Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Myth(?) of the Persecuted Church in America

From BeliefNet's Rod Dreher:
I had lunch today with a three Christians, one from Europe, one from the Middle East, one from Southeast Asia. Here is a summary of our conversation:

The Middle Easterner: We are being terribly persecuted. Our people are being killed and deprived of their rights in every way. Many of us are emigrating to escape. The government does not protect us. Everyday life is martyrdom. Our biggest challenge, aside from survival, is how to love those who kill and persecute us. We don't understand why Christians in the West, and the Western media, doesn't tell our story.

The Southeast Asian: Christianity is formally permitted, but our people and our clergy face constant persecution, and we are so relatively small in number that there's very little we can do except endure.

The European: Our churches are virtually empty. We are tolerated because we are irrelevant. Christianity is seen as a hobby, but that's it. We look around at all our magnificent churches, and see that the faith survived all kinds of immense hardships and challenges over the centuries, but Christians made it. Now, in our time, Christians are completely free to worship as they like, and everyone has all their material needs taken care of, but there is a real question of whether we are going to make it. Wealth and freedom is doing to Christianity in Europe what centuries of suffering and privation and persecution did not.

And there's me, the American, feeling rather ashamed of myself. Perhaps I should have told these people about the war on Christmas in my country.

HT: Boar's Head Tavern


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