Leading article Australia

Christ almighty?

14 April 2017

11:00 PM

14 April 2017

11:00 PM

Last week, Egypt declared a state of emergency. Twin bombings of churches that were packed for Palm Sunday services killed 44 people and injured 126 others. The first exploded in a Coptic church in Tanta, a town on the Nile Delta; the second at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria; the ancient coastal town that is the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt.

This comes as whole ancient Christian communities are being persecuted, murdered and harassed across the Middle East, whether among the Copts, Assyrians, Kurds, Iraqis, Iranians, Yazidis or other ethnic groups.

Worse, there is an Islamist agenda to specifically de-Christianise Biblical areas of the Middle East, including the fostering of the preposterous notion that Jesus himself was a ‘Palestinian’. Historical revisionism, encouraged through bureaucratic tools such as UN Resolution 2334, allows the Islamic conquests of the past to be replicated in an insidious new fashion. Ultimately, we suspect, to deadly effect.

For centuries, Islamic conquests wiped out large swathes of Christendom. The Byzantine world was conquered and submittted, swallowed up by the Ottoman Empire. Islam made in-roads into Christian Spain, France, Russia and the Balkans. Wherever Islam has thrived and become dominant, Christianity has floundered or disappeared altogether. Tellingly, the one Middle East country where Christianity is now flourishing is Israel.

In 2010, six Coptic parishioners and an off-duty Muslim policeman were killed in Qena. In 2011, Jessi Boulus, a 10 year old Christian schoolgirl, was shot dead walking home from a bible study class in Cairo. In 2012, during an Easter service in Nigeria, a car bomb killed dozens of worshippers. That same year, for the first time in centuries, no Easter services were held in Homs, Syria. In 2013, a bomb in a Baghdad church killed at least 14 people, mostly Christians. That March, suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a 130 year-old church in Peshawar after Sunday Mass, killing 78. In 2015, Isis released a video of jihadists decapitating a group of Egyptian Coptic Christian migrant workers on a beach in Libya. In 2016, a bombing in Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral killed at least 25 and wounded dozens of men, women and children. The same year, an Easter Sunday bomb ripped through a public park in Lahore packed with Christian picnickers, killing 72 and wounding more than 300 others, most of them women and children.

According to not-for-profit group Open Doors, 2016 was the worst year on record for the persecution of Christians in 25 years. Open Doors estimate that each month 322 Christians are killed for their faith, 772 suffer serious violence and 214 Christian places of worship are destroyed.

If history tells us anything, it is that unless you fight for what you believe in, it will be forcefully taken from you.

Yet by and large we hear very little from the Pope, from the Anglican Church, and indeed from the authorities and media in so many Christian countries about this deadly phenomenon. Whilst these pathetic prelates prattle on about climate change, abortion, female priests, gay rights and so on, their religion itself is under mortal threat. Moreover, in the Middle East women and girls are on the frontline of this religious persecution, thanks to Muslim misogyny. Yet narry a whisper from our ‘courageous’ feminists.

Fortunately, there is the occasional journalist brave enough to speak up. Only last week, Speccie contributor and top columnist Miranda Devine wrote in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph of a young Greek Orthodox couple riding on a train through a ‘Muslim enclave’ in Sydney’s western suburbs who were attacked because of their faith. Wrote Devine: ‘…he was minding his own business talking on his mobile phone, when four young men of Middle Eastern appearance allegedly violently ripped the crucifix off his neck, and stomped on it while swearing “F–k Jesus” and referring to “Allah”. He says they punched him and kicked him in his face, back and shoulders… When his girlfriend tried to defend him, two Arabic-speaking women also allegedly hit and kicked her.’ According to Devine, this is no isolated incident, but rather, ‘gangs of these young fellows of Muslim background have been harassing people they identify as Christian’.

One of the obvious causes of what Devine calls ‘Christophobia’ is the poisonous, amoral, cowardly effect of left wing political correctness, and the simpering attitude of many ‘progressive’ Christian clergy towards Islam. Rather than seeing what has historically been a violent and uncompromising religion as possibly posing an existential threat to their own beliefs, many clergy now choose to embrace Islam in the name of ‘multifaith dialogue’. The effectiveness of this suicidal approach can be seen in France, where more than 2,000 mosques have been built in the last decade, whilst 60 churches have been closed – many becoming mosques.

Where are the Christians defending their ancient faith? Carry on doing nothing, and get ready to bury Jesus Christ once and for all.

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