Thankfully Christian persecution is no longer the Roman ‘sport’ which inspired box-office spectaculars such as Quo Vadis but the persecution of Christians continues today on a much bigger scale and is just as evil. From Konrad Szymanski in New Europe :
“According to the statistics at least 75% of religious persecution is directed against people of Christian faith and each year about 170,000 Christians suffer because of their beliefs. The total number of faithful who are discriminated amounts already to 100 million. It's also a known fact that more Christians have been martyred in the 20th century than in all the prior 1,900 years. All in all it makes Christians the most persecuted religious group.”
Many of the worst atrocities are too distressing to illustrate here but burning, beating, beheading and all manner of brutality are documented on the web, including the use of rape as a weapon. The beating of Christians in Egypt (above) for opening their cafe during Ramadan is a minor punishment by comparison. In Iraq, killings and persecution have resulted in the Christian population being halved to 400,000 since 2003. Meanwhile in Pakistan ‘blasphemy’ is used as a weapon of persecution. Not only does much of the persucution go un-reported but Islamic states have attempted to get the United Nations to legitimise it. Meanwhile many delude themselves by making excuses.
Here in Great Britain, in addition to the Islamic atrocities perpetrated on British citizens we have subtler methods of oppression, often by do-gooders who are so immersed in political correctness it has almost become a religion. Even church-goers are not exempt. Orthodox Anglicans in the Church of England are oppressed by those who have abandoned the traditional faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church because they refuse to adapt their religion to suit modern life styles. In the forefront of this movement are the feminist organisation Women and the Church (WATCH) which battles ceaselessly to exclude Christians who don’t agree with their political agenda of parity for women in the church as though they were working for Local Government Social Services or the Co-op.
Those whose agenda is to make the church relevant to society fail to see that they have made faith irrelevant to many with the consequent decline of the church. If we are not careful the remaining vacuum will be filled by others leaving the oppressors themselves as victims.
On his Blog Archbishop Cranmer has published a long but interesting US Report on Religious Freedom in the UK.