Friday, July 5, 2013
The problems of Christians in Islamic countries. . .
Some of those Christians are guests (workers who are there temporarily, business people and their families, and even members of the diplomatic community). Most of them, however, belong to the long history and heritage of Christians who have called these nations home since the advent of Christianity itself. Many of those nations have witnessed the Christian population decimated either as casualties of the wars and violence of the area or by the active or tacit approval of Islamic governments unfriendly to religious toleration and intent upon the persecution of non-Muslims.
The Roman Catholic Church faces the termination of its leased property in Kuwait in 2016, is looking for funds and approval to build a cathedral and building complex in Bahrain, but has found it difficult, if not impossible, to retain historic facilities and ministries within many other countries of the Middle East.
Perhaps they believe, as it appears some Americans do, that religious freedom means merely the liberty to believe privately and personally without the right to worship and the full exercise of that religious conviction within the public square. In any case, this is a situation of abuse and a history of persecution that has not gotten its fair due in the media. Perhaps religious discrimination can only be done by Christians and not to Christians -- at least according to the media. In any case, this is a story Christians need to hear and we should all champion the rights of our persecuted brothers and sisters not only to the right of private belief but secure and the full exercise of worship and catechesis without fear and in every nation. Period.