But it took Prince Charles to snap them out of their sleep walk. Perhaps they will send off a team of journalists to Israel then, to cover the current developments Israeli Christians are going through, from being tepid citizens with an unclear role, to moving towards a full embrace of the rights and responsibilities that come with living in a multiculti, multi-ethnic country. I have spoken with quite a few Israeli Christians, who look with horror how their brethren are being slaughtered in neighboring countries, while they themselves are being pushed out of Israeli towns and villages by their Muslim neighbors. While many of the ones I have spoken to are hesitant to embrace all aspects of the Israeli experience, they unanimously say that while life as a minority in Israel isn’t always that easy, they enjoy full freedoms and experience the highest upwards social mobility than any other group in Israel. This is of course old news, but as stated above, it took a fearless British Prince to state the obvious . The question now remains, what will VG and similar “news outlets” now do, now that the big elephant in the room finally is being spoken about? Based on their track record, it will be no good requesting assistance from the Church of Norway, as they are as busy as ever targeting Israel. And only Israel
Editorial in VG 29/12/13, not online
THE BETRAYAL OF CHRISTIANS
This year, Baghdad Christians took the chance of celebrating Mass on Christmas eve for the first time in years. However, leaving church after mass on Boxing Day, a bombing took place. More than30 are killed, scores wounded in attacks on several Christian areas of the city.
By 1914, Christians were about 25 per cent of the population of the Middle East; today they count less than 5 per cent. And they are ever diminishing. One of the worst countries to the Christians is Iraq. 84 per cent of respondents in an extensive poll in this country expect the country to be evacuated of Christians within ten years. The 2003 invasion and the Arab Spring appear to have made their situation more difficult. Half of this country’s Christians have fled. The same takes part in Iran and Egypt. In Syria, many of t hose fleeing the civil war will never return.
200 years old Christian communities in the Middle East are dissolving. Christians, of the World’s oldest churches are fleeing war, want and religious persecution. Christian’s are however often forgotten when talking of persecution. Nor is this mostly government approved persecution. However, the states are incapable of protecting them. Churches are set on fire; Christians are subjected to condemnation in television, being threatened by extreme Islamists.
Before Christmas, it raised attention as the Prince of Wales, Charles, issued a warning over Christianity being under threat; being most under threat where this religion was conceived. Angela Merkel in Germany stated in last year that Christians were among the most persecuted faiths. These are important reminders. Authorities and NGOs too often have abstained from raising the issue of these atrocities. This is serious, as reports indicate some 200 Million Christians worldwide being persecuted or discriminated against.
We cannot be tolerant towards this intolerance. The freedom of belief is among the basic human rights; and democracy implies the respect over faith and minorities. We shall not ignore the fact an ethnic group is being bereft of peace this Christmas; rather being expelled due to its faith.