Not Talking about the Elephant Not in the Room
No One Talking about the Elephant in the Room
My wife, Connie, and I were staying at a hotel in the Philadelphia area. I tend to get up early, and as soon as I do I am ready for something to eat. So I found myself grazing at the continental breakfast area of the hotel. As I was walking to my table I noticed that well-dressed lady sitting by herself had overlooked zipping up her dress in the back. There could be little doubt that many in the room had also noticed, and as sat eating I hoped that one of the ladies might tell her. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the elephant in the room that no one wanted to talk about, at least not to this lady.
But some elephants never make it into the room. The doorway is too small to allow an elephant entrance.
The Elephant That Can’t Get into Church
One such elephant that apparently can’t fit through the church doors, not even the double doors in the front, is the issue of persecuted Christians. This elephant is left standing outside the church doors, and therefore the topic seldom if ever comes up except for the occasional: “Did you see that elephant in the parking lot?” “Yeah, he shows up every Sunday. I can’t figure out what he is doing here.” “Well, it’s a good thing he can’t fit through the doors because he would sure mess up the service, not to mention the sanctuary.”
This Issue Is an Elephant
One thing for sure, the issue of persecuted Christians is an elephant. This is no meerkat or koala bear.
An article entitled “Christianity Is ‘Most Persecuted Religion,’ British Parliament Told” reports:
The plight of Christians around the world was discussed in a three-hour debate at the Houses of Parliament in London Tuesday.
Members of the House of Commons were told that the persecution of Christians is increasing, that one Christian is killed about every 11 minutes around the world, and that Christianity is the “most persecuted religion globally.”
MP Jim Shannon said the persecution of Christians is “the biggest story in the world that has never been told.”
Shannon alleged that 200 million Christians will be persecuted for their faith this year, while he said that 500 million live in “dangerous neighborhoods.”
MP Sammy Wilson said that in Syria, “50,000 Christians have been cleared from the city of Homs,” while in Sudan 2 million Christians were killed by the regime over a 30-year period.
He added: “Within the last month, hundreds of people, from Nigeria to Eritrea to Kazakhstan to China, have been arrested and put in prison simply because of their faith, and when they go into prison they are denied due process. They are denied access to lawyers. They are sometimes even denied knowledge of the charges facing them. They can languish in prison for a long time and in horrible conditions. … This is not only happening in Muslim countries. From Morocco to Pakistan, Christians in Muslim countries are under threat, but it happens elsewhere too.”
“In Iraq…we used to have 1.5 million Christians, now we have probably only 200,000 left. … There are more Iraqi Christians in Chicago than there are here.”
“…the persecution of Christians was taking place in more than 130 of the 190 countries in the world at the moment.”
It might be noted that the slaughter and flight of Christians from Iraq happened on our watch, when the American armed forces were present. So while we enforced strict rules of engagement so that Muslims would not be offended, we stood by while Christians were murdered and run out of the country.
Not Hannibal’s Elephant
This elephant is not one used by Hannibal, found only in history books. It is alive, if not well, suffering mutilation almost daily. At present, the rape and slaughter of Christians is taking place in Syria, by forces funded by your tax money, in the Central African Republic, and in many other nations, including genocidal assaults in Burma (Myanmar), at the hands of peace-loving Buddhists.
Open Doors gives this account regarding just one incident in the war against Christians in Syria.
A few weeks ago we received word of a horrific massacre of Christians in a small town of 15,000 people called Sadad….home to mostly Christians.
One thousand five hundred families were held hostage and 45 killed, including two teenage boys, their mother and three of their grandparents who were thrown down a well by rebels. In addition, the elderly, the disabled, as well as women and children were subjected to torture, such as strangulation. (Open Doors December News Letter)
About 2000 Christians, men and women, have been held in Eritrea for years without charges being brought against them or legal recourse. They have been terribly brutalized in many ways, including being kept in metal shipping containers exposed to the tropical sun. Some have died. In North Korea the fate of Christians is far worse, if that is possible.
The Elephant Publishers Are Talking about
World Watch Monitor reports:
It has been an astonishing last 12 months for books on the persecution of Christians when there has been such silence on the issue for so long.
First came Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack in late 2012; then the more simply titled, Persecuted: the Global Assault on Christians in March; and now on Nov. 1 the latest and longest of the titles so far: The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Anti-Christian Persecution.
Of the three, two are written by journalists with little history of reporting on the religious liberty arena—Rupert Short writing Christianophobia and John L Allen Jr., penning the latest book—as opposed to the battle hardened trio of Paul Marshall, Leila Gilbert and Nina Shea.
Still Can Squeeze to the Church Doors
The amazing aspect of this development is that while the doors of publishing houses have been sufficiently enlarged to allow entrance by the elephant, he is still not able to squeeze to the doors of the church. In fact, as noted earlier, the British Parliament committed three hours to the discussion of the topic. Even though those suffering are our people, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, it appears that the doors of Parliament are better suited to accommodate this elephant in the doors of the church.
Why might that be? I plan to address that topic next.