Religious persecution

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For discussions about religion, but not specifically Christianity. Christians and members of any faith or of no faith are welcome, provided they treat others with respect at all times. Remember that detailed discussion about the beliefs of a particular faith will be difficult if no member of that faith is available to take part.

Religious persecution

Postby different glory » February 11th, 2010, 11:50 pm

Many people are persecuted for their faith -- not just Christian faith, either -- right now in Iran the Baha'i community is under heavy government-planned persecution and their seven most prominent leaders waiting trial (as they have been for nearly two years) on death-penalty charges of "espionage, propaganda activities against the Islamic order, the establishment of an illegal administration, cooperation with Israel, sending secret documents outside the country, acting against the security of the country, and corruption on earth."

I am hoping that this thread will be a place where we can share our concerns and prayers for those under serious persecution for their faith.

So what am I doing about it right now? Not much. I'm praying for the Baha'i community of Iran -- may God protect them, and set them free. And I've been in touch with Baha'is in Adelaide, and next time I'm down, I'll visit.

Any insights, inputs, comments?
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. - Psalm 26
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby GregB » February 12th, 2010, 5:48 pm

I cannot say much about the Baha'i movement, I'm afraid, mainly out of sheer ignorance, to my shame, other than to express regret at any form of repression of religious belief and practice. Of course, Islamic countries are notorious for prohibiting the free and open expression of a person's religious faith, as we know all too well with their treatment of Christians. I find it farcical that Muslim communities in countries like Great Britain are allowed to build mosques while the construction of churches in countries like Saudi Arabia is forbidden on pain of death. As for the repulsive theocratic dictatorship in Iran, I simply hope that it will soon be toppled by the opposition which is gaining ground day by day and which, hopefully, would allow a certain degree of freedom of worship, or at least not persecute such groups as the Baha'i. Failing that, and assuming that sanctions are not going to persuade the present regime to halt its nuclear weapons programme, one can, I'm sure, rely on Israel to deal with the situation in their time-honoured forthright fashion.
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby different glory » February 15th, 2010, 2:06 am

Thanks for the reply, Greg! :)
I don’t want to just divert to Islam-bagging, or Iran-bagging, if possible. Agreed that the most egregious examples of religious intolerance are currently found where Islam is strongest, but terrible things happen in many places – does anyone outside Australia recall the burning to death of Graham Staines and his two sons, by Hindu extremists in India, in 1999? (Seriously – does anyone here, other than Australians?)

So, though I mentioned Baha'i, in an attempt to broaden the focus beyond Christians being persecuted (and they are!) I'm hoping we don't get stuck in the Middle East with this topic!
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. - Psalm 26
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby GregB » February 15th, 2010, 8:35 am

We needn't get stuck in the Middle East, DG, as persecution of Christians is taking place in many parts of the world (see the links below), though it goes without saying that the Middle East is home to most of the existing Islamic states with the consequent persecution of non-Islamic religious groups. As for Islam-bagging, I agree that we must be careful not to bracket all Muslims together as being closet terrorists, though I do feel that there has been something of an over-reaction in the other direction of the "we mustn't do anything which might conceivably offend Islamic sensibility" kind, a policy which is starting to have serious consequences in the UK, the Iranian-born police commander scandal being the latest example. In the present dangerous international climate, I would rather err on the side of security than solicitousness. As you quoted yourself recently, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, whatever forms circumstances may dictate.

Anyway, to return to religious persecution, I have the feeling that many people believe it to be largely a thing of the past, but the evidence shows otherwise. I recall reading somewhere that more Christians died under persecution during the twentieth century than in all the preceding centuries.

This is a link to a site which monitors persecution of Christians with (sadly) regular updates:

http://www.persecution.org/suffering/index.php

This Wiki link is a very informative article about the topic. It's quite long so those seeking information about the current situation should scroll down some way:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians

Finally, here's an article about Graham Staines for those unfamiliar with his story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Staines
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby Sweet Peace » February 16th, 2010, 12:15 am

Here's a case from America where a man was arrested for speaking to strangers about his faith without having a regulation permit and staying in one designated area of the shopping mall. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,585 ... latestnews

What about this? -the poor fellow is being declared to be the Messiah but he claims he is an ordinary bloke. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/05/us/05sfmetro.html

In its 2009 international religious freedom report, the U.S. Department of State noted that on April 2, 2009, a Moroccan government spokesman asserted that freedom of religion does not include freedom to choose one’s faith.
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20 ... index.html Morrocan Christians arrested for holding a Bible Study meeting.

One of the real issues for Western Christians is homosexuality. Seriously, I think the day will come when you'll need a permit to own a KJV. Heterosexism is now a crime in Quebec and the expectation is that churches will no longer be allowed to perform marriages unless they are also open to conduct homosexual marriages. http://www.christianpost.com/article/20 ... index.html

Ten churches have been burnt down in East Texas since New Year's Day. http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local-beat/T ... 56552.html
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby different glory » February 16th, 2010, 1:15 am

Greg, that first link you posted (I'm still slowly going through the others, and yours, SP) is startling and really a wake-up call. Especially, though I knew about India, because of Graham Staines, I didn't realise how knitted into the system hatred of Christianity is there -- presumably just in some places. The Indonesian and Malaysian cases are definitely common, though usually crowd hostility, rather than any legislated oppression. And it's important to be reminded that the Buddhist kingdom Bhutan -- a country with much in its favour, including a really strong stand against corruption, and for human happiness -- is religiously repressive.

Still don't know what I'm going to do about it, but I guess learning what the realities are is a start.
Last edited by different glory on February 16th, 2010, 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. - Psalm 26
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby Pondero » February 16th, 2010, 11:12 am

I can't find any reference to the following statement in the website you gave Sweet Peace.

One of the real issues for Western Christians is homosexuality. Seriously, I think the day will come when you'll need a permit to own a KJV. Heterosexism is now a crime in Quebec and the expectation is that churches will no longer be allowed to perform marriages unless they are also open to conduct homosexual marriages. http://www.christianpost.com/article/20 ... index.html
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby Sweet Peace » February 16th, 2010, 11:26 am

The link has the info re heterosexism and the marriages. The first opinion is my own.
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby Pondero » February 16th, 2010, 7:02 pm

Sweet Peace wrote:The link has the info re heterosexism and the marriages. The first opinion is my own.


I still can't find it.
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby different glory » February 16th, 2010, 7:26 pm

IN amongst the links, and the links from links, I found this report, which shows that there is at least concern within the EU machine for persecuted Christians in India. The article does suggest (as you'd expect) that violence against Christians is greater in some Indian states than others; in Orissa state, in 2008
In the violence, more than 90 Christians were killed, and over 5300 Christian houses and 250 churches and Christian institutions were looted and torched. Around 54 000 Christians were left homeless.



Sweet Peace, I couldn't see the article about heterosexuality in Quebec either. I searched the Christian Post website you linked to, using the terms Quebec and heterosexual, and the closest I got was a 2003 story about possible implications of the recognition of homosexual marriage.
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. - Psalm 26
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