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Will we continue to bite our tongues as Christians continue to be attacked?

Friday, May 23, 2014 - 12:01 am

When Islamic radicals beat and then murdered the Rev. Francis Van Der Lugt in front of his monastery in April, you had to look hard through the mainstream media outlets to find any mention of the brutality.

I don’t recall it being a lead story on the prime-time news networks. I didn’t hear the Rev. All Sharpton, Diane Sawyer or Oprah Winfrey offer their indignity at such an atrocity. It certainly didn’t get the attention Donald Sterling got when he told his girlfriend not to bring her black friends to a basketball game.

It’s a shame.Van Der Lugt was the type of devoted Christian that no media type seems to want to mention when they air the most recent stories of how brave ACLU lawyers are working overtime to eradicate prayer from the public arena. He was a Jesuit priest who in 1966 had founded a home in Syria for both children and adults who had mental disabilities. Even as the civil war broke out and the Syrian government was committing unthinkable atrocities against its own people, Van Der Lugt felt his calling to serve the Syrian people was more important than to run away. To remain silent is so much easier I guess.

Except for but a few cable news services, it was the same for 25-year-old Mary Sameh George when Egyptian protesters in Ain Shams dragged her from her car, “beating and battering her to such an extent that parts of her scalp were torn off her head.” Her crime? She had a cross hanging from her rearview mirror. She finally died after being stabbed and having her throat slit.

Again, George’s murder barely caused a ripple. Nor does it seem to be worthy for the media to even note that the reason George’s or Van Der Lugt’s murder occurred was because they were Christians. Two murders in what has become an expanding mission on behalf of radical Islam to eradicate Christianity.

Perhaps the silence that is most troubling are the words you do not hear coming from our cathedrals and churches. Our Christian institutions do not seem to stand united in demanding that Christians throughout the world are protected.

They remain nearly as silent as our current administration in taking a stand against what I believe could have the ramifications of an eventual holocaust. Once in a while you might hear a concern raised from a conservative talk show host of The Christian Science Monitor, but that’s about it.

According to the website thereligionofpeace.com, just since Jan. 1 of this year through March 6, 292 innocent Christians were targeted and murdered, mostly in the Middle East. These numbers include 121 Christian villagers in Izghe, Nigeria, who were “hacked to death by militants shouting praises to Allah.”

On Sept. 22, 2013, suicide bombers in Pakistan walked into a Christian church and detonated their explosives, killing 85 and wounding 110 people, including women and children.

In India, both Muslim and Hindu attacks against Christians have increased, jumping from 39 incidents in 2012 to 72 incidents in 2013.

Why do we not hear more from our religious hierarchies? Jonathan Merritt, writing in Religious news, felt the Christian community isn’t up in arms because “their attentions have been focused elsewhere. Some are too busy mobilizing to boycott JC Penney over selecting Ellen DeGeneres, an outspoken lesbian, to be their spokesperson. Isn’t it time that American Christians reinvest their energies in addressing actual persecution of their brothers and sisters?”

Ironically, similar criticisms concerning silence have been directed against mainstream Muslims who have not been vocal enough against Islamic terrorism. Yet as recently witnessed, Muslim students at Rutgers weren’t at all quiet in their protest against former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice giving the commencement address. Rice was actually a part of an administration that helped bring freedom to parts of the Middle East and rid the world of tyrants.

Perhaps Christians, particularly the Americanized version, would rather be politically correct than take a stand for survival. Or maybe they should take into account as Winston Churchill once stated, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last.”

It is the world, especially within the framework of the radical Islamist world, that has become the Christian’s new Colosseum. Will we continue to bite our tongues as Christians continue being attacked, tortured and murdered?

Silence can be deafening.

Bob Rinearson is resident of Fort Wayne.