I am amazed at how Christians tolerate abuse and mockery and in some cases welcome it. They laugh at the priest-as-pedophile jokes. They openly disagree with Church teachings and act indignant that there are objective truths by which they will be judged. They probably don’t know that our brethren around the world suffer persecution, especially in the Middle East.
The media report extensively about the battles between Jews and Muslims. The fact that some Muslims are killing and persecuting Christians goes unnoticed. So one could almost understand why American Christians could carelessly ignore the plight of our brothers. It is less understandable how we could be so uninterested in losing our own rights to freedom of conscience. Except the majority of Christians don’t have well-informed consciences anymore and don’t understand the cost of their sin.
But our problems here, while worsening, and needing of attention, are not the most pressing ones right now. What is happening overseas needs our attention and action.
According to the patriarch of Babylon in Iraq, part of which has been taken over by ISIS, a radical Muslim group that is trying to re-establish the caliphate:
The control exercised by the Islamist Jihadists upon the city of Mosul, and their proclamation of it as an Islamic State, after several days of calm and expectant watching of events, has now come to reflect negatively upon the Christian population of the city and its environs.
The initial sign was in the kidnapping of the two nuns and 3 orphans who were released after 17 days. At the time, we experienced it as a flash of hope and as a clearing of the sky after the appearance of storm clouds.
Suddenly we have been surprised by the more recent outcomes which are the proclamation of an Islamic state and the announcement calling all Christians and clearly asking them to convert to Islam or to pay the jizyah (the tax all non- Muslims must pay while living in the land of Islam) – without specifying the exact amount. The only alternative is to abandon the city and their houses with only the clothes they are wearing, taking nothing else. Moreover, by Islamic law, upon their departure, their houses are no longer their properties but are instantly confiscated as property of the Islamic state.
Can you imagine being forced to convert under threat of force? Or being compelled to pay a special tax? While we are not being threatened with death or other extreme measures in this country, we should be praying for our neighbors suffering throughout the world. And we should be more vigilant here.
The fact that there are segments of the population–including those in high political office–that want to ostracize American Christians, particularly Catholics, by making us violate our consciences by doing things like pay for others’ contraceptives and abortifacients should be disturbing. The fact that those who oppose calling homosexual unions marriage are targeted and called bigots is intimidation. This includes photographers and bakers who refuse to violate their consciences by participating in alleged same-sex marriages and who are fined as a result.
While we are not Iraq, we are on our way to losing our rights if we don’t protect them. Just like we need to advocate for our brothers in Christ abroad, we need to protect our Constitutional rights here before we lose them. When you think about it, what liberals are doing in this country is a gentler form of Christian persecution that Iraqis and others are enduring right now. In order to help them, we need to help ourselves. Depriving people of their livelihoods and subjecting them to ridicule for not violating their consciences is a stepping stone to the kind of persecution Christians once endured.
Despite the vast majority of Americans identifying as Christian, the reality is we are post-Christian. Like liberal Republicans (RINOs), the majority of Christians are Christian in Name Only (CINOs). That explains why we have lost society and why we who actually believe will lose the ability to live our Christianity publicly if we do not have a Christian revival characterized by a renewal of the faith and mass repentance.