What most American Christians don’t realize is that the “Islamic World” was once the Christian world. Some of the most well-known and influential leaders in the early church hailed from North Africa and the Middle East – like the warring theologians Athanasius and Arius, and the apologist Tertullian. It was for the library in Alexandria that the preeminent Greek version of the Torah (the “Septuagint”) was commissioned.
Today, St. Augustine would be called a Tunisian, Origen would be Egyptian and the Apostle Paul – who was on the road to Damascus when he encountered Christ – would have told the story of his conversion while heading to “Syria.”
It was also in the Syrian city of “Antioch” that Christians were first called “Christians,” and to this day there are as many Christian holy sites in that nation as anywhere else in the world.
When Jesus was born, and his life was threatened by the hysteria of King Herod, it was to Egypt that Joseph and Mary fled until Herod’s bloodlust subsided.
If the famed Council of Nicaea were held today, the headline would read: “Christian theologians gather in Turkey to settle long-held dispute about Christ’s deity,” and the part of the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized could have very well flowed through modern-day Jordan, as opposed to Israel
American Christians, less crass than culpably indifferent, insist it’s up to the legal and political authorities in the affected countries do something about persecution. But this turns a blind eye to the unhappy fact that in most of the 87 nations where Christians are a minority, persecution of them is sanctioned and even encouraged by lawmakers and judges.
The plight of believers gets little attention on the global stage, leaving many Christians throughout North America unaware, and therefore, indifferent to what’s going on in the body of Christ. Mention persecution, and eyes glaze over.
Despite all these atrocities, exoduses, and even genocides, the mainstream media seems to spend every available moment airing images of displaced Palestinians and demonizing Israel for trying to defend itself. Yet Israel does not kill Palestinians because of their religion or any other personal aspects. It does so in the context of being rocketed and trying to defend itself from terrorism.
On the other hand, all the crimes being committed by Muslims against Christians are simply motivated by religious hate, because the Christians are Christian.
It is to the mainstream media’s great shame that those who slaughter, behead, crucify, and displace people for no other reason than because they are Christian, rarely if ever get media coverage, while a nation such as Israel, which kills only in the context of self-defense, and not out of religious bigotry, is constantly demonized
Turkey: Outlook for Religious Freedom Grows Dim, yet Gospel Continues to Spread
Although typically understood to be an open nation, Turkey may quickly be taking a turn for the worse when it comes to religious freedom. Today, an ICC team met with partners in Turkey who described the future for Christians as “bleak.” They point out that the Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan, who is expected to be elected to the presidency on Sunday, has increasingly used anti-Christian rhetoric as he strives to maintain his position. “There is more anti-Christian rhetoric today than ever before” said ICC’s contact. Last year, Turkey also imprisoned more journalists than any other nation in the world, beating even Iran and China