Religious Liberty, Its Defenders, Its Enemies
Christianity faces persecution and intolerance, but it will prevail because of its defenders and an American president.
April 6, 2020
The Founding Fathers were quite passionate when it came to religion, and they expressed their thoughts on many occasions. John Adams wrote “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” And Benjamin Rush, “The only foundation for a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of a republican government.”
There are numerous other references to religion written or spoken by these learned and courageous men, who laid the foundation of this great nation and gave it its Judeo-Christian heritage. But those were different times, and 240-plus-years later have given birth to a marked change in the significance of the religion in the lives of the American people.
In post-modern America, and with the advent of the sexual revolution of the sixties, the practice of religion, in one form or another, has been in the decline among the people. There has also evolved, or perhaps devolved would be a more fitting description, a bias toward religion, in particular the Christian faith. Its detractors and critics among the cultural liberal and progressive elites in the political class, mainstream media, Hollywood, and big business, through gesture and their financial support of anti-Christian endeavors, is widespread and prodigious.
Christianity’s mission is to teach the Word of God, follow His commandments, love your neighbor as yourself, and to serve the poor, hungry, and downtrodden. It calls on its faithful to sacrifice, and show reverence and devotion to the higher power. And whether directly or indirectly, religion has also been the cause of great conflict over the centuries, and this has manifested itself in the persecution, oppression, destruction of places of worship and holy icons, even the death of others of different religious affiliations, apostates, and the non-believers.
Open Doors USA is a non-denominational organization whose mission is the support of oppressed and persecuted Christians in 70 countries. Founded in 1955, with 25 affiliates around the world, they distribute Bibles and Christian literature, conduct seminars, and provide legal and relief aid, pastoral care and support, and comfort in cases of emergencies. Another element of Open Doors' mission is to raise awareness, or sound the alarm, of global persecution of Christians. In 2015, Open Doors delivered these essentials to over 239 thousand people throughout the world, spending over $19 million for the relief and support of persecuted Christians.
In 2010, to counter the “United Nations Defamation of Religious Resolution,” Open Doors in unison with over 428,800 people from over 70 countries signed a “Right to Believe” petition that upheld religious liberty, and said "Nay" to the UN’s attempt to subvert that liberty.
Data provided by Open Doors in its “World Watch List” reveals the 50 most oppressive nations of the Christian faith in one of three groups: extreme persecution (11), very high persecution (24), and high persecution (15). Of those listed, 38 are Muslim, 4 are Communist, and 8 are other. The figures in parenthesis are the number of countries in that category. As mentioned previously of its detractors, let us hope that at some point this list does not include the United States, where although Christians are not persecuted or oppressed, they are at an ever-increasing degree subjected to intolerance and bigotry.
Although Muslim countries account for three out of four of the most oppressive places on the planet for Christians, left-wing groups are themselves as hostile and threatening and have caused tremendous carnage, especially in Western Europe, where they are responsible for a lion’s share of anti-Christian attacks in secular nations. According to the Gatestone Institute, which also monitors Christian persecution, approximately 3000 Christian churches, schools, cemeteries, and monuments were desecrated or destroyed in 2019.
The Christian faith throughout the world is the object of hate and intolerance and is having to suffer the slings and arrows of Muslims countries and hard-left radical secularists. But, hope springs eternal, and “Every Cloud has a silver lining,” so they say. In 2016 the American people decided they wanted a change and voted into office Donald Trump as President. And with all his faults and idiosyncrasies, he has proven that he is a man of his word, and has kept his promises to the people.
As the most pro-life president in recent memory, President Trump and his administration has advanced the cause of religious liberty throughout America and the world. At the United Nations in September of 2019, he is quoted as saying “Protecting religious freedom is one of my highest priorities.” And he emphasized that “80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where religious freedom is threatened, restricted, and even banned,” and the right to religious freedom “was also an urgent and moral duty.”
Noah Webster, the creator of the English language dictionary and signer of the Declaration of Independence wrote:
Visit Bob Pascarella's website at www.ShortStoriesInVerse.com