As the eyes of the world turn to the Middle East and the political turmoil occurring there, it would be a good idea to remember our Christian brothers and sisters caught in the midst of all this and to consider their plight. As Western Christians we are blessed to be heirs of a civilization that was officially Christian for many centuries. As such, we tend to think of martyrdom as an ancient phenomenon, one carried out by Roman soldiers with swords, or Roman citizens with stones. We may be conscious of sporadic persecutions carried out in the twentieth century by communist and fascist Western governments, but those too seem to have joined the history books and become things of the past. To myself at least, the term ‘martyrdom’ has an exotic, antique air to it. This, however, is due to ignorance.
We may be living in a ‘global village’, yet how very little we know about our Middle Eastern and Asian Christian neighbours! Millions of Christians in these areas live and die under political and societal repression and persecution, but it is as though their cries and prayers are constantly smothered beneath a sinister veil. This veil requires two guilty parties holding it down at all times – the Eastern persecutors, and the Western media and intelligentsia. However, the West has ignored the plight of Eastern Christians to our own detriment. The persecution of Christians by radical Islam should have served as a warning for us of what to expect from the rise of radical Islam to international prominence and its spread into the Western world.
Would you like to know more about the persecution of Christians in the modern world? Michael Horowitz will enlighten you in the introduction to his book “Their Blood Cries Out: The Untold Story of Persecution.”
The National Review Online has a fascinating article about a courageous Coptic priest engaged in the most dangerous evangelizing work of our time – amongst Muslims in the Middle East.