Just about every year at Christmastime, I compose my Solar column about persecuted Christians all over the entire world. And every calendar year, I pray that this will be the last yr I have to do it.
In the past, I have written about disappearing Christian populations about the globe.
In many parts of Asia, which includes Pakistan and China, Christians are harassed, persecuted and banned. In much of Africa, they are qualified and slaughtered by warlords and Islamist terrorist teams. And even in Europe, the birthplace of quite a few of our Christian traditions, Christians have been attacked by terrorists in Xmas markets and churches.
The most extreme illustrations of this troubling persecution is in the Center East, wherever Christian populations have all but disappeared.
At the conclude of the Very first Planet War, about 100 yrs back, it is approximated that 1 in five people today in the Middle East was a Christian. Nowadays, it is less than 4%.
As soon as vivid Christian communities in sites like Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Egypt no more time exist. Although these international locations at the time fostered pluralism and tolerance, growing Islamist fundamentalism has wiped out that diversity. The Muslim populations in Iran and Turkey now surpasses 99%.
Christians have been the victims of ethnic cleaning, specific killings and genocide.
The calendar year before final, I wrote about an Islamic State attack on a Coptic Christian church in Egypt. On Palm Sunday, one particular of the most vital times in the Christian calendar, suicide bombers struck and murdered 44 Christians while they prayed.
These varieties of cowardly assaults on church buildings are sadly commonplace, and not just in the Middle East.
While it barely built news in Canada, a church was attacked in Burkina Faso before this month. On a Sunday morning while they have been praying, the church’s pastor as perfectly as 5 little ones and eight grown ups were murdered by jihadists, in accordance to the BBC.
Christians are becoming qualified, and they stay the most persecuted spiritual group in the globe.
Previous Christmas, I wrote about a persecuted Christian villager named Asia Bibi in Pakistan. Bibi was attacked by a mob right after she was accused of drinking h2o from a Muslim person’s cup. She was swarmed, and instructed to transform to Islam. When she refused, she was sent to jail and supplied the dying penalty below the country’s twisted blasphemy legislation.
This story has a thing of a joyful ending. Bibi was acquitted by a substantial courtroom, and Canada recognized her as a refugee earlier this 12 months.
She still faces dying threats, having said that. Just weeks immediately after she arrived in Canada, a Pakistani man introduced a online video on the web expressing he experienced come to Canada, “to give Asia Bibi a terrible death and to send out her to hell.”
“I also arrived at Canada last night,” reported the man, whose identification stays unfamiliar. “I am completely ready to die for the regard of Prophet Mohammed, and I will clearly show that.”
Christians in the West comprise some of the wealthiest, freest, safest, most safe and privileged people today in human heritage. This is, in portion, simply because of our Christian values that make up the foundation of our tolerant and peaceful society.
But other Christians don’t have the similar fortune. Although we celebrate Xmas with our households, friends and cherished types, we should really also commit to carrying out more — donating cash to Christian assist teams, sponsoring persecuted Christians as a result of Canada’s personal refugee method, and pressuring our leaders to stand up for persecuted Christians close to the globe.