by Lou Binninger
Religious oppression is on the rise and in particular the persecution of Jesus followers. From harassment, imprisonment, to beheading, the objective of many is to purge the world of Jesus people. That has nearly occurred in the Middle East, the birthplace of the Christian movement where it is now considered a minority faith.
Of course, that is according to official figures. Some Muslim countries do prefer to minimize the known presence of a Christian population. And, where severely persecuted, many Christians remain so in secret. Others have moved to safer regions.
Religious intolerance and persecution varies depending on the country. A Nebraska elementary school principal purged candy canes and other expressions of the Christmas season from her campus. She referred to the Constitution as justification.
This has become a Grinch ritual in many government schools each Christmas. For years, nativity scenes have been an issue for politicians intimidated by atheists in America.
However, President and Melania Trump wishing all a Merry Christmas offered a welcome respite from the “PC” curse on Christmas.
Meanwhile, Chinese police and military have been arresting pastors, religious leaders and removing displays of Christmas along with crosses from churches. Some church buildings have been bulldozed over.
There is a renewed insistence that members of the Communist Party (China’s political class) renounce any faith in God, enter a re-education camp or resign. On Christmas Eve, the South China Morning Post reported that “all of the Christmas trees, lights, and bells vanished from a 27-story shopping and office building in the city of Nanyang in less than 24-hours, all the way down to the giant teddy bear that once greeted visitors at the entrance to the shopping area.”
The Christmas season celebration in China had grown steadily for decades including decorations, Christmas music in stores, church worship and Christmas greetings. That all changed with President Xi Jinping’s distaste of anything spiritual including the teachings and followers of the Falun Gong, Islam and Jesus.
Millions of Chinese people of faith have been arrested, tortured, and terminated in prison along with having their organs harvested to supply China’s thriving transplant industry. No trials, hearings or human rights.
Brad Dacus, Founder and President of Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) announced that this Christmas Gig Harbor, Washington reincorporated a nativity scene display in Skansie Brothers Park after PJI provided legal clarity and pro bono support in response to the threats the City received from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).
In November 2016, Gig Harbor received a letter from the FFRF threatening to sue to remove the “unconstitutional” nativity scene. The FFRF, a Wisconsin-based atheist organization known for attacking people of faith and filing suits that are routinely thrown out of court, pressured the City Council to censor all religious content from the display.
Without PJI and those citizens devoted to the Constitution, the nativity scene and other cultural symbols remembering the Birth of Jesus would have been banished.
Anti-God Communists, Socialists and liberals share a common phobia to freedom and liberty. Their reaction is always one of forbidding and control, clamping down on activities not expressly approved by them for public consumption.
The intolerant seed of socialism is being planted in spoiled naïve novices on college campuses all funded by the fruits of capitalism. However, there has been no emigration of “brave” socialist professors to Venezuela, Cuba or Laos.
It doesn’t pay as well when the socialists are in full control. You can’t say whatever you want. And people seem to lose weight when government manages the food supplies. Let’s say professors don’t want to put their lives where their rhetoric is.
The end of all this is the same. Whether a takeover is by gun or government, a passive populace yields whatever freedoms they deem no longer worth fighting for. Merry Christmas to Gig Harbor and PJI!