Christian Persecution Update

Christians Die, Media Mum: Genocide In Nigeria

Blog note:  Christian Persecution. Jesus indicated that many would hate and persecute Christians because of His name. This has always been the case and is increasing in intensity and frequency.

Psalm 25:19. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

Psalm 38:19. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.

Psalm 41:7. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.

Psalm 69:4. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.

Psalm 69:14. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Matthew 10:22. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Mark 13:13. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Luke 6:22. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

Luke 14:26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 19:14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

Luke 21:17. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

John 7:7. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

John 15:18. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

John 15:23. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. End of note

A Staggering 11 Christians Are Killed Every Single Day for Simply Believing in Jesus

Christians Die, Media Mum: Genocide In Nigeria
Over the past week, Senior Colson Fellow Glenn Sunshine has taken to Facebook to do something that much of the mainstream media–to its discredit–has neglected to do: alerting people to what is happening to Christians in places like Nigeria.

Last summer on BreakPoint, I talked about the violence targeting Christians in what’s known as the “middle belt” of Nigeria. The population of Nigeria is almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians. That religious split largely follows geographic lines: The northern part of the country is predominantly Muslim, the eastern and southern parts of the country heavily Christian.

The “Middle Belt” is, as you probably guessed, ethnically and religiously diverse. In this part of the country, Christians have been on the receiving end of a campaign that Open Doors calls “religious cleansing,” that is, an attempt “to eradicate Christianity” from the region.

One of the most notorious Islamist groups in the world, Boko Haram, is responsible for killing thousands of Christians and displacing countless more in northern Nigeria. But Boko Haram isn’t the only group targeting Christians there.

In late June, Christian leaders claimed that “over 6,000 persons–mostly children, women and the aged–have been maimed and killed in night raids by armed Fulani herdsmen.” The Fulani are an ethnic group that are overwhelmingly Muslim, and for the record, their raids are not always at night.

In their statement, Nigerian Christian leaders also complained about the “continuous abduction of under-aged Christian girls by Muslim youths…” These girls “are forcefully converted to Islam and taken in for marriage without the consent of their parents.”

While Open Doors calls what is happening in the Middle Belt “religious cleansing,” Nigerian Christian leaders have called it genocide, and not without good reason. Under the International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, genocide consists of action intended to destroy in whole or in part, “a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”

The actions can include “killing members of the group,” “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group,” and “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group,” among other things.

All three of these things are happening in Nigeria right now.

Where is the Nigerian government in all of this? At best, nowhere to be found. Officials are downplaying, if not outright denying, any religious dimension of what’s happening. Instead, they’re calling this a conflict over resources, in this case, over land.This denial conveniently glosses over the one-sided nature of the violence in the region: The Fulani and Boko Haram are the hammers and the Christians are the nails.

 

Did I mention that the president of Nigeria is the son of a Fulani chief?

Since I told you about this campaign of extermination last summer, the violence against Christians has continued unabated. Since February alone, according to the Baptist Press and the Barnabas Fund, nearly 300 Christians have been killed and thousands more displaced.

Yet, the mainstream media here in the States remains mum. Which is why Glenn is using his Facebook to bring this to people’s attention.

As tempting as it is to speculate why we aren’t hearing about it, that won’t do our Nigerian brethren a bit of good. It won’t put pressure on our government to speak up, or on the Nigerian government to do its basic duty and protect all of its citizens.

What will help is emulating what people like Glenn Sunshine and Mindy Belz of WORLD Magazine are doing-using the channels and forums available to them to spread the word.

What will help is becoming knowledgeable about what is happening to Christians in Nigeria and around the word. We are living in a new age of religious persecution and even martyrdom.

This kind of intentional and thoughtful engagement–along with, of course, our most important efforts of consistent and concerted prayer–is our brethren’s best chance at relief. It’s a task we all must embrace.

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