Saint Thomas Christian Cross And St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Church, Palayoor, Kerala, India : In 52 A.D. Thomas Didaemus, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ is believed to have landed at Musiris (Cranganore) in Kerala, India. He made his first converts both Jews and Hindus at Palayur, a town now in Trichur district, Kerala, and built a church with an altar consecrated by him. The original altar consecrated by Saint Thomas still remains there. St. Thomas stayed in India for 17 years: 4 years in Sindh (now in Pakistan), about 6 years in Malabar Coast, and 7 years at Mylapore in Tamil Nadu. He established seven churches. In 72 A.D., St. Thomas was martyred on a hill near Mylapore, Madras (Now Chennai). This hill is known as St. Thomas Mount.
A world where people of all races, religions, and nationalities, etc. live in peace and harmony
Goals and Priorities:
1. To protect the Christian minorities from violence, discrimination, discriminatory laws, anti-Christian governments and terrorist organizations.
2. A) To preserve the results of evangelization by missionaries and evangelists in the countries of Christian minorities.
B) To protect the Christians, churches, and Christian institutions, etc.
C) To gratefully remember the sacrifices of Christian missionaries, evangelists, teachers, doctors, nurses, and social workers, and others who worked in these countries.
3. To empower the Christian minorities to become self-reliant, self-sufficient, and strong enough to enable them to:
A) Protect their lives, properties, and legal rights;
B) Support, protect, and develop their churches, institutions, and evangelistic organizations;
C) Become active partners in worldwide evangelization in accordance with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Every Christian should be a member of “Jesus Christ Service-JCS” and witness Jesus Christ through his/her life.
4. To promote and develop a better understanding, sensitivity and awareness among the western Christians, the leaders of western governments, international institutions and organizations, regarding the issues, concerns, and problems of the Christian minorities.
5. To mobilize support for the Christian minorities and encourage the Christian majorities to be the voice of the voiceless Christian minorities.
6. To utilize television, radio and print media, meetings, seminars, publications, etc. to inform and educate Christians and others about the sufferings, sorrows and problems of the Christian minorities.
7. To seek relief and solutions for the above-mentioned sufferings, sorrows and problems.
8. To find safe haven in western countries for the persecuted Christians, specially those who face imminent danger to their lives.
9. To encourage Christian churches and individuals to have an organization of African and Asian Christians to take united action to protect each other and also to carry on the evangelistic work in accordance with the Great Commission.
10. To publicize the organizations and media engaged in protecting and helping the Christian Minorities.
St Patrick's Cathedral Karachi, Pakistan
Courtesy Mohammad Osama Anwer
Plan of Action:
Churches and Christians, specially where they are in majority and not being persecuted, should organize “Help the Christian Minorities” or “Friends of Christian Minorities” or “St. Peter Service-SPS”, groups, councils, etc. to carry out the public relations and lobbying campaigns and take other actions to stop violence against Christian minorities and empower them so that they can protect themselves.
Individuals, with the help of a friend or two, are also encouraged to take lobbying initiatives, like online petitions etc., on their own by using their social media and other skills.
Established by the Portuguese in 1677, the Rani Jopmala Church (Holy Rosary Church), also known as the Mother of Churches, is the oldest intact church in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Why should the Christian majorities protect and help the Christian Minorities?
About two thousand years ago, Christians were thrown to the lions in the colosseum. In the Twentieth Century, Christian minorities of Africa and Asia were thrown to the Jehadists, and the persecution of Christian minorities continues even by Hindu and Buddhist extremists in many countries in the Twenty-First Century. The Christian minorities are brutalized, dehumanized, murdered, raped, and made slaves and sex slaves with no consequences. The world silently watches these crimes against humanity, and even the Christian majorities in the west and the Caribbean nations remain mute.
As Christians we sing, “In Christ there is no east and west, in him no north and south; but one great family of love, throughout the whole wide earth.” If this is true, then why Christian minorities of Africa and Asia suffer persecution because of their faith and the Christian majorities neither complain about it, nor come to their rescue.
Lord Jesus Christ taught us “God is love,” “Love one another”, and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” Apostle Paul emphasized, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God in faith.” He explained that the Christians are “many parts, but one body.” He added, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” Apostle Peter said, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” The Christian majorities should, therefore, love and help the Christian victims of terrorism and persecution.
After subduing the Christian minorities at home, now the Islamic terrorists want to terrorize and conquer the Christian majority western countries. The Christian minorities in Africa and Asia were, and still are, the first line of defence for Christians in the west. Islamic terrorism has also inspired terrorism by Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka and by Hindus in India. Since 2014, when the Hindu extremist Bhartiya Janata Party formed the national government in India, the Hindu terrorism against Christians and Muslims has been accepted worldwide as normal.
The Christian values are already under attack in the west. Before it is too late, the western Christian majorities should take pre-emptive and proactive measures at home and in Africa and Asia against anti-Christian hate-mongers and terrorists. In true Christian spirit, they should also protect from persecution other religious, racial, and ethnic minorities.
From time to time, many Christian religious and political leaders of the western countries have raised the human rights issue of violence against the Christian minorities, but due to the lack of lobbies to advocate this cause, there was no pressure on various national governments to raise the issue, express their concern, and demand that it be stopped. Even the United nations, that takes up the cause of protecting the people from human rights violations, remains silent in the cases of persecuted Christian minorities.
The silence of the western governments gives consent to the terrorists to carry on their barbaric activities. Therefore, it is urgently required that the Christian churches and organizations form “Help the Christian Minorities” groups to lobby on behalf of the victimized Christian minorities. They should also assume the responsibility of protecting the other minority groups. Helping the Christian and other minorities is a part of the “Great Commission” responsibility. David happily sang, ”How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133:1) If the Christian majorities have love for Christian minorities, and care for them by helping and protecting them, then all Christians can also happily sing, “We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord…. And they’ll know that we are Christians by our love.”
Cinnamon Gardens Baptist Church, Colombo Western, Sri Lanka.
Why should Non-Christians help Christian Minorities?
What goes around comes around. Many non-Christians enjoy the fruits of secularism and religious freedom in other countries, specially in the west, but promote at home the belief that the religious minorities should live like second class citizens and be at the mercy of the majority community for their lives. If this majoritarian idea becomes acceptable globally, then the non-Christian minorities in other countries will also become victims of this evil and will be exposed to potential violence. Therefore, it is in the self-interest of these non-Christian minorities to despise and discourage religious prejudice, hatred, discrimination and violence in their home countries. They should join hands with others to promote and strengthen the forces of inclusiveness, equality, and world peace.
St. John's Church at Sagamu, Nigeria.
SOME SUGGESTIONS ABOUT PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES TO HELP AND PROTECT THE CHRISTIAN MINORITIES
Projects, programs, and activities may be organized to establish links at:
A) Church to church level, and
B) Person to person level.
1. Organize seminars and conferences, conduct research and surveys on “Analysis of security and economic problems of Christian minorities and the solutions”, with input from lay leaders and priests of both the Christian minorities and majorities.
2. Develop strategies and plans to implement programs to enable Christian minorities to make them secure and economically self-reliant as individuals and as churches.
3. Scholarships should be provided in the Christian minorities’ own countries and abroad, specially for priests’ and evangelists’ children to promote, encourage, and facilitate their higher education and specialization. (Note: Priests and evangelists are paid meagre salaries. It is hard to attract people to these professions because tremendous financial sacrifices are expected from their families.)
4. Provide career and employment guidance/counselling and help to Christian minorities through contacts with employers, etc.
5. Provide coaching for entrance examination to medical, engineering and other professional colleges and competitions for civil services (national and provincial).
6. Encourage self-employment by conducting training or seminars on “How to run your own business/industry,” “How to arrange financing”, etc. for the Christian minorities
7. Provide financial help to the Christian minorities to start their own businesses through credit unions, cooperatives, investment groups, direct loans, institutional finance, margin/seed money, interest subsidy and capital subsidy plans and schemes.
8. Establish Resource and Assistance Centres to assist self-help projects, small businesses, and other job creation programs.
9. Facilitate the establishment of joint ventures in business, trade (import/export), industries, and farms (Breeding horses and cows) between the Christian minorities individuals and Christian majorities’ industrialists and business owners.
10. Encourage the consideration of training and hiring of Christian minority individuals in their home countries by the western business or industrial corporations.
11. Help Christian minorities gain higher education, or employment, or immigration, or refugee status in the western countries.
12. Encourage the establishment of exchange programs for priests (ministers), evangelists, teachers, doctors, nurses, managers/administrators and other professionals from Christian minorities.
13. Help Christian minorities in the marketing of their products through sales outlets as well as counters in international trade fairs and exhibitions.
14. Establish resource centres for information gathering, research, newsletters, books, media releases etc. to educate Christians in particular and public in general about the problems of Christian minorities and to lobby for government or international intervention to end their distress and resolve the issues.
15. Utilize television, radio, social media, literature, films, publications, training, conferences, seminars etc. to protect and help the Christian minorities.
16. Organize prayer support for the Christian minorities in Sunday schools, Bible classes, in churches and at homes throughout the world.
17. Seek patrons (churches, organizations, foundations, individuals) to finance activities to promote the welfare of Christian minorities.
18. Seek experienced business owners, industrialists, and professionals in the western world to train individuals from Christian minorities by sharing their knowledge and expertise with them.
19. Research and inform the Christian minorities about scholarships available in the universities for developing or Commonwealth countries etc. and the financial assistance available through CIDA or other nations’ international development agencies for starting small scale industries or rural projects and how to apply for them.
20. The expertise and experience of Christian volunteers who served in Africa and Asia as teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, and in other positions, can be utilized as speakers and resource persons.
The newly inaugurated Cathedral of Nativity in Egypt's New Administrative Capital, east of Cairo
Arabic: (القاهرة) كاتدرائية ميلاد المسيح, romanized: (al-Qāhirah) Kātidrāʾiyya Mīlād al-Masīḥ, lit. '(Cairo) Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ'
Stamp issued on the 75th anniversary of the Catholic Church in Rwanda.
Christian Organizations Protecting and Helping the Christian Minorities
Hagia Sophia (/ ˈhɑːɡiə soʊˈfiːə /; from the Koinē Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, romanized: Hagía Sophía; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia, ' Holy Wisdom '), officially the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque (Turkish: Ayasofya-i Kebir Camii Şerifi) and formerly the Church of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey.
*** The World Council of Churches <https://www.oikoumene.org/en/>
*** Lausanne Movement https://www.lausanne.org/
*** WEC International https://www.wecinternational.org
*** World Evangelical Alliance https://worldea.org
*** World Evangelical Alliance Commission https://weamc.global/
*** Voice of the Martyrs https://www.persecution.com
*** The Voice of the Martyrs Canada https://www.vomcanada.com/
*** Open Doors www.od.org
*** World Relief https://worldrelief.org/
*** The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) www.uscirf.gov/
*** US International Religious Freedom Annual reports www.state.gov/international-religious-freedom-reports/