Skip to comments.Christian Indifference to Christian Suffering
Posted on 05/07/2013 10:21:00 AM PDT by Enza Ferreri
Christians are being persecuted all over the world. Churches are being burned and destroyed, girls are being raped and ancient Christian communities reaching back 2,000 years are being obliterated. And the world yawns. Most shockingly, many Christians in the West, worse than yawning, look away and in some cases embrace the perpetrators and blame our allies.
This begs the obvious question: Why do so many Christians in America and Europe seem to not care about what is happening around the world to their fellow disciples of Jesus? Why are we looking the other way while the brutal murder, persecution, rape and ethnic and religious cleansing is happening right before our eyes?
The answers are complicated and unfortunately, dont offer much hope for the future. First some history:
The fact is, Christians have never been united. Even before 1054 and the Great Schism between Rome and Constantinople, Christians were at odds with each other. The Schism just made it official. The Protestant Reformation of the early 16th century further divided Christendom into a multitude of fractures, ending any hope of a united Christian Church.
While the Eastern Roman Empire was, for centuries, holding off the oncoming Turkish Muslim hordes, the Western Church did worse than yawn; in 1204 they irrevocably weakened the Byzantine Empire when they sacked Constantinople on their way to the Holy Land. Much of the beauty of Venice was the booty stolen from their fellow Christians of the East. When Constantinople finally fell in 1453, aid did not come from Christian Europe in spite of frantic pleas for assistance.
There have been great moments in the history of the West, when Christians fought together against a common foe. Most notably when the Pole Jan Sobieski lead a heroic charge of Catholics and Protestants at Vienna in 1683 and likely saved Europe from being overrun by the Turks and becoming Muslim. But most of the history of the West has seen Christians at each others throats, one long trail of bloody wars after another with World War I being perhaps the last light in the Christian West going out. Perhaps Sobieski only bought us a few hundred years before the Muslim onslaught.
But if history is against us, so are those divisions within Christianity. Unfortunately, for most Christians, a Christian is not a Christian. To get an American Roman Catholic to worry about an Assyrian Iraqi Christian or to get a Presbyterian to concern themselves with a Melkite Catholic in Syria is a near impossible task. You will have better luck raising their awareness of Buddhist monks in Tibet. When you walk in a Baptist Church and find tracts that call Rome and the Catholic Church the whore of Babylon and the Pope the anti-Christ is it really surprising that they have such little concern for the raping of Coptic Christians in Egypt? There is a now infamous photo of an Egyptian Copt with his hand on a blood-stained painting of Jesus on the walls of a destroyed church in Alexandria. A comment made to me about the image from a fundamentalist Protestant was Images of Jesus are a false idol and therefore heresy. And we wonder why no one cares?
And finally, the scourge of political correctness and the influence the Left has had on our culture is perhaps the greatest reason why we lack the will to fight. Or even to care. We see it in Hollywood, the media, in our politics and, of course, in our churches.
Even I, as a non-Catholic, yearn for some kind of leadership from the Vatican. Pope John Paul will live forever in the hearts of those who love freedom for his courageous stance against Communism. There was hope for Pope Benedict early on, but those hopes were quickly squashed. When the Pope would make a statement about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, he would invariably mention, the occupation, two state solution or some other canard to blame Israel for what the Muslims are doing to Christians. To do so is disgusting and shameful and a further blight on the Church. May this new Pope find the courage that so many others have lacked.
When we look to other Christian churches, the news only gets worse. American and European main-stream protestant churches are pathetic examples of a post-Christian world. We see a full embracing of the Palestinian cause and an apology to their terror. They have so fallen into the leftist mantra that they cant see the evil before their eyes. I liken it to western feminists saying nothing about the plight of women under Islam; the genital mutilations, beatings, rapes and honor killings. They dont care about women; their cause has nothing to do with womens rights. They are pushing a political agenda. It goes the same with much of the Western Christian churches. We can raise all the awareness that we want, but they just dont care.
There is some hope, though it is fleeting. Among the evangelicals, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and scattered other remnants, there are those that still do care. And they must be awakened to move against this great evil and injustice to their fellow followers of Christ. In addition, we must reach out to our allies outside of Christianity. Jews, Hindus, Buddhist and so many others are very much victims today of Islamic terror and persecution. An alliance must be formed.
For Christians, any human suffering is a cry for help, whether they be Christians or otherwise. But it is especially critical that we heed those who are being martyred for their belief in Christ. Differences of history, doctrine, ethnicity and nation must be set aside. We, in the West, are in the greatest position to help, in whatever ways that may be determined. And before we look the other way, we need to think about when the persecution comes home, and that time will arrive if we are to do nothing now. Who will be left to save us?
Think globally. Act locally.
I have often wondered why the Christian community so often throws their own under the bus. I was speaking w/a brother at Bible study last wee about the Boston bombing. Said how Muslim terrorism is a plague in America. His response was that the far-right is also committing acts of terror. I couldn’t believe what I heard so I asked him for one example. When he couldn’t answer I reminded him about Boston.
Satan has done a remarkable job building wedges between Christians. While he can’t take away our salvation, he can deceive us enough so believers are not united.
There are three ways we can attack it:
3. go there
Considering the distance, I choose option 1. I can’t shirk my responsibility to believers and prosthelizing non-believers in my own community by going a few thousand miles away to grab an AK-47 to protect Christians there.
Besides, I take very seriously Paul’s words about “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Nowadays we hear horror stories from all over the world. Some of them are even true. But what are we really to do when we have to walk past ten people in need to help the one at long distance?
Add to this the American heritage that causes many of us to say, “If your country is ruled by a despot, do what we did in the late 18th century. It’s your home.
Thank you for posting this article. Wake the Evangelicals and tell them to put that bigotry in their sub-basement where it belongs. Orthodox and Catholic Christians were here long before Evangelicals were even thought of. And at least in the Muslim world it is they who are enduring the brunt of the suffering. Yes, Evangelicals are suffering in other places (Nigeria— both Catholic & Protestant—Indonesia—same China-all underground churches as opposed to state approved official churches—Iran mostly evangelicals because native denominations do not look to convert Muslims) but they refuse to see what is happening to Christian communities other than their own in the Middle East.
BTW, when I first became a Christian in 1981, I started including in all my prayers the destruction of the soviet block. I confess that as I prayed I firmly believed it would take a miracle from God and didn’t have all that much faith, but I did it anyway, pretty much every time I prayed.
And then the unimaginable happened. Europe was freed. And who, in 1930 or in the thousand years before that, thought that Israel would ever be a “real” country again?
Interesting how we adapt to the new reality, good or bad.
That is not true at all. Many, many Christians of all denominations contribute to organizations like "Voice of the Martyrs" to help these victims of Christian persecution, most of whom are of a different denomination. I know that millions of Christians also include prayers for those Christians persecuted around the world and for the missionaries who are there to minister to them. I believe Christians do more to support their persecuted brothers and sisters around the world than any other "religion". There is only so much we can do although we could probably do more. One can always do more.
That's true. Pope Francis has mentioned the persecution several times, not only in connection with terrorist acts against ME and African Catholic churches, but in connection with the killing of Orthodox and Evangelical faithful.
The big problem is that the churches - all of them - are so PC now that they're afraid to say anything because it might look like (gasp!) a criticism of Islam.
Without knowing the guy, and not having the slightest idea what he really believes, are you sure he is a true brother?
After all it IS the ME generation. Most are oblivious to the common threat to ALL CHRISTIANS and ALL MANKIND - islam!
Because they’re “too buisy” playing (sinning in this case) on their Ipads.
quote “When you walk in a Baptist Church and find tracts that call Rome and the Catholic Church the whore of Babylon and the Pope the anti-Christ is it really surprising that they have such little concern for the raping of Coptic Christians in Egypt? “
I mentioned that Christians in Lebanon were being firebombed by Israel and my Baptist “friend” informed me they were “nominal Christians”. Since they were being bombed by “god’s people”, that is didn’t seem to matter. Over 1 million Christians were displaced in the Iraq war . Fact is that American and Israel foreign policy always seems hazardous to the health of all Christians.
Also in America, there is never any concern for white people in general, at home or overseas. That is the way America has been brainwashed since the 1950’s. Today is the day Delaware will vote for homosexual “marriage”. Another indicator of who rules the culture. Back in 1775 you had to be a Christian to hold office in Delaware. IF this bill passes, I assume that you will have to repudiate publicly any allegiance to Jesus Christ in order to hold a state job.
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body, (Hebrews 13:3)
is still a command for us. They burden my heart though i do not do enough praying for them. Support Voice of the Martyrs and like ministries.
Part of the lack of support is the general lack of sacrificial giving, as well as the so-called “word of faith” theology which rejects such suffering as being part of the life of faith. However, you have the word “others” in Heb. 11:
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (Hebrews 11:36-39)
How interesting, 'stop bigotry' then you go on a bigoted rant.
In proportion to their numbers i think there are at least as many evangelical ministries working in this area (but not enough concern), and likely are the ones being persecuted the most relative to their numbers.
A very good article for which I think the answers are complex. I don’t think it’s a matter that true Christians do not care. It’s just that there isn’t a forum for broadcasting the news. I know our church (and others we’ve attended) frequently mentions the persecution of Christians in other parts of the world, and it doesn’t matter what denomination or affiliation (even the Catholics are included). But you’re not going to hear it broadcast by the MSM. Instead, what we hear are the tares of the church supporting homosexual or women reproductive rights.
But persecution happens to all who desires to live a godly life. Just this Sunday our pastor talked about another PCA church in our area which the courts ruled that the liberal PCUSA could confiscate their building and their bank account simply because they broke away over the issue of homosexuality. Did anyone hear about that or was it reported? We wouldn’t have know it if the pastor hadn’t mentioned it.
I agree the term Christian is very loosely applied, and we are not to bless preachers of a false gospel, and charity is to first begin with the household of faith, yet i would basically want to show some mercy to anyone suffering unjusty simply because of what they believe (unless they themselves mean to do harm), which is a form of evangelism toward them, and support freedom of speech in this realm for all.
No, the MSM is interested in looking for Christian militants, not persecuted Christians, but i do think most believers are rather insensitive to the degree of suffering of our brethren, esp. N. Korea. Maybe if we went without food for a couple weeks it would help.
I don't suppose you've ever considered the theoretical possibility that bigotry isn't limited to Evangelicals but that Catholics and Orthodox have also historically had this problem?
I doubt very sincerely that any Baptist church in this day and age is going to have any tracts denouncing the Pope as the "anti-Christ." However, Baptists do believe differently from Catholics. I take it it is now "politically incorrect" to pretend otherwise? Are simple explications of Baptist belief now "bigotry?"
I can state out of personal experience that many Catholic churches have tracts and pamphlets attacking "fundamentalism" and the very idea of Biblical inerrancy. Why doesn't that count as "bigotry"--because Catholics are historically an urban immigrant minority group?
I mentioned that Christians in Lebanon were being firebombed by Israel and my Baptist friend informed me they were nominal Christians. Since they were being bombed by gods people, that is didnt seem to matter. Over 1 million Christians were displaced in the Iraq war . Fact is that American and Israel foreign policy always seems hazardous to the health of all Christians.
By "all chrstians" I assume you are excluding Baptists or any other "fundamentalist" Protestant. How charmingly "tolerant" of you.
Also in America, there is never any concern for white people in general, at home or overseas. That is the way America has been brainwashed since the 1950s.
And now you turn right around after condemning Baptists (who are often unfairly labeled "white racists") and engage in the exact same rhetoric that Baptists are allegedly guilty of. I thought you were accusing Baptists of bigotry. And then you turn right around and commit it? You're a very confused person, aren't you? And btw, how are Semitic chrstians any more "white" than Jews?
Today is the day Delaware will vote for homosexual marriage.
What has this got to do with race? Aren't there an awful lot of white homosexuals?
Another indicator of who rules the culture.
And just who "rules the culture?" Why don't you tell us?
Back in 1775 you had to be a Christian to hold office in Delaware. IF this bill passes, I assume that you will have to repudiate publicly any allegiance to Jesus Christ in order to hold a state job.
Also back in 1775 you had to be a Protestant, and back in those days Protestants did think the Pope was the antichrist.
You've just condemned Fundamentalist Protestants and turned around and wished we were living in the days when the people you condemn wouldn't have allowed someone like you to hold political office.
You really are confused, aren't you?
Oh come now. You’re acting as if what one believed were still important. [/sarcasm] Apparently Catholics and Orthodox don’t think belief is a big deal . . . though if the shoe were on the other foot I don’t know how “ecumenical” they would be.
Catholics, Get Ready to Suffer
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Pope Addresses Suffering in Historic Television Appearance
(Why Am I Catholic?) For Peace While Suffering (A Few Words for Wednesday)
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[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The Apostolate of Suffering Redux
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Pope Benedict asks sick to offer up suffering for priests (Catholic Caucus)
Why Must I Suffer?
On the Advantages of Tribulations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Why Be Catholic? 3: Suffering [Ecumenical]
"Love Really Can Make Suffering Bearable": Woman with Spina Bifida
Experts at Euthanasia Symposium Stress Unity, Strategy, and the Triumph of Love over Suffering
Holy Father prays for peace and unity, encourages the suffering to trust in God
Joy-Filled Suffering, Laetare Sunday
Children 'Suffering >From Lack Of Two-Parent Family', Study Finds
Pope Says Euthanasia 'False Solution' to Suffering, Alludes to Comatose Woman's Fate
Excerpts from THE FRUITS OF HIS LOVE - The Value Of Suffering - Mother M. Angelica
Why Not You? (on suffering)
Vicar takes down crucifixion sculpture 'because it's a scary depiction of suffering'
The Value of Suffering in the Life of Christian Perfection
IN BRUSH WITH DEATH, PRIEST SHOWN HELL, PURGATORY, DEGREES OF SUFFERING
Prayers to Saint Agatha [For Those Suffering from Breast Cancer]
REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING(Catholic Caucus or by Invitation Only)
It’s hard to get funding for a Crusade these days.
That seems a bit, shall we say, narrow minded.
Yup; Christians of ALL stripes are PERSECUTED by another 'religion' in this country and overseas as well...
You were not supposed to notice that.
Sure our gospel is different; for it is RESTORED!!
WE are going overseas and gaining a LOT more members there than in this country; where we are scorned, mocked and ridiculed.
--MormonDudeS(When would be a good time...)
You are kidding right ? Evangelicals are not the ones that are supporting the islamics that are murdering and persecuting both Jews and Christians . In fact many many Evangelicals (myself included ) provide financial support to ministries like Voice of the Martyrs who do everything they can to help persecuted believers . No really I do hope your kidding when it isn't our churches who are siding and pushing handing more land and more power to islamic terrorist calling themselves palestinians who have done nothing but chase non muslims out of the area .
VoM is doing a lot right now in Egypt . I got a nice letter from them last week . I don't have it in front of me to type a word for word but one of the guys was with one of their preachers and led 20 muslims to the Lord while he was there . Said something about some of the muslims are beginning to realize that since the islamics have taken over that something is very very wrong with what they were raised to believe ... anyway letter was very encouraging for the Gospel beginning to spread in Egypt
Israel is not firebombing Christians . The islamics in Lebanon are the ones that hide behind Christians and launch rockets into Israel . It's the islamics that kidnap and murder them and rape their women .
It was Jews during the last war that saved many Lebanese Christians from being murdered by the Islamics . They took food over the border to them , medical help , arms to protect themselves etc .
Israel is not the enemy . Israel is the only place in the middle east where Christians can live in safety . Israel is not going anywhere and if you read your Bible you would know that . God said he would bring them back into their land in unbelief and he did and he also said that no one was going to uproot them again and no one is going to . Hey you can choose to be on whatever side you want to be on but if you stand against Israel you are on the opposite side of the will of God himself .
Really??? Let me ask a question...When the 'Christians' in Gaza throw rocks at or are involved in firing rockets at Israel, whose side do you take???
They DO this?
I never knew!!
Got a story or two to link to?
I know not of any, but it is likely many Arab Christians side with the PLA. This story (http://rt.com/news/muslims-christians-tahrir-gaza/) is about Copts and Muslims in union in Egypt after the overthrow of Mubarak, but i think the anti-Israel writer is reading too much into a complex situation, and which has not turned out well for the Copts.
While Palestinian Christians are Christians, they have grown up with the Palestinian identity...While most probably refrain from violence, many support the anililation of Israel...And as most of these 'Christians' are mostly Orthodox and then Catholic, they do not believe Israel has any biblical claim to Palestine...
While there are not many/any real headlines depicting Palestinian Christians attacking Israel, the stories are contained within other articles...
Here's a mention of rock throwing Christians in one article
And here's an interesting part of a book(?) on the youth Palestinian identity and an interesting take from a Palestinian rock throwing Christian...You will have to read a little or scroll down...
There's plenty of info out there...
How many American chrstians are aware that Israeli chrstians traditionally support and vote for the Israeli Communist Party???
Welcome to FR.
What you say is true of most Christian Palestinians, it is not true of Lebanese Catholics, most of whom are very pro-Western in their political orientation (many of them even looked upon Israel as an ally during the civil war in Lebanon). The Christian Lebanese diaspora is also among the most economically successful immigrant communities in virtually every country that they have settled. In ever way, they are a far cry from their Muslim counterparts.
Thanks for the info.
Thanks for the link .
I had never seen that video .
It’s amazing what he survived .
How many American chrstians are aware that Israeli catholics traditionally support and vote for the Israeli Communist Party ..... there fixed it .
and it is not to different from Russian catholics , south AMerican catholics , Cuban catholics , European catholics etc etc that support socialism that leads to communism so there by they support communism themselves .
The one thing they don't support is actually what is written in the Bible and that includes that Israel is Israel and the God of Abraham , Issac and Jacob wants them back in their own land. He said he would bring them back and he has and he said that no one will uproot them again and no one is going to.They don't believe when it says the land has been given to them . They don't believe most of what is written in the Old Testament and since they don't the allegorize much of what is written in the New Testament but boy do they sure preach give your 10% tithe from the Old .
Christians follow Christ and believe what is written in the Scriptures , Catholics follow their pope and believe their tradition .
I am saying there is a dismissive attitude among evangelicals in regard to Orthodoxy & Catholicism (as if we weren’t real Christians. This dismissiveness stems from theological perspectives rather than a belief that the older denominations are not being persecuted. I have gotten hold of Voice of Martyrs pamphlets and in general have found them very informative—and yes, they are a good organization. But still, most of the concentration is in regard to the persecution of evangelicals—not the older Christian communities orthodox and catholic. Mainline Protestant churches and most of the Catholic hierarchy is very wussy when it has come to islamists—either out of political correctness or plain old fear—except for a few comments by Pope Benedict. Arab Christians of whatever stripe, have a big identity crisis. I think you aware enough of the history that I don’t have to go on and on. They were anxious to be accepted by the larger Muslim Arab community when secular regimes were more in vogue in the region (eg. Baathist regimes in Iraq & Syria quite tolerant of Christians—Egypt under Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak less so because the Copts made up a good sized minority (12% or so), but now that MB Wahhabi inspired regimes are taking over, they are just in plain fear for their survival. For good coverage of persecution of Christians (and other in Islamdom go to Frontpaage Magazine) and a good guy for coverage on Christian capitulation (in USA)to Islamist screeds and hissy fits is Mark Tooley (an evangelical, I believe)