First, I want to apologize for missing yesterday’s post. My doubled-up schedule finally caught up with me. A second post will follow later today, probably this evening.
Many of you may be familiar with the Arab Spring movement, the inspiration behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. Raymond Ibrahim, a reporter for Gatestone Institute, International Policy Council, has been writing an article series each month titled Muslim Persecution of Christians. Last November he writes:
Egypt’s Maspero massacre—where the military killed dozens of Christians protesting the destruction of their churches—dominates October’s persecution headlines….
More damning evidence continues to emerge: not only did Egypt’s military plan to massacre Christians to teach them a “lesson” never to protest again, but “death squads” were deployed up buildings the night before to snipe at protesters. Instead of trying the soldiers who intentionally ran-over demonstrators, the military has been randomly arresting Copts simply “for being Christian.” Finally, the fact-finding commission of Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights just submitted its report which, as expected, “white washes” the military’s role, “asserting that no live ammunition was fired on the protesters by the military, as the army only fired blanks in the air to disperse the protesters,” a claim eyewitnesses reject out of hand.
Meanwhile, not only are Western governments apathetic, but it was revealed that “Obama’s top Muslim advisor blocks Middle Eastern Christians’ access to White House.” Newt Gingrich asserted that Obama’s “strategy in the Middle East is such a total grotesque failure” and likened the “Arab spring” to an “anti-Christian spring.” Ann Widdecombe accused the British government of “double standards in its threats to cut aid to countries which persecute gay people while turning a blind eye to persecution against Christians.” Even Christian pastors in the West, apparently more concerned about promoting interfaith dialogue with Muslims, are reluctant to mention persecution to their flock.
*Links are the author’s.
Now, I’d like to take a moment to say that I am pretty much tired of hearing about the election. I am going to vote and I know where I stand, but all the mud-slinging and television commercials and signs and bumper stickers… it’s enough to make me tire of the whole political process really, especially when I don’t personally like either of the candidates. However, sometimes we have to get over the things we don’t like and say what needs to be said.
Obama is not the right man for the presidential office. There are many things I disagree with him on, but one item in particular is enough: his lack of concern for human life, particularly that of innocent life. That includes the Christians in Islamic countries that are being tortured, imprisoned, and killed for their faith.
I don’t like to be political on this blog, and I don’t intend on making a habit of it, but today as the election is less than a month away, I want to remind you that we aren’t only voting on the economy or on gas prices or banking practices or on legislation. We’re not just voting on abortion or gay marriage or issues that affect only our nation. We’re voting on America’s international policy as well. We’re voting on the welfare of those in chains around the world.
Obama is not going to help our brothers and sisters who are suffering for Christ. I’ll leave it at that.
More recently, Ibrahim writes:
The nation’s jihad organizations dropped leaflets calling on Muslims to kill Christians wherever they found them. Coptic shop owners who sell Christian icons and statues received threatening letters. Muslim “gangs”plundered and kidnapped for ransom Christians. Islamists in the Constituent Assembly demanded that the Coptic Church’s funds be placed under state financial control, a measure categorically rejected by Copts: the state in no way funds the Church, even though mosques are funded by taxpayers, including Christians. Condemning the proposal, the acting Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church said the demand has only one meaning: “that Copts are clearly persecuted.” Despite promising greater representation for Egypt’s Copts, President Morsi broke his wordand allowed only one Copt, a female, to represent the nation’s 10-14% Christians in the newly formed Cabinet: “We had expected an increase in the representation of Copts especially after the number of ministries increased to 35. But the formation ignored all the known rights and concepts of citizenship,” said the acting Patriarch: “It is not right that Copts get treated in this way.” When Egypt’s Constituent Assembly proposed a law to criminalize “forced labor, slavery, the trafficking of women and children, human organs, and the sex trade,” from which Christians, especially females, would benefit, the Islamist party complained.
A Christian man accused of defaming Islam was arrested after a complaint in which he was accused of posting opinions in Facebook which insulted Muhammad. Insults to Islam and the prophet are considered crimes in Egypt under Article 98(f) of the Penal Code, which states: “Confinement for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding five years… shall be the penalty inflicted on whoever makes use of religion in propagating, either by words, in writing, or in any other means, extreme ideas for the purpose of inciting strife, ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religion or a sect following it, or damaging national unity.”
I know today’s post may have left a bitter taste in some of your mouths. Maybe you don’t agree with my politics. Maybe you do and think I should have left it out of this post. Maybe you’re just as tired of this election as I am. But I think we need to remember that our faith is not separate from our politics as many would wish it were. There is no separation of Church and State for the Christian. We are wholly Christ’s. That means our identity in Him guides everything we do, economically, morally, politically, vocationally, and so on.
Today, I pray that you would consider the people of Egypt, the suffering of our brothers and sisters. I pray that you would carry them to the Lord in prayer and bear their burdens with them. I pray that you would consider writing to the prisoners, writing to government officials on their behalf, and donating to organizations like Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors, and Barnabas Fund.
And I pray that you would pray about this election. Pray for action from our government on behalf of those suffering under injustice for their faith. Pray for God to guide the voters. And pray for wisdom for yourself. Solomon said that above all else, we should get wisdom, and with all our getting we should get understanding.
Pray above all else for God’s will to be done on earth and for His kingdom to come.