those to unite Jews, Christians and others in support of the persecution overseas.

A first step, he suggested, would be to have the Immigration and Naturalization Service amend its asylum guidelines so that persecuted Christians might immigrate. "Winning that victory would be a powerful symbol," Mr. Saperstein said.

The Jewish leaders told Christian groups that they must work at this issue over decades, not lose patience and keep their advocacy focused.

Among the nations often cited for Christian persecution are China, Vietnam, Laos, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt and Sudan. Mission experts such as David Barrett, editor of the World Christian Encyclopedia, estimate that about 160,000 Christians are killed by mobs or governments each year for their religious identity.

The forum yesterday capped a nearly two-year effort to raise the issue, beginning in 1995 with a Wall Street Journal essay by Michael Horowitz, a Jewish scholar and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. He called on the U.S. government to make human rights for Christians the lever for promoting human rights for all groups in foreign countries.

Meanwhile, Christian leaders have noted the difficulty in interesting American Christians in the overseas plights of fellow believers.

The Jewish leaders yesterday spoke of a similar reluctance but noted that the 1967 Six-Days War galvanized both American and Soviet Jews. Then in 1974, the Jackson-Vanik amendment made Jewish emigration a condition for aid to the Soviet Union.

Warren Eisenburg, director of the B'nai B'rith International Council, recalled how Soviet Foreign Minister Andre Gromyko found 1,500 peaceful demonstrators at the Soviet Embassy here on one visit.

"To a very large extent, the Soviets found the issue everywhere they went," he said, suggesting that a large Christian population could do likewise if it was interested. "It became an issue on everybody's lips."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: christianpersecution; larrywitham; persecution

1 posted on 02/01/2004 12:31:30 PM PST by SJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
2 posted on 02/01/2004 12:34:01 PM PST by SJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
thanks for posting this --

Carolyn

3 posted on 02/01/2004 12:35:31 PM PST by CDHart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Christians help everyone that is the "Jesus" way. Abe Foxman should take a look at what Christianity is all about instead trying to pit Jews and Christians agaisnt each other as he is doing twoards Mel Gibson.

There is no greater message than the one Jesus Christ gave to us, and sooner or later everyone will get the message...Because no other message will work in bringing people together to live in PEACE with one another...
4 posted on 02/01/2004 12:46:57 PM PST by missyme
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
I remember the "Save Russian Jewry " signs not only in front of Synagogues , but on the lawns of the American legion and other non-Jewish places. This is the lesson for Christians. Stop fighting each other over dogma and history and get together. Every church should have signs in front, it will soon carry over into nonreligious areas.

Make it an issue in political campaigns. If a country murders Christians, picket their embassies and consulates wherever they are located. Start yelling

Christians have became too nice , too passive, uncomplaining and inoffensive. The murderers believe they can get away with it and so far they are right.

Christianity needs some angry prophets to warn of the eternal consequences of such genocide.
5 posted on 02/01/2004 12:46:58 PM PST by catonsville
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: catonsville
Christians do what Jesus Christ says because that is the only way life will work, otherwise we would be a world of savage beasts killing each other like Mohammed says to do.
6 posted on 02/01/2004 12:49:39 PM PST by missyme
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: missyme
Christians help everyone that is the "Jesus" way. Abe Foxman should take a look at what Christianity is all about instead trying to pit Jews and Christians agaisnt each other as he is doing twoards Mel Gibson.

I'm missing the point. Does that mean Christians should remain silent about persecution of Christians, the topic of the thread?

7 posted on 02/01/2004 12:54:14 PM PST by SJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: catonsville
I remember the "Save Russian Jewry " signs not only in front of Synagogues , but on the lawns of the American legion and other non-Jewish places. This is the lesson for Christians. Stop fighting each other over dogma and history and get together. Every church should have signs in front, it will soon carry over into nonreligious areas.

You're right. You might read this thread, Vietnam's 'Appalling' Persecution [John Kerry] and the related links. The leading Dem Presidential candidate bottling up a bill that passed the House 4710-1 to at least attempt to temper persecution of Christians in Vietnam.

8 posted on 02/01/2004 12:57:04 PM PST by SJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
I am just saying that "Christians don't give special attention to other "Christians" they pay attention to ALL people that need assistance because that is the message from JESUS. There are every race and creed that are Christians and they all will get help.... So what is the point of this thread? I am not trying to be snotty just trying to understand?
9 posted on 02/01/2004 1:00:35 PM PST by missyme
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: missyme
Hmmm. 1. I think Lieberman is the only rat with a brain. 2. I really get tired of "Christians" saying that pacifism is a tenet of Christianity. It is not and should not be.
10 posted on 02/01/2004 1:00:42 PM PST by Indie (KILL EM ALL AND LET ALLAH SORT EM OUT)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Indie
I don't know if Pacificism is the correct word.
Christianity is surely not about the brutality of ISLAM if that was the case Jesus Christ would of wiped out every person that tried to go agaisnt him.

11 posted on 02/01/2004 1:06:15 PM PST by missyme
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Pioneers of the 30-year effort to save Soviet Jewry urged Christians yesterday to use the lessons of the Jewish experience in defending their brethren being persecuted around the world.

Wow! Great article.

12 posted on 02/01/2004 1:22:47 PM PST by King Black Robe (With freedom of religion and speech now abridged, it is time to go after the press.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: catonsville
The Bible is clear: Our war is not over what we believe and how the world sees us. Our war is with our own flesh, over sin in our lives, over whether we will submit to what God says or to what Satan tries to deceive into us.

In this, to place our trust in a government's actions means we are not placing our trust in what God said.We are to place our trust in God alone.

A Nation that faces persecution also faces an increase in the genuine faith of what the Bible teaches. It is no illusion that they say the Church is planted with the blood of martyrs.

What is wrong with Christianity today, is that we seek to 'fix' things through government instead of prayer and obedience to God's word.

The solution is not through political action, but through prayer and obedience to God's Word. God can fight our battles for us.

The correct response first, is for people who call themselves Christians to repent of sin in their lives, and turn to God to be the leader in their lives. We are also to pray for the leaders of those countries where this persecution is taking place, that they come to know who God is rightly, and that they are blessed and prosper. That is what the Bible says.

It is what people here like me need to remember more often, also, our problems we often complain about are nothing in the light of eternity. What we need is to get right with God in our own hearts. That is the change that society needs to see.
13 posted on 02/01/2004 1:31:41 PM PST by RaceBannon (John Kerry is Vietnam's Benedict Arnold: Former War Hero turned Traitor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: missyme
You do know that there was no Islam until about 600 years after Jesus died, right?

I didn't post this thread, but I think that the point is that the "Free Soviet Jews" movement can and should be expanded into a universal human rights movement. All too often, so-called "human rights organizations" like Human Rights Watch justify the persecutors instead of taking a moral stance against terror and torture. Meanwhile, Marronite Christians are leaving Lebanon, Bethlehem is becoming almost entirely a Muslim city, millions of Christians are being murdered in the Sudan, a proto-Christian sect called the Mandaeans is being persecuted in Iraq, Christians are persecuted in China, and the list goes on and on.

Since the most persecuted groups of people in the world today apparently are Christian sects under non-Christian rule, the thread is suggesting that many more people could be saved and their lives improved if we of the West stood up for them instead of ingratiating ourselves with their tormentors, as too often is the case in the West.

It also would help the rest of the world understand what Western values truly are -- or should be.
14 posted on 02/01/2004 1:49:08 PM PST by Piranha (.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: missyme; Piranha
I am just saying that "Christians don't give special attention to other "Christians" they pay attention to ALL people that need assistance because that is the message from JESUS. There are every race and creed that are Christians and they all will get help.... So what is the point of this thread? I am not trying to be snotty just trying to understand?

Piranha is largely right. When you say Christians don't give special attention to other "Christians" they pay attention to ALL people that need assistance because that is the message from JESUS. I think you’re approaching a secular problem from an evangelical perspective. IMO, it’s OK to condemn atrocities against Christians even if you’re a Christian. And yes, you’ll get accusations of insularity, probably called a fanatic, so what.

One hundred and fifty years ago Jews were dispersed throughout the world, and it would be fair to say the centers of Jewish culture resided in Europe and the Middle East. Today, it’s the USA and Israel, a smattering elsewhere. Sad. Look at the Christian population in most Middle Eastern countries today vs the 19th century and the results won’t look much different.

Piranha is right that amongst the most persecuted groups of people in the world today apparently are Christian sects under non-Christian rule (most of these places already got rid of their Jews). Why no one speaks up about it is an important question, I suspect with some difficult problems to work through since many of the persecuted aren’t European in origin. But people are dying for their faith, and not just Jews.

15 posted on 02/01/2004 2:49:54 PM PST by SJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Destro
Then in 1974, the Jackson-Vanik amendment made Jewish emigration a condition for aid to the Soviet Union.

And a stick to beat Russia with 13 years after Soviets gone...but US consistently side with Islamics: Egypt (muslim over Coptic Orthodox), Eritria (islamic) or Ethiopia (Orthodox), neutral on Sudan (while Islamic genocide Orthodox), aid to PLO and demand Israel negotiate, PLO over Christian militia in Lebanon, Islamic Albanian over Serb and Makedonian, often Chechyn over Russia, Pakistani Islamics over Pakistani Christian & Sihke and Indian Hindu, Turk Islamic (since 1920s) over Greek, Armenian and Assyrian Christian and Cypriots, Bosnian Muslim over Serb, did I miss any? Oh and mum when Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other throw out all Christian and Jews.

One shining yes for Christian, E.Timor catholics over Indonesian muslim, after massacre so bad that can not be ignore....where is US Christian value in choosing Christian over Islamic?

16 posted on 02/01/2004 3:45:10 PM PST by RussianConservative (Xristos: the Light of the World)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: catonsville
Christians have became too nice , too passive, uncomplaining and inoffensive. The murderers believe they can get away with it and so far they are right.

No that is western Catholic/Protestant Christians, Orthodox Christian: Russian, Serb, Makedonian, Greek, Armenian, Sudanese, Ethiopian, etc continue to put more Islamics to graves then all western efforts combined.

17 posted on 02/01/2004 3:47:10 PM PST by RussianConservative (Xristos: the Light of the World)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: RussianConservative
Lieberman turned his back on Christians-and caled the KLA al-Qaeda as heirs to George Washington.
18 posted on 02/01/2004 3:55:04 PM PST by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: King Black Robe
Pioneers of the 30-year effort to save Soviet Jewry urged Christians yesterday to use the lessons of the Jewish experience in defending their brethren being persecuted around the world.
Wow! Great article.

Seven years old. I'm not sure anyone listened.

19 posted on 02/01/2004 4:04:48 PM PST by SJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Great article. Pity it was written (if this is correct) in 1997. Obviously, not a lot has changed since then.

On the basis of our religion itself, Christians cannot be aggressive. But we could certainly do more to call attention to the problem and get more support.

On the other hand, maybe this is unrealistic. Christianity is not popular with the ruling left of most European countries and of the US, and the right is embarrassed by us. So I guess we're on our own.

I'd be really happy, at least, if our priests, pastors and preachers would be honest about this and tell us that, sooner or later, Christianity will be what it always was: a call to martyrdom (NOT in the Islamic sense, which is synonomous with homicide).
20 posted on 02/01/2004 4:43:59 PM PST by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Pioneers of the 30-year effort to save Soviet Jewry urged Christians yesterday to use the lessons of the Jewish experience in defending their brethren being persecuted around the world.

Worthy adice. Hang tough together or surely hang seprately...Ben Franklin's advice still stands the test of time. Or has the left made in "not PC" to use his name?!?

21 posted on 02/01/2004 4:46:03 PM PST by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: livius
It is from 97.

I don't think raising issues qualifies as aggression. Martyrdom doesn't work for me, i'll file this one under lessons not learned.

22 posted on 02/01/2004 5:08:45 PM PST by SJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Re: Post #8 - good link to read about Senator John Kerry's duplicity in failing to protect Christians in Vietnam
23 posted on 02/01/2004 5:26:15 PM PST by Ciexyz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Ciexyz
Yeah, I wish that issue would be raised. So much for the heroic Senators concern about the people of Vietnam.
24 posted on 02/01/2004 5:44:39 PM PST by SJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Thanks for posting. Will read later. :-)
25 posted on 02/01/2004 5:46:40 PM PST by Texas2step
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
"The international persecution of Christians must stop, and Americans must lead the effort to stop it," said Lieberman, adding that he will mention the treatment of Chinese Christians to government officials he will meet in Bejing next week.

Kudos to Senator Leiberman. Bump.

26 posted on 02/01/2004 5:51:44 PM PST by Zack Nguyen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: catonsville
Christians have became too nice , too passive, uncomplaining and inoffensive. The murderers believe they can get away with it and so far they are right.

Our government needs to start linking trade benefits and other ecpnomic incentives to this issue. And it will take more prayer!

27 posted on 02/01/2004 5:55:48 PM PST by Zack Nguyen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon
The solution is not through political action, but through prayer and obedience to God's Word. God can fight our battles for us.

I think we need to move forward in prayer and repentance as well, but we can't leave the poor man on the side of the road bleeding to death. We have to help him. It takes both a purely spiritual action and a physical action.

28 posted on 02/01/2004 6:02:13 PM PST by Zack Nguyen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Yes, I too think it's preferable to avoid martyrdom!
29 posted on 02/01/2004 6:25:59 PM PST by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Indie
Hmmm. 1. I think Lieberman is the only rat with a brain. 2. I really get tired of "Christians" saying that pacifism is a tenet of Christianity. It is not and should not be.

Lieberman has surprised me of late.

pacifism: Personally, I don't think Jesus died to emasculate us.

30 posted on 02/01/2004 7:24:28 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
"He is without a sword shall sell his cloak to buy one. "-Jesus.
31 posted on 02/01/2004 8:37:35 PM PST by John Will
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Excellent post with some very good points. However, I think this issue is much harder to address because the people groups are in so many places at one time.

For a campaign to be effective, I think it needs to be focused in one place at a time. Where to place the focus? Who's going to take leadership of this plight?

Then you have the Christians who say, "Jesus tells us that we're going to be persecuted (which is true, by the way), and it's just a matter of time before it's our time (and some say we already are being persecuted - maybe so, but not to the extent of Christians in most other countries).

We are taught to look for the 2nd coming of Christ, and in that looking forward, we sometimes lose the ability to look around. In some respects, missyme is correct, that Christians do take up ministries for everyone, including Christians, but our efforts are so splintered as to be rendered less effected. We have paralysis by analysis, at time.

So, what to to do? That's a hard one. We need someone to step forward and do the unpopular of leading multi-denominational efforts in these areas. We have some who are trying to lead efforts that are needed, but none have yet been successful in really uniting the many different Christian denominations. Tough to succeed in this environment.

The Christian voice has been muted in Europe and is coming under attack in the U.S. These attacks are another reason we have been ineffective in helping our Christian brothers and sisters in countries of persecution. It's going to take someone like President Bush to use the bloody pulpit and the power and might of the United States, I believe, before we can come together enough to overcome the problems we have.

I realize this post is kind of disjointed, but I just typed my thoughts as they came up. Thanks again for posting.
32 posted on 02/02/2004 6:19:33 AM PST by Texas2step
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
"The international persecution of Christians must stop, and Americans must lead the effort to stop it," said Lieberman, adding that he will mention the treatment of Chinese Christians to government officials he will meet in Bejing next week.

Lieberman is shameless hypocrit.

Lieberman activelly supported persecution of Christians in Kosovo and openly supported Al Qaeda ally

It is disgrace that U.S. is sending him to Beijing. Chicoms will mop the the floor with this rag.

33 posted on 02/02/2004 6:34:30 AM PST by DTA (you ain't seen nothing yet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Jewish leadership is generously exhibited and shared in so many spheres of the international community.

Bigots don't know what they are missing. Or do they just stew in their coveting?

Unfortunately American Christians rarely resemble Israelis, they more behave as sheeple.

Thanks for the ping.

34 posted on 03/04/2004 7:14:34 PM PST by Taiwan Bocks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson