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.