The mass shootings in New Zealand at two Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people on March 15, is a tragedy. There was round-the-clock media coverage of these attacks, and rightly so. Each person is precious, and this is not how we should live or die.
At the same time, the tens of thousands of Muslims killing Muslims in the Middle East (more than 500 000 over the past 8 years in Syria alone) does not seem to be that important anymore. Even more unreported are the many Christians that are dying in the Middle East, North Africa and further afield. It is very clear, that the killing of Christians is not such a “big deal”. Thousands of Christians die every year. Tens of thousands of Christian women and girls are raped and enslaved. Before the Syrian war there were 1,4 million Christians in Syria – today there are less than 300 000. Where are the rest? There are at least one million Christians that cannot be accounted for.
We know that at least 255 Christians die every day, simply because they are Christians. This is apart from the abductions, rape, sexual harassment, churches being burnt down and imprisonments.
Last year (2018) was the most violent year in modern history, in terms of attacks against Christians. In 2019 the violence increased with at least 14%. Christians are prime targets for extremist Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and radical secularists. Christians are often the religious minority, considered second class citizens in their own countries, discriminated against, and offered little protection in the event of an attack. These continual daily attacks, cause what is called ‘compassion fatigue’.
Trends show that in countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East persecution against Christians is intensifying. Perhaps the most vulnerable are Christian women, who also face gender abuse.
- That the secular media will report this persecution and that more governments will issue laws and give protection to Christians.
- According to Acts 4:23-31 the church didn’t ask for protection. They prayed for boldness, for signs and wonders, and for the gospel to spread. Let us pray this for our brothers and sisters suffering from violence and killing.