Saturday, March 13, 2010

Overlooked by the world press . . .

Mark DeYoung is a founding board member of World Youth Alliance, an international coalition dedicated to promoting human dignity and building solidarity among youth of developed and developing nations. DeYoung has an article on the persecution of Christians throughout the world which is worthy of attention.
There are 2.2 billion Christians on the planet. According to Open Doors, a large international non-profit organization that broadly tracks persecution of Christians on the world stage, 100 million are seriously threatened or persecuted because of their faith. Another non-profit, the World Evangelical Alliance (whose Religious Liberty Commission publishes a great deal of stats on religious persecution) puts that number closer to 200 million, and believes another 400 million face “non-trivial restrictions on their freedom and the loss of many basic human rights, simply because they choose to love and follow Jesus Christ.”
There are more than sixty countries where persecution of Christians is a real problem. Open Doors publishes an annual World Wide Watch list that ranks the fifty worst perpetrators. In its latest ranking, eight of the ten worst countries are Muslim, and on the whole, 35 of the 50 countries have Muslim majority populations. Following the recent murders of eight Christians in Mosul, Iraq, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, addressed this growing problem of Islamic extremism against Christians. He declared that these grave injustices are not a result of “hatred of the West or of foreigners, but [hatred] of the Christian community.” Unfortunately, there does seem to be a rise of newsworthy violence against Christians by Muslims, often within countries where governments look the other way or officially participate in the persecution.
DeYoung ticks off the list of countries where the persecution of Christians is rampant: Nigeria, Egypt, Malaysia, Iraq, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others. He concludes his article:
It is time for the international community (the United Nations and other regional bodies), as well as Western nations, to acknowledge the widespread abuse of Christians that is taking place at the hands of extremist Muslims. To look the other way and suggest such persecution and violence is only the result of secular indicators like ethnic strife and political unrest is to ignore the coming reality. We may be entering one of the fiercest periods of Christian martyrdom in all of human history.
For all our legitimate concern about violence, it remains a mystery why something approaching "the fiercest periods of Christian martyrdom in all of human history" is receiving such scant attention from the press. On second thought, maybe it's in ideological conformity with the media bias and dereliction of duty that is so conspicuous in other areas of our public life.

The whole article is here.

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