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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The persecution of Christians

From the Sunday Times, a survey by Brian Moynahan of the global phenomenon of persecution of Christians. As it contains much valuable information I will try to overlook this observation on the Middle East:-

'At the same time, the start of real problems in the region can be dated back at least to the foundation of Israel in 1948.'

Well, he does include that qualifying 'at least', allowing for the theoretical possibility that the region's Christians already had some problems before 1948, for which it would therefore be a little difficult to blame Israel. There is, after all, the small matter of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

Did you know that there are at least 50,000 Christians held in labour camps in North Korea? Does the World Council of Churches know? Is there any way of interesting them in the fact, other than by convincing them that the Dear Leader's real name is Cohen?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An eye-opening article, and well written. I knew that Christians had it hard in many Muslim countries, but I didn't know how bad it was or that China had huge problems too—which may have something to do with the media's lack of interest in telling us.

Nevertheless, as you suggest, Moynahan does have some strange ideas about how Israel fits into all this. I was struck by "... and blaming the West lets Israelis, corrupt regimes and fundamentalists off the hook"—he forgot to include the bicyclists—and by "There are 80-year-olds in Jerusalem, city of 600 churches, who were born when more than half of the people in the Old City were Christian." They must have been in suspended animation for a century, because Jews have had a plurality in Jerusalem since about 1840 and an absolute majority since about 1880. Since the Old City was Jerusalem until around then, it seems unlikely that the Christians have been the largest group there any time in recent history.