Christian Persecution Update

Vandalizing Europe’s Christian Past: The Old World’s Ignorant New Religion

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 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.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:9-14).

Vandalizing Europe’s Christian Past: The Old World’s Ignorant New Religion

PNW. August 6, 2019

The word “vandalism” comes from the Vandals, a Germanic tribe that sacked Rome in the early 5th century. These “barbarians,” as Roman writers called them, actually behaved much better than their name might suggest. 

For example, they spared the lives of most of Rome’s citizens and left her buildings standing–including, notably, Christian churches. This was because the Vandals themselves claimed the name of Christ–although their theology was of a type condemned by orthodox Christians.

Modern vandals, on the other hand, fail to live up to their namesakes’ example. 

Over the last few months, Europe has seen a wave of attacks against churches and other Christian sites. CBN reports that in countries like France and Germany, there has been “…a spike in violent vandalism, desecrating cherished churches and Christian symbols…”

To clarify what the report means by “spike,” there were over one thousand attacks just in 2018, and the vandalism involved more than spray paint. Sometimes attacks included human waste. According to Church officials in France, an average of two churches per day are desecrated. 

Recently, the Reformation Wall in Geneva was hit. The intended message of the vandals was made clear by the rainbow paint dumped all over the statues of 16th-century Reformers William Farel, Theodore Beza, John Knox, and John Calvin.

This wasn’t even the first act of vandalism at this site this year. Back in March, feminist activists graffitied the Reformation monument with the insightful message, “Where are the women?”

Around the same time, Newsweek quoted Ellen Fantini, the executive director of a Vienna-based organization that tracks religious discrimination. She said that while the motives and identity of vandals aren’t always clear, France in particular faces a surge of anti-Christian violence by “anarchist and feminist groups.” According to Fantini, attacks were up 25 percent in March over the same time last year.

The fact that Christianity is no longer Europe’s dominant religion, and hasn’t been for some time, is not new news. Pew Research reports that while a majority of Western Europeans still identify as Christians, just 22 percent attend services at least once a month. Compare that with the U. S., where around half attend regularly.

Increasingly, Europeans are devoted to a different religion–a militant form of secularism that sees the continent’s Christian past as a time of darkness and oppression–a time to be not just forgotten, but intentionally abandoned.

Yet how many of those who desecrate churches and vandalize religious monuments even know what it is they’re attacking? How much could those who dumped rainbow paint on the Reformers in Geneva tell us about them, other than they were Christians…or men?

But ignorance and/or cynicism of the past is a feature of the kind of secularism dominating Western culture right now. C. S. Lewis dubbed it “chronological snobbery”–the belief that past people were unenlightened, evil, or just stupid.

As Art Lindsley writes, chronological snobbery “not only rejects the values of the past, it claims that the study of history itself is pointless.” The Christians who built Europe’s great churches–indeed, who built European civilization itself–are no longer read, nor are their beliefs taken seriously. 

Instead, along with their statues and churches, they are consigned to the ash-heap of history, condemned for not embracing our modern ideas about sexuality, gender, and God.

Ancient Rome was sacked by Vandals. Western culture today has been invaded by ideas. Bad ones. It’s a sad fate for a continent once alive with Christian faith–a continent that, today, is still littered with its buildings and monuments.

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