By John J. Lombardi – May 22, 2019
Some media and others today either ignore or deplore claims of Christian persecution, even though prominent and numerous facts mount.
Witness the recent Easter Sri Lanka slaughter of hundreds. On Mother’s Day, a Catholic priest was killed with six others during a mass in West Africa. The ruling Chinese Communist party has destroyed churches and jailed evangelical preachers. There is a near genocide of Christians in Iraq.
Vice President Mike Pence recently gave a speech at Liberty University and warned the graduates there of Christian persecution. And he was pilloried.
Lest you think all this is hyped, a recent study by the Anglican Church, ordered by Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, found that 80 percent of religious persecution is against Christians.
Add to the above, the Christian baker in Denver persecuted. Terrorists bombing Catholics in the Philippines. The recent ransacking of churches in France. Tim Teebow, football star, ridiculed for his “Christian purity,” and the Little Sisters of the Poor in California being pushed to act against their religion.
I recently said mass in Washington, and a young man vibrantly decried the lack of leadership regarding our Catholic Church abuses and cover-ups, “I want someone to get angry and speak about this!”
He is right. But where is the outrage for Christian persecution?
Perhaps we neglect or reject that fact because Christians have been dominant in the West for nearly 2,000 years, and some think it’s time for a change. And so, media under-report Christian persecution. Basically, as Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Mr. Hunt, said, it’s “political correctness” that silences the outcry against Christian persecution — along with charges of “colonialism” against Christianity.
And yet, the British Anglican report outlined discrimination against Christians through destruction of Christian symbols, abduction of clergy, biased education textbooks, hate speech targeting believers, arrests and intimidation.
Every month, about 345 Christians are killed and 105 churches or Christian buildings are razed or pillaged, according to Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute. Ten percent of Christians worldwide experience persecution. There is the “hard-core” kind, including physical violence against Christians, usually overseas; and the “soft-core” kind, such as religious discrimination and bigotry as we see more of in our country.
But acknowledging it is somehow seen as an affront to “multi-culturalism” or anti-modern.
Meanwhile, people are dying.
Where is the passionate cry of that young man I met in Washington, that combines courage and wisdom for Christians today, minority and otherwise?
Rev. John J. Lombardi (firstname.lastname@example.org) is pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in Hancock, Md.