Bombings demonstrate persecution
The horrific and evil bombing attacks on Christian churches in Sri Lanka, where approximately 253 worshippers were killed and hundreds injured, illustrate how vulnerable Christians are in what is an increasingly violent and hostile world.
Examples include Christian villages and churches in Syria and Iraq being destroyed by Islamic terrorists and worshipers being tortured, sold into slavery or killed. In Egypt Coptic Christians and their churches also face terror and violence at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists.
In Saudi Arabia Islam is the only recognised religion and Christians are discriminated against and forced to worship in private. Proven by the case of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman accused of insulting the Prophet and threatened with death, those Christians who refuse to deny their faith are always at risk.
While not as extreme as facing mutilation and death it is also true that in many countries around the world Christians are treated as second class citizens. The Open Doors Christian organisation lists 50 countries on its World Watch List where Christians are oppressed and denied religious freedom.
And it’s not just radical Islamists
And it is not just Muslim countries. Communist China and North Korea enforce totalitarian control by denying Christians the freedom to worship as they wish.
While not as extreme or life threatening, Christianity and Christians are also under attack in many Western countries. When the European Union updated its constitution it refused to include any reference to Christianity, thus denying the fact that it is impossible to understand the history of Western civilisation without reference to the Bible.
In France over the last year numerous churches have been vandalised and desecrated in a spate of attacks. In England Christian schools have been penalised by government inspectors for not teaching the state-mandated view about sexuality and gender – one that imposes a radical, neo-Marxist inspired view in opposition to what the Church teaches.
Christianity is also under threat in Australia as proven by the vitriolic responses to Israel Folau and Margaret Court after making public their faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage.
The question has to be asked: why don’t Muslim Imams in Australia face the same hostility as Folau and Court when arguing Western women are responsible if they are sexually molested and that homosexuality is an evil act?
The Christian historical and cultural patrimony
Even though Christianity and the Ten Commandments underpin much of Australia’s political and legal systems the reality is that secular critics continue to deny the benefits of Christianity.
Ignored is that concepts like the inherent dignity of the person, the right to a free conscience and a commitment to social justice and the common good are primarily Christian in origin and based on the New Testament’s admonition that all must be treated equally and with justice and compassion.
On issues like same-sex marriage, abortion and state-sanctioned killing it is increasingly common that Christians are told they should be silent and that religious beliefs must be excluded from public debate and decision making.
Witness what happens to politicians like Tony Abbott and Kevin Andrews, currently both facing well-orchestrated and funded campaigns by GetUp to stop them being returned to parliament in the forthcoming election.
Secular critics are happy to denigrate Abbott as the mad monk and Andrews as a Christian extremist. Even the Prime Minister Scott Morrison is not immune from what the Christian activist Patrick Sookhdeo in The Death of Western Christianity describes as Christianophobia: “a state of fear and hatred against Christianity and Christians”.
Is Australian political life any help?
For willing to be seen on TV singing and lifting his arm to celebrate the word of God during an Easter service his actions have been compared to a Nazi salute. Additional examples of how Christianity is being attacked include the Greens and ALP election policy documents that undermine religious freedom.
Both left-of-centre parties want to normalise LGBTIQ+ views about gender and sexuality by forcing faith-based schools to employ staff whose beliefs and lifestyles contradict the school’s core values.
And if Bill Shorten is the next Prime Minister expect a return of the Marxist inspired Safe Schools program where primary school children are told gender is fluid and limitless and they can decide whether they want to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or anything in between,
It’s ironic that at the same time Christianity is being attacked and vilified secular critics force Australians to celebrate Aboriginal culture and spirituality both in welcome to country ceremonies and making it mandatory in the national curriculum.
Even though Christianity is one of the bedrocks of Western civilisation and such a significant and vital part of Australian society in aged care, welfare, education and health it is ignored in favour of a culture, by comparison, that has contributed little to our way of life.
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University and author of How Political Correctness Is Destroying Education, published by Wilkinson.