State Representative Rebecca Hamilton (OK) reports an alarming statistic:
According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, one hundred thousand Christians have died for their faith each year in the last decade. That works out to 11 Christians martyred for their faith every hour for the past ten years.
Can you imagine the outcry if this was one the groups that fashion says we should care about? Just consider the sentence 100,000 _______ were murdered because of they were ______ each year for the past ten years. Supply the name of any group whose rights we hear daily that we are supposed to care about.
Right, nobody cares when Christians get murdered, except of course for hundreds of millions who do care, and especially all those liberals who are clamoring for an end to all religious persecution regardless of who the victim is. Sheesh. But what about that statistic? 100,000 Christians murdered for their faith every year for the past 10 years? One new Christian martyr every five minutes? The recent church bombing in Pakistan killed about 80-some Christians, and that was big news because 80 seems like (and is) a lot. One million murdered Christians, just since 2003, seems a bit high.
I suspect the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, might be conflating figures that include terrorism, sectarian violence, regional wars, tribal wars, and other types of violence that are not necessarily related to trying to prevent souls from being saved for Jesus. There’s certainly a great deal of violence in the world today (as there has always been), and I expect that, if this figure is correct, you’ll find similar figures for other ethnic/sectarian groups, adjusted for population.
Regardless of the actual number, though–and any number greater than zero is too big–it’s interesting that Rebecca Hamilton’s take on it is to condemn it and call for an end to it. That’s a very humanistic goal, and one I wholeheartedly support, but as a self-proclaimed Public Catholic, isn’t she supposed to be happy that Christians are experiencing the very things Jesus both predicted and commanded?
[Jesus said] Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. — John 15:20
Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets. — Luke 6:22-23
Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. — Matthew 10: 38-39
For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. — 1 Peter 2:19-21
And on and on, of course. It’s God’s will for Christians to suffer and be murdered, and in fact it’s an extra special blessing, because it puts you right in the middle of the same sufferings Jesus experienced, according to the Gospel. Hamilton’s commendable humanistic compassion for Christians puts her at odds with God’s clearly-revealed intentions, desires, and special blessings.
Then again, the justification for such injustices is that believers are supposed to enjoy a superior reward after they die, which is a pleasant fantasy that will never happen. No matter how great life is supposed to be after you die, you’re never going to be there, and believers know it, at least a subconscious level. That’s why martyrdom is really a bad thing, no matter what the Gospel says. Hamilton is entirely right to oppose it, and in fact she ought to go the whole way and oppose all religious persecution. Granted, that’s a liberal and humanistic goal, but it’s a good one, and even Christians would benefit, just as Hamilton herself points out. It wouldn’t be a special privilege that only Christians get to enjoy. But really, is that such a terrible sacrifice to make for the sake of humanity?