Will we support the most persecuted?

Chris Sugden  |  World
Date posted:  1 Jan 2015
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Will we support the most persecuted?

Desmond Swayne | image: wikipedia

Christianity is the most widely persecuted faith worldwide and 4/5ths of this persecution is at the hands of Muslim jihadists. Islam in its final, prophetic, 15th century is taking a more confrontational and supremacist attitude to other faiths.

Persecuted Christians face significant challenges. A flyer for a conference in April facilitated by the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life poses the following options. ‘Should they move or stay (Middle East)? Should they suffer in silence, resist or even retaliate (Nigeria)? Should they rely on “world opinion” and “the international community” or take matters into their own hands? What are their options of self defence? What is the difference between being prepared for martyrdom or for genocide? How should the Church respond to the violence that intends to uproot whole Christian communities from their homelands?’


Christians and their leaders in Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon repeatedly complain that they do not feel supported by the Church in the West. Their plight is often misrepresented by western media. Archbishop Kwashi of Jos, Nigeria, wrote in The Times on 13 November: ‘It is wrong to claim that insurgency in the north of Nigeria is fuelled more by poverty than by Islamic extremism. Poverty does not explain the killing of 40 schoolchildren – Muslim children – in Potiksum earlier this week. Boko Haram and its kind delight in massacres, slaughters, rape and murders. This is not the face of poverty, but of radical Islamist jihad’.

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