Saturday, July 02, 2011

Aid to the Church in Need

An appeal  after Mass by the MD of the above Charity last week, raised an issue which all too often seems pushed under the carpet by British media. Politically incorrect it may be for the left leaning  media  like the Guardian and BBC to give very much print or air time to persecution of Christians  but the right wing leaning media too  eg the  Mail  group  maintains a low profile - why I wonder? In fairness, the media usually does report dramatic atrocities when they occur but   follow-through,   hard hitting in depth analyses  or heaven forbid, expressions of outrage, that  occur and are repeated  over long periods after the events in other matters, such as perceived sexual impropriety by politicians or bankers or the latters bonus payments or anti Islamic behaviour by some  British yobs/boors, rarely seems to occur after grievous instances of oppression of Christians take place.

The title of the charity's annual report "Persecuted and Forgotten" gives the flavour. The Catholic Herald's headline this week "Catholic and Anglican leaders to urge world to help Middle East Christians" does at least give prominence to part of the the disparity of treatment but still  implies  that  the lot of Middle Eastern Christians is   regional being part of the fall out of the Arabian spring sweeping through the Middle East. That does not seem to me to paint the full picture, as witness   national laws or actions in countries well beyond Arab states which  single out their Christian citizens for discriminatory and inhumane treatment.

 Anti Christian laws practices  and actions in certain Arab states also  existed well before the arrival of the Arabian spring.

Thus in Pakistan, a peasant woman was not long ago placed in death row for alleged blasphemy; when the  regional governor protested he was  assassinated. Whatever happened to the "sticks and stones shall break your bones but words can never hurt thee", as reflecting the mature response to perceived verbal taunting or abuse, that even my grandmother (may she RIP) sought to impress on me as a toddler?

 The Chinese attempts to outlaw the Roman Catholic Church and impose its own Chinese controlled version resulted according to Aid to the Church in Need, in Roman Catholic Bishops there having to go into hiding last Christmas.

 In Egypt a Coptic Christian church in Port Alexandra  was bombed within the last few months killing 23.

Attempts to impose Sharia laws or similar  on Christians in several countries including  parts of   Indonesia Nigeria Sudan and North Korea (fair to add though that the lot of individual North Koreans appears almost universally harsh irrespective of religious belief or none)  Saudi Arabia and India are occasionally reported but not for long.

Quite what  Edmund Burke's actual original words may have been  is open to academic debate  but my interpretation of them in the context of the above, especially concerning  the atmosphere of silence among educated  peoples, is:

All that is needed for the forces of evil to succeed is for enough good men to remain silent.


One might also ask what the point of being  educated is if the recipient  of the privileged education, which term surely applies to all school learning  opportunities available to UK residents,  fails   to learn to speak out against injustice?

Aid to the Church in Need website  may be found at: http://www.acnuk.org/

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