It’s time to turn the words into action on Christian persecution

While the UK has form condemning barbaric acts inflicted on Christians because of their faith. It is time now to turn the words into action.

While the UK has form condemning barbaric acts inflicted on Christians because of their faith. It is time now to turn the words into action. 

In April, the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair courted controversy in delivering a speech that called for much greater efforts to tackle radical Islam.

Speaking to Bloomberg in London, Blair declared:

“For the last 40 to 50 years, there has been a steady stream of funding, proselytising, organising and promulgating coming out of the Middle East, pushing views of religion that are narrow minded and dangerous. Unfortunately we seem blind to the enormous global impact such teaching has had and is having.

“Within the Middle East itself, the result has been horrible, with people often facing a choice between authoritarian government that is at least religiously tolerant; and the risk that in throwing off the government they don’t like, they end up with a religiously intolerant quasi-theocracy.”

The more we see and hear from the Middle East, the more difficult it can become to argue against Blair’s thought provoking speech.

As we wake this morning, the sickening news that the US journalist, James Foley, has been beheaded by ISIS is sadly just the tip of an all too grim ice burg that is engulfing much of Iraq and Syria.

Among the kinds of tactics used by Islamic militants has been beheading  children in playgrounds; burying people alive; and  crucifying those who stand in the way of the group’s aims and objectives.

Those being killed remain innocent victims, often punished simply for their Christian faith, in some cases finding themselves literally following Jesus’ command in the book of Matthew that “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

Let me be clear from the outset, those responsible are purely and simply those militants in the ISIS organisation. But what it shows also is a failure on the part of the international community to grasp firmly and address head on in a systematic way the intolerance that we are now witnessing towards Christianity.

Often the response we get from our political leaders remains, rightly, words of condemnation and newspapers articles calling for freedom of religious belief. In some cases however we don’t even get that. How many people for example are aware that in the first eight months of this year alone, already the Islamic militant group, Boko Haram have killed the equivalent of 91% of the Christians they slaughtered in Nigeria in the whole of last year?

What we need now is to turn words into action, turn condemnation into something that actively uses the muscle and the powers we have to secure the protection for Christian believers that we should all want to see.

So how do we achieve this?

  1. A good start would be to take up the suggestion made by the Bishop of Leeds in his letter to the Prime Minister by appointing a new  ambassador at large for international religious freedom which, as the Bishop clearly pointed out, “would demonstrate the government’s serious commitment to developing an overarching strategy (backed by expertise) against Islamist extremism and violence.”

 

  1. We now need to give serious consideration to reforming our asylum laws to grant safety to those Christians around the world facing death because of their faith. It is quite simply absurd and indefensible that the UK Government remains silent on the issue.

 

  1. All parties in the UK now need to establish a commission to draw up a clear strategy for protecting the rights of Christians around the world, focussing on how we can best use our diplomatic, trade, and if need be, military muscle, to secure the outcomes we all want to see.

 

  1. And finally, the UK Government should be leading calls now for a high level international conference, under the auspicious of the United Nations to bring countries together to establish a global response to the persecution of Christians worldwide.

In the UK we have been good at condemning barbaric acts inflicted on Christians because of their faith. It is time now to turn the words into action.

24 Responses to “It’s time to turn the words into action on Christian persecution”

  1. Kryten2k35

    0 <– that is the number of fucks I give about one religious group destroying another.

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    So you’re being a bigot here and saying if you’re a theist, your life has no value?

    Nasty.

  3. AlanGiles

    I do find it incredible that the Gospel of St Tony should still be invoked. He speaks loftily and at great expense (what is the going rate for one of his robotic platitudinous speeches now?), but terrible as things are, as barbaric, unforgiveable and revolting, we should never forget the world is a much more dangerous place in part, because of his and Bush’s actions back in 2003. To use Biblical langauge they knew not what they were doing.

    Perhaps if Blair gave up his otiose posturing and pretence at being a “peace envoy” and just kept his mouth shut things could start to heal. He is part of the problem not the solution

  4. Guest

    Blaming people for taking action against extremism? Sigh.
    Blaming people for working for peace? Oh my.

  5. AlanGiles

    Dear “Guest”: Blair’s job as a “peace envoy” is a nonsense. He has done damn all to contribute towards peace. He sashays round the world making portentious speeches. The epitome of a man full of piss and wind. ALL Blair is interested in is his bank balance, now that is “legacy” is down the lavatory.

  6. Kryten2k35

    I’m saying I don’t give a flying fuck if religious groups murder each other, in other countries. It isn’t happening here, and as a non-interventionist, I give no fuck.

    That doesn’t make me a bigot.

  7. cacheton

    People who slaughter others in the name of a religion, as IS do, are exercising their religious freedom. So what would this ‘new ambassador at large for international religious freedom’s job be, exactly?

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    Yes, it does. You are saying that you are absolutely fine with some people being murdered, that you don’t see them as having rights, then try and constrain that with a call to nation borders, which is straight out the far right’s rulebook.

    And you’re against holding values, and so don’t believe in things like human rights, which can’t be conditional or they have no value? Well, again…

  9. Guest

    Yes yes, peace is a nonsense, and of course you say he must share your goals, Mr. Alan “Piss and Wing” Giles.

    And you’re ignoring the NI peace process.

    Not what he’ll be remembered for, but still.

  10. Kryten2k35

    Yeah, I didn’t say any of that. I said I don’t give a shit if two religious groups kill each other. It’s what religions do best.

    I didn’t say anything about not thinking they have rights, human rights or that I’m fine with them being murdered. Those are your assertions about a simple sentence, and they’re wrong.

    Anyway, the definition of bigot:

    “a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)”

    I don’t dislike or hate these people. I just don’t give a shit. I lack like or dislike. I’m more bothered about where my next paycheck is coming from, because I need to feed my family and keep a roof over my head.

  11. Leon Wolfeson

    Ah yes, so now you’re saying that all theists are best at murdering each other.

    And you don’t view as Human? Well. I was too nice, I see.

  12. AlanGiles

    I think I said “piss and wind”. Flying and wings don’t come into it.

    I repeat Blair acting as Bush’s lapdog back in 2003 did more to endanger both the Middle East and ourselves than to facilitate “peace”

    It comes to something when one of Blair’s toadies rushing to the little worms defence can’t even be arsed to pick a made-up name, (they never use their real ones) but has to hide behind “guest”. Can’t even bring yourself to use initials. You could try “JR” – in honour of John Rentoul, Blair’s arse-licker in chief

  13. Kryten2k35

    Do you see what you want to see, instead of what’s actually written? Because, again, I didn’t say that, at all, in any shape or form.

  14. Leon Wolfeson

    No, I don’t have your tendencies, neither your tendency to see what you want, or your denial of the consequences of what you post. Or am I still being too nice?

    Your faith, not mine.

  15. Guest

    Yes yes, showing support for the West’s values is anti-peace, in your world. You’re Chinese, right?

    And I’m not you, JR. Thanks for talking about your personal habits, though.

  16. AlanGiles

    What an idiot you are.

    By the way most of the hard work for the NI peace process was done by the late Mo Mowlem. Blair stepped in during the final hours to take the credit

  17. Guest

    So I’m an idiot for wanting peace. Thanks.

  18. Kryten2k35

    I’m not saying they don’t have rights. I’m not saying they’re not human or any of the pure and utter bullshit you’re inferring. I just don’t care. I am apathetic.

  19. Leon Wolfeson

    You evidently DO care, and you evidently *are* saying thing things. You are replying here, after all. And lashed out at all Jews, in the other thread. Your target is plain.

    Keep saying that as a theist I’m automatically a murderer, while anti-Semites like you are amazing. I see you holding many of the same views as ISIS – the problem is *extremists* like you, not any one faith, religion or creed.

    That you want to hide, fearful of the world and moral values…that’s you. Your views do make you a bad person as far as I’m concerned. You also stated very strongly you go for the block country theory, and hence as you support the government, you’re not left-wing.

    People can care about others with being a “nervous wreck”. Most people manage it just fine. That you’re an exception…well…

  20. AlanGiles

    No you are an idiot for remarks like:

    “You’re Chinese, right?”

    That is also racist, but you are too thick to see it.

  21. Guest

    You’ve lost the plot. I’m not an anti-semite. I’m not going to continue this while you fabricate a reality for yourself so you can trash me. End of discussion.

  22. Leon Wolfeson

    Kryten2k35;

    You said “Jews”, then said you meant “Jews”. This is not going to go away, the reality is what you posted. You’re going to stop posting on social media? Okay, well, your choice.

    But it does not change your expressed views, the fabrication is 100% yours.

  23. Guest

    No, it’s a question.
    You think questions are racist, lol.

    And see, not everyone is as thick as you and thinks silly things like that.

  24. AlanGiles

    “”You’re Chinese, right?”” That is what is called a statement – not a question: a question would be “are you Chinese?” or whatever other race you were trying to impugn

    Each of your hysterical posts merely confirms you to be a total idiot.

    Your attention seeking is pathetic

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