A War of Extermination
Palm Sunday begins the week long Christian Holy Week, culminating, of course, in Easter weekend. However, in Egypt, the celebrations were marred by a deadly ISIS attack on two Coptic Churches.
Lets be quite clear. ISIS is waging a war of extermination against Christians across the Middle East, where it holds territory and indeed in its wider campaign of terrorist attacks in Europe and beyond and its not just ISIS or in the Middle East that Christians are being persecuted. Persecution of Christians is reaching horrifying heights and it is only getting worse, however, I have yet to hear a major political or Church leader opine on this issue – by degrees something that is far more damming for Church leaders who cannot muster the wherewithal to speak up in defence of God’s people and their own flock – but nonetheless, the Western political establishment and liberal elites are far more concerned with not offending Islam than a) telling the truth and b) the blood of Christian martyrs being spilt across the globe.
(Remember) when your Lord inspired the angels, “Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.” The Qur’an, Al-Anfal 8.12
As the intentionally ironically titled Religion of Peace website rightly concludes no “reasonable person” could see this as a call to purely spiritual warfare. It is a celebration of the terror that ‘Allah’ inflicts on disbelievers and an instruction to remember and therefore replicate the physical torture on ‘disbelievers’.
Westminster politicians have no interest in protecting Christians or concern for Christian lives. If they were concerned then not only would they tell the truth about Islam they would begin to put pressure on and even sever ties with the likes of Saudi Arabia, a country where even private prayer involving Jesus Christ is an arrestable offence.
Christian Scripture in some ways makes Christians a soft-target for state sponsored and terroristic persecution because we all know about famous passages about turning the other cheek but letters of the apostle Paul, along with Church indoctrination, contain certain phrases which preaches passivity when it comes to the state:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Letter to the Romans 13:1-4
It happens to be my considered theological opinion that in these letters Paul was expressing a personal opinion (as opposed to giving us a commandment from God) which has been proven by history to be spectacularly and tragically wrong and that the Church has used this Scripture not to glorify God but to justify itself. However, that argument is well outside the scope of this post. What is important to note is the extreme vulnerability of Christians and therefore the dramatically increased need both for Church and political leaders that will be strong in their defence. I would argue that in this Holy Week of celebration that is something we should all be pondering especially as we reflect on the events of last Sunday.