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Minimizing Persecution

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A few weeks ago, I talked about the current trend by some commentators to minimize terrorism. Perhaps they are doing it because they don’t want Americans to over-react to terrorist acts on social media videos. Then I talked about how some commentators and even politicians want to minimize Muslim terrorism. Again, that might be so that Americans don’t paint all Muslims with a terrorist brush. I understand all of that, but think that often these attempts to minimize the risk of terrorism and the threat of Muslim terrorism go too far.

I thought I was done with talking about attempts to minimize social trends. That was true, until I read a commentary by John Stonestreet. He and others have noticed how various commentators have been using what is happening overseas to minimize any threats to religious liberty in this country.

Each week we are subjected to various videos and social media posts reminding us of the horrible fate Christians and other religious groups face from radical Muslim groups like ISIS. And it is true that nothing that is happening to Christians in America compares in any way to what is happening to Christians and other groups in many of these Muslim countries. So critics of Christianity are using this stark contrast as an “argument ender.”

In other words, until we see Christians beheaded in Washington, D.C., don’t cry about your loss of religious liberty here in America. Even some Christian commentators want those promoting religious liberty to stop talking about persecution here in America because it is insulting to Christians in other countries who are facing real persecution.

This is merely a false dilemma. We should speak out against human rights abuses in other countries and pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters. But we can and should also call attention to attacks on Christian faith and the loss of religious liberty here in the United States. This is not an either/or proposition. Most of the responsible voices in the evangelical world address both human rights abuses and the loss of religious liberty.

Viewpoints by Kerby Anderson

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