So I was on Pinterest…. being Pinteresting, and came upon the photo above.
Are you freaking kidding me?!
- I didn’t know Christianity was banned in 53 countries
- I didn’t know they were the most persecuted people around the world
- Has residual effects of colonialism really skewed our perception of religious freedom that much, even to this day?
Currently, Christians make up the largest percentage of the world’s religious groups, with the majority of Christians living in Europe and North/South America. The majority of Christians being persecuted are mainly happening in non-Christian countries, especially in Middle Eastern/African Countries. Pope Francis spoke about the increasing numbers of Christian persecutions globally, saying they are now the most persecuted people around the world. What many people fail to remember is that Christianity has a long standing track record of being the persecutors.
Quick history lesson on three major examples of Christians persecuting others: - The Crusades - (Christians and Muslims) - The Inquisition - (Christians and Muslims/Jews) - Colonization - (Christianity and Indigenous Religions) Christians also have a history of persecuting other Christians, especially the groups deemed heretics by the mainstream.
This is a touchy subject from both a Christian and non-Christian perspective. I am not saying that the increasing number of Christians being persecuted now should be justified as payback, but I am saying that persecution based on religious beliefs is something Christianity is also guilty of. When Christians were eradicating entire religious groups, their justification was that they saw their religion as the dominant religion.
More light is being shed on Christians being persecuted in the news lately; the majority that are being persecuted are either Christian missionaries, or Christians living in non-Christian dominant countries. These persecutions are being defended as a way of protecting the dominant religion in those countries, claiming that the message of [the Christian] God are blasphemous to their religion.
How is that any different from how some Christian groups in the United States use religion to justify discrimination against other groups (LGBTQ groups for example)? or how David Cameron called the United Kingdom a Christian country and stated that religious hate crimes are on the decrease because of positive Christian ideals (while it has also been reported that Anti-Muslim hate crimes have increased in the last month).
We look at those two examples and we think nothing of it. Many of us tend to look at the world from a Christian-Westernized perspective nowadays, failing to see the biases in our own viewpoints. Western media rarely publish news articles of Christian attacks on other religious groups; when they do, there are sometimes controversies, as it may only result in spurring acts of religious discrimination and increase hate crimes.
Now put yourself in the shoes of a non-Christian, living in a non-Christian dominant country – it is the same justification Christians use to justify acts of religious discrimination. Everyone has a tendency to skew their interpretations of things to justify their actions.
So all I am asking from you is one thing: take a second to pull yourself away from your religion and your politics, and really look at the diversity of the world right now.
There are always going to be radicalists and heretics of all religions and races, but do not let them be the ones that make you forget that we are all one race – human. We are all of one kind, just with different sets of beliefs and upbringings, and that is something that should be celebrated – not condemned.
Every religious group, while perhaps a majority somewhere, is also inevitably a minority somewhere else. Thus, religious organizations should and do show tolerance toward members of other religious denominations.
– Russell M. Nelson
This is not intended to be an attack on Christianity or Christians, and if it comes off seeming so, I apologize in advance.