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:
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/