Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Crisis in global Christianity

There is an urgent crisis for Christians in a great sweep of countries across the middle of the earth. None can feel safe in many countries and especially not in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Pakistan (also here). The terrorist rampage in the Westgate Mall in Kenya may have targeted 'non-Muslims' rather than Christians specifically, but that grievous action will ripple through the extensive Christian community in that country.

Violence is not intrinsic to the way of life lived by the vast majority of Muslims, but violence, both against fellow Muslims and against Christians, is intrinsic to the terrorism which seeks to impose one or more forms of a rigorously pure Islam.

Readers of Western blogs such as this one will mostly live far from the threat of terror. We can discuss our issues in freedom and peace. Meanwhile our brothers and sisters in Christ face issues of a different kind and lack our freedom and peace with which to contemplate resolution. Stay and face death by terrorism? Leave for a safer country and concomitantly shrink the church of their homeland?

If we take ecclesiology seriously then the massacres of Christians in Syria and the bombing of Christians in Peshawar are the amputations of members of the one body of Christ. The crisis for Christians in countries threatened by terrorism is a crisis for global Christianity.

20 comments:

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
Best we steer clear of any comments about anti-gay fundamentalists, even if the wording of the comment I am rejecting passes muster re individualised ad hominem. I do not want to go again down the path we have been down recently.

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, I accept your ruling re my last post. However, I would want to point to the fact that there are many kinds of 'terrorism' - arising from puritanical religious fervour. Muslims are not the only culprits.

Peter Carrell said...

That is fair comment, Ron.

For instance across the border from Pakistan there have been instances of Hindu-based terrorism.

Bryden Black said...

Thank you Peter for homing in on this vital feature of the Body of Christ and its limbs being literally amputated thanks to various extreme forms of hatred.

Of course, for some of us this kind of violence is not new. For a number of years my alma mater has had to deal with the violence of Robert Mugabe’s regime on the one hand and that puppet bishop Nolbert Kunonga on the other. My old friend Chad Gandiya, “the official Anglican Bishop of Harare”, and his family need our constant prayers even now. So please add them to your prayer schedules folks; many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Peter, although the perpetrators are terrorists, let's not forget the woeful incompetence of the governments of Kenya (can it keep any order at all?) and Pakistan (to protect its minorities. Pakistan aggravates its inability by passing discriminatory law against Christians. If people want to do something useful, they can protest to the Pakistani High Commission at pakhcwellington@xtra.co.nz. I doubt the Beehive will be remotely interested in upsetting our "friends", but I could be wrong.

Nick

Anonymous said...

Nick, Kenya is a poor country in which most of the population live around the poverty line. It doesn't have the money or infrastructure to combat well-financed terrorists armed with western weapons and Saudi money.
As for Pakistan, there are no words to describe this ignorant and violent hellhole created to appease the hordes of Mohammad Ali Jinna. India should never have been partitioned. Pakistan is truly one of the worst geopolitical ideas of the 20th century (in a crowded field of competitors).

Martin

Peter Carrell said...

Oh, I don't know, Martin.
Sneaking in near the beginning of the 20th century was Australia's idea that NZ could become one of its states ... :)

Shawn Herles said...

There is only one kind of terrorism. Deliberate acts of mass violence with the specific aim of killing civilians, and the primary instigator of such violence are Muslims.

Conservative Christians opposed to changing the Church's understanding of marriage are not terrorists.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
For assuaging any doubts that may arise re your second statement above: No one here, in a published or rejected comment, is arguing that conservative Christians opposed to changing the Church's understanding of marriage are terrorists.

Shawn Herles said...

It is difficult to know what to.about a country that is, politically speaking, beyond saving. In the majority of examples of international Islamic terrorism there is almost always a link back to Pakistan. The Taliban themselves are a creation of the Pakistani security forces. And there is little chance that political and military leaders were not aware of Osama bin Laden's presence in the country. In fact they were likely involved in hiding him.

What to do with Pakistan?

Shawn Herles said...

Good to know Peter.

Shawn Herles said...

On the subject of Islam, I cannot recommend highly enough 'The Sword of the Prophet' by Serge Trifkovic. It shows clearly that violence is inherent in the very nature of Islam.

Kurt said...

“It shows clearly that violence is inherent in the very nature of Islam”—Shawn

Oh please, Shawn. Just because there are Islamist terrorists does not mean that violence is inherent in the nature of Islam. Any more than the fact that there are Christianist terrorists, like Timothy McVeigh, means that violence is inherent in the nature of Christianity. Develop some perspective, man!

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY


Janice said...

Well, Peter, of course NZ should be one of Australia's states. We've already got about 20% of the NZ population living here.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, I don't know, Martin.
Sneaking in near the beginning of the 20th century was Australia's idea that NZ could become one of its states ... :)"

Are you lamenting this didn't happen, Peter? [ :) ] And I wonder who is happier it didn't! It would have deprived Muldoon of his best joke about the average IQ of both countries.
I did hear an interesting observation from the daughter of a friend, who now lives in Brisbane. She observes that no one cares there that Maori are Maori, only whether they can do their jobs well. They are shown no deference in the lucky country, and Maori in Qld find this liberates them.
As for Pakistan etc: many of the wars of the 20th and 21st centuries have arisen out of the work of those 'clever' civil servants who re-drew the maps of empire after WWI, WWII and post-colonial Africa. If we have learnt anything since c. 1990, it is that ethnic and national identities run deeper than imposed political 'identities' - see how long the EU can continue.

Martin Spengler

Shawn Herles said...

Kurt,

I have perspective, it's called reality.

"Christian" terrorists like TM are a rarity. In Islam, they are not. Nor did I say that Islam is inherently violent because of modern terrorism, but because of the nature of it's religious ideology and overall history. Which I have formed in part by reading works like 'The Sword of the Prophet.'

I have read enough of your perspective to know it holds zero interest for me.

Shawn Herles said...

My response to Kurt was overly combative and rancorous and I apologize to Kurt and Peter for that.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Shawn.

Kurt said...

Apology accepted.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Bryden Black said...

Readers might like to read this from the Spectator;

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/09/the-silence-of-our-friends-the-extinction-of-christianity-in-the-middle-east/

Chilling frankly ... So to our knees - and then action!