The West Must Save Persecuted Christians
Christians have been persecuted since the very beginnings of the faith and always will be.
But paradoxical as it may be, Christianity has also expanded thanks to the testimony of the martyrs. Although they’re not thrown to the lions these days, some are harshly punished for owning a Bible in Saudi Arabia (even executed in North Korea), or crucified by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Their stories deserve to be told.
It’s difficult to estimate how many Christians died in the earlier centuries, but the absolute numbers, are much bigger in our time. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI rightly declared in 2010 that Christians are the most persecuted faith group today, and Pope Francis also mentions that fact frequently.
This is not just a recent phenomenon. In 1860, Muslims attacked Christians in Damascus, killing tens of thousands of civilians, destroying hundreds of Christian villages and churches. The Papal States and Western consulates immediately started urging action to save Christianity in the Levant. Meanwhile, the Western powers (mainly France and Great Britain, but also Russia) intervened and threatened the Ottoman Sultan with sanctions unless he immediately stopped the massacres. Warships bombarded the Eastern Mediterranean and the massacres stopped within a week.