Christian persecution near genocide levels in the Middle East and violence against the faithful is also spreading in America.
The Washington Examiner reported that Pastor Andrew Brunson said he was “astounded at the speed with which the U.S. is imploding” and that he predicts persecution of Christians will follow.
Brunson was held in prison for sharing his believes with the people Turkey. He was sent to prison for converting many Muslims to Christianity and saving them through the work of Christ. However, Turkish officials did not like how successful he became and wanted to put a stop to Brunson’s efforts.
Since Brunson was an American citizen and North Carolina resident, the Christian Action League initiated and lobbied for a resolution from the North Carolina House and a Senatorial statement from the state Senate, calling on Turkish officials to free Brunson. The House passed the resolution unanimously, and 48 out of 50 Senate members signed the Senatorial statement. (Currently, the North Carolina Senate does not adopt resolutions, but only Senatorial statements.)
Now freed and back on US soil, Brunson has made recent remarks about the coming of persecution for American Christians. Yes, he sees Christians in the United States facing the same level of bigotry , discrimination and hate creeping into every aspect of society against the Christian faith.
According to the Examiner Brunson explained his experience here and in Turkey:
“First of all, I think it’s coming to the U.S. that there will be persecution. I was isolated for a few years, and coming back to the states was almost like coming back to a different country in many ways. And I’m astounded at the speed with which, I think, the U.S. is imploding. There are any number of issues where it seems that it’s no longer enough for a person of faith to get along with, or to serve, or to treat well someone they disagree with. And I think that the political business, media, celebrity class, and also academia, it seems that there’s much more of a demand that people approve of, that they validate, that they celebrate things that they actually disagree with. Persecution is nothing new….The thing is, that we in the West have not experienced [persecution] very much. It’s very unusual for a Westerner to be arrested for his faith. So we haven’t experienced it, but I think we are going to. I think it’s coming to this country.”
Brunson should know what persecution looks like. He was the evangelical Presbyterian missionary who spent two years in a Turkish prison for converting Muslims to Christianity. Brunson was falsely accused of being part of a failed coup attempt against that country’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The false charges against Brunson that resulted in his unjust imprisonment triggered a war of words and diplomatic struggles between Turkey and the U.S. Government. Thankfully, President Trump secured his release.
For true Christians who hold the Bible to be God’s word and attempt to live by His word, living in American has become increasining difficult. We all sense persecution in our daily lives. It has been said by many pastors that systematic proscution is now alive and well in America with the purging of Christianity from the government, the muzzling of state officials, employees, and appointees who are Christian, the public attacks on churches and Christian businesses, the media and Hollywood’s disparaging of anything Christian in almost every film they make. The kind of persecution Andrew Brunson endured in Turkey hasn’t arrived yet. Nevertheless, as he suggests, it appears as though it might be right around the corner.
American’s have a hard time imagining what proscution looks like because we have not experienced major hospitality in our lifetime. However, in other parts of the world, Christians face discrimination on a weekly, if not daily level.
So what does prosecution look like? All we have to do is look at or brothers and sisters in countries outside the United States to determine what our future may hold.
What Christian Persecution Looks Like Today in Other Countries?
According to the review, a study led by the Bishop Philip Mounstephen, estimated that one in three Christians suffer from religious persecution.
Christians were the most persecuted religious group, it found.
Not surprisingly, “political correctness” had played a part in the issue not being confronted or resolved in Muslim majority countries.
The interim report said the main impact of “genocidal acts against Christians is exodus” and that Christianity faced being “wiped out” from parts of the Middle East.
It warned the Christian religion “is at risk of disappearing” in some parts of the world, pointing to figures which claimed Christians in Palestine represent less than 1.5% of the population, while in Iraq they had fallen from 1.5 million before 2003 to less than 120,000.
“Evidence shows not only the geographic spread of anti-Christian persecution, but also its increasing severity,” the Bishop wrote.
In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.”
The foreign secretary commissioned the review on Boxing Day 2018 amid an outcry over the treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who faced death threats after being acquitted of blasphemy in Pakistan.
Its findings come after more than 250 people were killed and more than 500 wounded in attacks at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
Mr Hunt, who is on a week-long tour of Africa, said he thought governments had been “asleep” over the persecution of Christians but that this report and the attacks in Sri Lanka had “woken everyone up with an enormous shock. I think there is a misplaced worry that it is somehow colonialist to talk about a religion that was associated with colonial powers rather than the countries that we marched into as colonisers
‘Atmosphere of political correctness’
“That has perhaps created an awkwardness in talking about this issue – the role of missionaries was always a controversial one and that has, I think, also led some people to shy away from this topic.
“What we have forgotten in that atmosphere of political correctness is actually the Christians that are being persecuted are some of the poorest people on the planet.”
In response to the report, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, said Jews had often been the targets of persecution and felt for Christians who were discriminated against on the basis of their faith.
“Whether it is in authoritarian regimes, or bigotry masked in the mistaken guise of religion, reports like this one remind us that there are many places in which Christians face appalling levels of violence, abuse and harassment,” she said.
The review is due to publish its final findings in the summer.
Nevertheless, in America and abroad, the tool of political correctness has been used successfully to shame Christians for speaking out against localized persecution within our schools, government other public services. Not to mention the bigotry and hate coming from liberals and other individuals.
Now is the time we pray for strength, wisdom and courage to push back against those who attack us and our faith. Today, we must also push back against anti-Christian views and government policies vigorously. The more we stay silent the more we will face discrimination and even violence in the years to come.