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PROTECTION FUNDS AND TRADE SANCTIONS CAN REDUCE CHRISTIAN MINORITIES’ PERSECUTION

REFORMADVOCATE.COM NEWS/VIEWS

Toronto, Canada Jeffrey S. Ram, Editor January 11, 2023




Coffins of slain Christians in Mallagum, Kaduna state, Nigeria. Photo: Courtesy Morning Star News

“How many corpses are required to get the world’s attention?” --- Nigeria’s Bishop Jude Arogundade

CHRISTIAN PROTECTION AND DEVELOPMENT FUNDS AND TRADE SANCTIONS OF VICTIMIZER NATIONS CAN REDUCE THE PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIAN MINORITIES

The persecution of Christians is growing worldwide. Open Doors USA's 2022 World Watch reported that between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021, at least 5,898 Christians were killed, 5,110 churches were attacked or closed, 6,175 Christians were arrested without trial, and 3,829 Christians were kidnapped. Globally, more than 360 million Christians live where they experience high persecution for their faith. Many Christian individuals and organizations help persecuted Christian minorities, but they are not strong enough to check the violence.

Supremacist bigots mainly target low-income believers. Growing up in an intensely hostile environment, Christian children and youth develop low self-esteem and an inferiority complex. Anxiety about food and family security forces many helpless and marginalized Christians to give up their faith. Therefore, with short-term and long-term goals and strategies, Christians should establish Christian Protection and Development Funds nationally and internationally. Short-term help should provide immediate emergency legal and financial aid to victims, and long-term support should make the community socio-economically strong to stand firm in the faith.

BRIEF LOOK AT CHRISTIAN MINORITIES’ PERSECUTION

The ruthless victimization of Christians has caused a significant decline in the Christian population in many parts of the world. Due to the sufferings of the Holy Land’s Christians, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, and the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem appealed for support. “The ancient, indigenous Christian communities in the Holy Land are vanishing. Fast. Together we can protect them and help to rebuild diverse, flourishing communities in the cradle of Christianity.” < Protecting Holy Land Christians >

At a G20 function in November 2022, the Most Rev. Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, warned. After about 1,900 years of existence in the region, “We Christians of Iraq now find ourselves on the very edge of extinction.”

According to the annual “Persecution Trends” report issued on December 28, 2022, by Release International, the persecution of Christians would intensify globally. It identified Nigeria, India, and China, where anti-Christian oppression was expected to increase.

Christians in Nigeria face terrorist attacks from Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa, and Fulani gangs. Fulani attacks have killed thousands and destroyed at least 17 Christian villages. Violence has made more than 2 million Nigerians refugees in their homeland.

In India, the persecution of Christians has skyrocketed since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) came to power in 2014. The Hindutva agenda of Prime Minister Modi’s party is to erase all non-Hindus from India. Anti-conversion laws are used to make false allegations of conversion and attack Christians and churches. The upper caste Hindus do not want the Hindu lower caste Shudras and outcast Dalits to escape their caste status of servants and enslaved people, respectively. According to India’s United Christian Forum, there have been at least 511 violent attacks against Christians between January and November 2022.

President Xi Jinping wants total control over all individuals and activities in China. Christians are suppressed because they are considered against the communist government. Christians attending underground churches are arrested and imprisoned for illegal religious activity.

Aid to the Church in Need released its report in November 2022. It stated that jihadism and nationalism are the leading causes of increasing persecution of Christians in at least 18 countries, especially in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Nigeria’s Bishop Jude Arogundade lamented on this occasion, “The world is silent as attacks on churches, their personnel, and institutions have become routine. How many corpses are required to get the world’s attention?”

SOLUTIONS: CHRISTIAN DEVELOPMENT AND PROTECTION FUNDS AT GLOBAL AND NATIONAL LEVELS SHOULD STRENGTHEN WEAK AND POOR CHRISTIANS TO FIGHT THEIR OWN BATTLES - LOBBYING CAMPAIGNS SHOULD DEMAND PUNITIVE ACTION AGAINST THE VICTIMIZER NATIONS LIKE TRADE AND GOODS BOYCOTTS AND EXPULSION FROM INTERNATIONAL BODIES

If Christians act nationally and internationally, the persecution of Christian minorities and the oppression of poor Christians can be reduced, even if it cannot be stopped completely. Education, skills training, and financial assistance can strengthen the impoverished and weak Christian victims financially and socially. This will enable them to resist violence and boldly practice their faith.

There are enough middle-income and affluent Christians in the nations of persecuted minorities to help their suffering fellow Christians. Some individuals and churches do help, but they lack strategy and organized efforts. Establishing National Christian Development and Protection Funds by local Christians will assure the victims that they are not alone. These funds should be used both for emergency help and long-term community development aid.

When there is an attack on Christians, the victims should be provided with the best legal aid, and their families should be granted generous financial assistance for as long as needed. The children of the victims should be given scholarships. The victimizers target Christians to harm them and coerce them to renounce Christianity. The victims' families will bravely face persecution if they do not suffer legal and financial hardships. As a result, the majoritarian bullies' terrorism will become useless. This realization may stop most violence.

The Global Christian Development and Protection Fund should focus on aiding Christian refugees, immigrants, international students, and migrant workers. It should organize international campaigns to punish the victimizer nations through trade boycotts and expulsion from international bodies, including the United Nations. Christians should also boycott goods produced in these nations. Christians, who cannot help financially, can use their talents and skills to mobilize support and champion the cause of persecuted Christian minorities.

If the governments and the people of the victimizer nations face the consequences of their oppression and tyranny, they will stop or reduce Christians' persecution.

RELATED:

https://www.reformadvocate.com/post/holy-land-s-christians-dream-to-worship-safely-and-live-peacefully

https://www.reformadvocate.com/post/christian-action-committee-needed-in-every-church

https://www.reformadvocate.com/post/christian-minorities-need-self-empowerment-and-self-reliance-for-security

https://www.reformadvocate.com/post/the-international-religious-freedom-government-groups-need-to-be-more-effective

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