CHRISTIAN ACTION COMMITTEE NEEDED IN EVERY CHURCH
OBSERVE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH ON NOV 6.
Toronto, Canada Jeffrey S. Ram, Editor October 11, 2022
Participants in the 2022 March For The Martyrs in solidarity for persecuted Christians globally, Sept. 24, 2022. | Courtesy Nicole Alcindor/ Christian Post
Every year thousands of churches observe the first Sunday of November as the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. However, the victimization of Christians has not stopped. While Christians in western countries pray for their oppressed fellow Christians, their government leaders fraternize, aid, and trade with the oppressor nations.
Only active lobbying and protests by western Christians can force their governments to impose trade sanctions on the guilty nations and stop aid to them. For self-preservation, the victimized Christians should seek refuge in some safe country or strengthen themselves to endure the oppression.
OPEN DOORS’ WORLD WATCH REPORT
According to the Open Doors 2022 report on the persecution of Christians, "Across 76 countries, more than 360 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith – an increase of 20 million since last year." One in every seven Christians lives under at least high levels of persecution or discrimination for their faith.
Open Doors' top twelve persecutor nations are 1. Afghanistan (Islamic oppression) 2. North Korea (Communist and post-communist Oppression) 3. Somalia (Clan oppression) 4. Libya (Islamic oppression) 5. Yemen (Islamic oppression) 6. Eritrea (Dictatorial paranoia) 7. Nigeria (Islamic oppression) 8. Pakistan (Islamic oppression) 9. Iran (Islamic oppression) 10. India (Hindutva oppression) 11. Saudi Arabia (Islamic oppression) 12. Myanmar (Buddhist oppression).
MANY WESTERN GOVERNMENTS ARE ALLIES OF THE PERSECUTORS OF CHRISTIANS
The foreign policy of a nation is guided by its national interest. Human rights and the safety of Christians are not a consideration in the foreign policy of most western countries.
INDIA: Violence and false conversion cases against Christians have increased in India since BJP, led by Prime Minister Modi, won the national election in 2014. Many international human rights organizations have criticized the victimization of Muslims and Christians and the suppression of freedoms in India. Still, the western leaders welcome India's Prime Minister because they need India's market for profit and India as a member of the QUAD alliance to contain China.
In 2020, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended the State Department label India as a "country of particular concern (CPC)." The State Department rejected this recommendation. President Trump presented Prime Minister Modi with the highest degree Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit award, on December 21, 2020.
NIGERIA: According to the Open Doors 2022 report, Nigeria is the most violent place globally for Christians. About 80 percent of the 5,898 Christians killed for their faith globally in 2021, 4,650 Christians were slaughtered by Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), and Fulani Militants.
Even though the atrocities against Christians had increased in Nigeria, the U.S. State Department removed it from the CPC list just one day before Secretary of State Antony Blinken's three-nation tour of Africa. Only one day earlier, on November 16, 2021, International Christian Concern (ICC) had identified Nigeria as the world's worst persecutor of Christians. According to ICC, 50,000 to 70,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since 2000.
PAKISTAN: Pakistan's government, police, and judiciary condone and support violence and false blasphemy allegations against Christians and others. Western governments have provided generous military and foreign aid to Pakistan to maintain its military equality with India since its creation. However, they have failed to use their influence to make Pakistan stop the persecution of Christians and other minorities. The Pakistani-American author Farahnaz Ispahani has called the treatment of Christians in Pakistan a "drip-drip genocide."
On September 7, 2022, the US announced a $450 million military aid package for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
TURKEY: Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has a long history of Christian persecution. In the Syrian civil war, Turkey aided Islamic State in plundering Christians, slaughtering males, and making females their sex slaves. Turkey helped ISIS by providing personnel, weapons, ammunition, medical treatment, brokerage of stolen Syrian oil, and passage of jihadist ISIS terrorists Into Syria. Turkey enabled ISIS to become a functioning state quickly.
Turkey also provided soldiers, jihadi mercenaries recruited from Syria, and NATO firepower to Azerbaijan and Ethiopian governments in the genocidal wars to crush Armenian and Tigray regions' Christian forces.
The Ethiopian use of Somalian, Eritrean, and Turkish soldiers and jihadi mercenaries backed by Turkey's NATO military arms and technology turned the tide against the Tigray's regional forces. This was followed by the destruction of churches and ancient Christian shrines and the rape and slaughter of Tigray's Christians.
On October 7, 2022, Bishop Tesfasellassie Medhin of Adigrat appealed to the national and international communities "to be a voice of the voiceless and enforce international treaties to save more than 7 million lives from vanishing."
WESTERN CHRISTIANS SHOULD ENGAGE IN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ACTION
Besides praying for the Christian minorities, Christians should organize Christian Action Committees in every church for political and social action --- political action to lobby their governments to use their good offices on behalf of victimized Christian minorities and social action to enable the oppressed Christians to escape and move to safety.
Christians should also provide generous support to the Christian and secular NGOs that help suffering Christian minorities. These include Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors, International Christian Concern, and Aid to the Church in Need.
CHRISTIAN MINORITIES SHOULD EITHER ESCAPE FROM DANGEROUS SITUATIONS OR EMPOWER THEMSELVES FOR SELF-PROTECTION
A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch but in its own wings. In addition to prayer, Christian minorities should equip themselves with knowledge and skills to be dynamic and influential to protect themselves. They should encourage their children to excel in education and make themselves useful in their government’s civil, judicial, police, and military services. They should also aim to be business, industry, and media leaders.
Survival of the fittest is the first law of nature. Therefore, churches should strive to make all Christian minorities socially, economically, and politically powerful.
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