Commentary

Bill Donohue: Christians Are Being Assaulted from All Sides

Bill Donohue
By Bill Donohue | April 24, 2019 | 4:34 PM EDT

Members of the clergy walk past new graves as they wait for the funerals of people killed in the Easter Sunday attack on St Sebastian's Church, on April 24, 2019 in Negombo, Sri Lanka. At least 321 people were killed and 500 people injured. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Muslim fanatics, so-called Islamists, are the most violent enemy of Christians in the world. While it is considered controversial to even mention this today, even less reported is the non-violent counterpart to these barbarians: militant secularists. The latter are growing in influence by leaps and bounds, even to the point of accommodating the Islamists.

According to CBN News, thus far this year there have been well over 1,000 attacks on French Christian churches and symbols, most of them  Catholic. That's an increase of 17 percent in one year. As everyone knows, radical Muslims are to blame.

In the Middle East and Africa, Christian persecution is routine. The Christian character of Mosul in Iraq is gone—Christianity has been obliterated. Eritrea, known as the “North Korea of Africa,” is under siege by a madman; women and girls are bearing the worst of the brunt.

In Nigeria, more than two million people, many of them Christians, are being driven from their homes by Islamists known as Boko Haram. During the first half of 2018, 6,000 Christians were killed in Nigeria, most of whom were women, children, and the elderly.

As University of Mississippi professor, and Catholic League advisory board member, Ronald Rychlak notes, “The only place in the Middle East where Christians face no restrictions on the practice of their faith is Israel.” That, too, is underreported.

On Easter Sunday, a reporter for the Guardian, Giles Fraser, offered the following astute observation: “Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, Christians have been driven from the Middle East with bombs and bullets, and with hardly a bat squeak of protest from the secular west.”

Fraser is correct. Just last month, his own nation, the U.K., denied asylum to an Iranian Christian convert (from Islam) on the grounds that Christianity is not a “peaceful” religion (various books from the Bible were cited as proof). According to another British writer, Becket Adams, there is a “trend in the U.K. of government officials taking explicitly anti-Christian positions.”

How bad is it getting? “[I]f you're a Christian living in the U.K., now might be a really good time to think about emigrating to the land of the free and the home of the brave,” Becket Adams says, “where the biggest nuisance for people of faith is an overabundance of options for worship.” He also noted that Sweden is deporting Christians seeking asylum to countries such as Afghanistan.

What's driving this? A minister in the U.K. explains that this is all a reflection of “post-colonial guilt.”

Matters are better here at home, though militant secularists are targeting Christians and Jews at an alarming rate.

Government officials at the federal, state, and local levels, along with elements in the media, Hollywood, the artistic community, and higher education, are doubling down these days in their efforts to smear or otherwise denigrate people of faith. Ready to assist them are radicals who staff non-profit activist organizations, and the foundations that support them.

In the “civilized” world of the West, Christian men and women who take their religion seriously are subjected to bigoted inquisitions when being considered for a judicial appointment. Christian clubs on college campuses are denied the right to have Christians lead them.

Catholic schools are told they don't qualify for matching corporate gifts because they teach Catholicism. More common is the practice of denying Christian organizations a religious exemption, even when it is clear that not granting the exemption effectively neuters their right to be Christian. They are told that by clinging to their Judeo-Christian teachings, they are interfering with the rights of others.

Jews are accused of “dual loyalties,” an anti-Semitic trope that has recently resurfaced in elite quarters. The BDS movement, which is popular on many college campuses, is out to crush Israel. The fact that such bigotry is led by young people—including in the halls of Congress—makes this all the more disturbing.

If those who preach the virtue of tolerance meant what they say, we wouldn't have any of these problems. But they don't—they are content to lie for a living. Worse, they are the guilty parties in the West.

Is it any wonder that militant secularists rarely condemn radical Muslims? To be sure, the former don't want to live under Sharia law, but they are prepared to take that risk provided their Muslim allies keep whittling away at our Judeo-Christian heritage. This is a sick pact that has grown exponentially since 9/11. It needs to end before more damage is done.

Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.

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