They Cry in Silence Nov/Dec 2007
Jim Jacobson, president of Christian Freedom International (CFI), said recently, “Christians in this nation don’t realize how fortunate they are to live in the U.S.” In a CFI press release, Jacobson said American Christians “belong to an international fellowship of believers” and “have an obligation to care for their brethren around the world.”
Jacobson said the government could play a greater part in publicizing the issue of persecution; but it is negligent because of political (and, we might add, economic) considerations. “Which means,” he said, “that it is up to Americans, all Americans who believe in freedom of conscience and faith [to speak up on the problem of the overt suffering of Christians]….It is ironic that in an age when many people once thought religion was on the wane, persecution has become a bigger issue than ever.” And as persecution rises abroad, he said, “We must make our voices in protest even more loudly known.”
Jacobson made a valid point and raised a question that must be addressed by every evangelical Christian: Can American Christians be counted on to aid suffering brethren the world over?
Unfortunately, at this juncture all that can be said is that they are doing very little. Perhaps their inertia is due to indifference, a lack of information, or a preoccupation with more personal concerns. Or perhaps much of the blame for America’s current silence can be laid at the feet of Christian leaders who do not make the plight of suffering saints a priority or even mention it to their constituents.
The facts are clear, and the information is readily available. Consider the recent South Korean Christian aid workers who were taken hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan and members of their group assassinated. Where was the swell of outrage that one would expect? CFI reported that attacks in Turkey continue “on Christians and churches.” Earlier this year, Turkish Muslim extremists gruesomely dismembered alive three Christians who were working on a translation of the Bible.
Attacks on Christians in India have accelerated. In Kazakhstan, Jacobson said, Christians were evicted from their homes for conducting a prayer meeting, and a Baptist minister was arrested in Azerbaijan while conducting services.
CFI said Pakistan “is preparing to execute a Christian falsely accused of blaspheming Islam and the prophet Mohammed.” China, which the United States is vesting with economic predominance, continues to close down Protestant house-churches. “Vietnam recently arrested and tortured Montagnard Christians. In Indonesia scores of Christians have been arrested for blasphemy,” CFI said. In July in Laos, at least 13 Christians were killed by soldiers, police, and others, while some 200 have been imprisoned after being falsely charged with ties to separatist rebels.
Far worse, Jacobson said, “is the plight of Christians in Iraq.” They are routinely murdered and kidnapped and Christian churches destroyed. “Hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled,” said the press release.
These figures barely begin to chronicle the plight of believers abroad. The vicious, current wave of anti-Christian militancy runs deeper than can be explained in human terms. At its base is a clearly satanic element identifying the biblically predicted conditions that earmark the end-times.
If help for the persecuted church is to come from American Christians, more of us must stand up and be counted. For more information, visit Christian Freedom International at ChristianFreedom.org.