Certainly the American media does not care. If it had been Christians taking Muslim girls captive, well that would be a story. Or if it had been Christians taking one homosexual captive, that would be a real story. But Christian girls? Who cares?
Least of all the evangelical church in the United States. Hopefully some churches somewhere in this nation have noticed and poured out their hearts in prayer and asked if there is something they might do. But if so, they are a rarity.
And why should we care. Did I mention that they are Nigerian girls? Had they been American girls, that would have been a different story. I am glad for at least some concern for Pastor Saeed among American Christians, but what about the other estimated 49 Christians imprisoned in Iran? Seldom is concern expressed for them by the American church. I recall when the Burnhams were held captive in the Philippians in 2001-2002. There was an outpouring of concern by many American Christians. They were Americans. But Nigerian girls? Who cares? Or who cares about the thousands of Eritrean Christians who have been held for many years without charge or trial, and without hope of release, suffering inhumane treatment with some dying. Or the Burmese believers that are hunted like deer and raped, murdered, or enslaved, or the countless North Korean Christians who are consigned to die in Kim Jung-un’s gulag. Has your church prayed for them lately?
Why should we care? What do you think might happen to 230 unmarried girls ages 16-20 at the hands of Muslim captors? Gang rape? Enslavement as prostitutes for the rest of their lives. Selling them to Muslim men as wives, which is tantamount to being life-long sex slaves. And these horrors no doubt are being enacted right now. By the way, what’s on television tonight?
I don’t mention movies often because I don’t watch hardly any, and most are unrealistic. But the lack of concern for persecuted Christian reminds me of some lines from the movie “Exodus,” not about Moses but about Jews fleeing Europe after the Holocaust, a movie rooted in historical reality. Ari Ben Canaan (Paul Newman), a Jewish freedom fighter, has commandeered a ship in Cyprus to take Jews being held captive by the British to Israel. The British block the ship in the harbor, and the Jews go on a hunger strike. An American woman who wants to adopt one of the girls comes on the ship to get her. In speaking to Ari Ben Canaan about this girl the American woman pronounces, “I am trying to save a Jewish child. Can’t you understand that? Don’t you have any respect for human life?” Ari Ben Canaan responds:
“Don’t you expect me to get hysterical over the life of one Jewish child, and don’t you get hysterical either. You’re late, lady, you’re ten years late. Almost two million Jewish children were butchered like animals because nobody wanted them. No country would have them. Not your country or any other country. And nobody wants the ones who survived. Jewish flesh is cheap, lady, it is cheaper than beef, it is cheaper even than herring.”
I often think of these words in relationship to persecuted Christians like these Nigerian girls. Today it can be said, “Christian flesh it cheap. It is cheaper than beef, it is cheaper even than herring.” Not just to Muslims or the news media, but to American evangelical Christians.
This is Jesus’ take on our response to 230 girls taken captive by Muslims:
Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:41-45 NKJV)
But then again, who cares?