Many traditionalists claim that The West was founded on “Judeo-Christian” values. Specifically, they say, “The Ten Commandments”. The Daily Wire, PragerU, and Louder with Crowder are just a few of the respected media platforms which broadcast this argument repeatedly. Along with these outlets, there is a large group of individual commentators who also push this idea of The West to their audience. There has been enough dismissal of the Christendom angle for years now, but what is seldom addressed is how and why The Ten Commandments were not a foundational document of Western Civilization.
Rafael Augusto B.L. de Oliveira | Brazil
What does it mean to be a Christian? To some, it means finding shelter and strength through our Lord’s word in order to overcome our daily challenges. To others, it means helping those in need. Whatever are your reasons to be a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ, being a Christian isn’t always an easy task; our faith has tests all the time. To be a Christian sometimes means having to face hatred and persecution. During hard times, it’s quite important for we Christians to keep our faith strong and stay united.
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
– John 15:18-19 (KJV)
Christian Persecution in the World
When I say persecution, not only do I mean that Christians are being oppressed through violent means, but also through less obvious means such as biased laws and psychological bullying. A good example of this is how in several countries in the Middle East, laws force Christians to restrict their expression of faith.
Schools commonly teach about past oppression and violence against Christians. Unfortunately, many of these issues still occur today in parts of the world. Without action, it may only get worse. Currently, persecution of Christians happens mostly in theocratic Muslim countries and areas where terrorist cells have control.
For example, extremists in Syria levied a jizya on any non-Muslims. Those who could not comply had to either convert to Islam or face death. where Christians are a minority and are forced to live under strict regulations such as paying special taxes and not being allowed to practice their faith in public. Moreover, Islamic Saudi authorities violently imprisoned 35 Christians in 2012 for holding a prayer circle.
In several other countries, Christians and other minority religions may only practice their faith in private. In fact, nations with Sharia law often ban items and articles from other religions such as Crucifixes and statues. The mistreatment of Christians is not exclusively in Muslim countries. It also occurs in the Jewish state of Israel and dictatorships such as North Korea. According to Open Doors, the totalitarian state holds some 50,000 Christians in forced-labor camps.
Open Doors: Christians Murdered in 2018
Sometimes the dedication we have for Christ can even lead to murder. In 2018, 4300 Christians were killed across the globe, according to Open Doors, a non-denominational mission with the goal of helping Christians in countries where Christianity is oppressed for cultural or political reasons. Sadly, the number is only going up. In 2017, there were 3066 murders of Christians for religious reasons. This represents a 40% increase from the previous year.
However, Open Doors is attempting to eventually bring this number to zero. Andrew van der Bijl founded the group as a small operation to illegally smuggle Bibles to Soviet-controlled Poland in the cold war. Later on, they expanded, smuggling Bibles all over the Communist bloc. Nowadays, Open Doors helps Christians exert their rightful will of regularly practicing their faith in over 70 countries where oppressive laws still exist.
An Increased Danger
As stated above, the murder rate of Christians drastically increased last year. Unfortunately, the coming years may spell out even more danger for the world’s most common religion. Several factors are leading to this. Michel Varton, the current director of Open Doors, stated that ”The number of vandalized Churches in regions where Christianity is a minority, has highly increased in the past few years”.
Clashes with Christianity
In the internet age, information is at everyone’s hands. So, it is becoming more difficult for dictatorships to dumb down the masses. But unfortunately, many countries still use religion as a tool by teaching a twisted, radicalized version of Islam.
Governments of Muslim-majority countries often see the spread of Christianity as a threat to their power. As a result, they tend to discretely marginalize Christianity through Sharia law. For some of them, Christianity is a symbol of Western imperialism. Thus, they perceive it as a sign of disrespect to their local cultures and customs.
Some oppressive governments in Asia also see the expansion of Christianity as a threat. This has been a notably growing trend in several parts of Asia with Hindu fanaticism and Buddhist radicalism. Both have taken an aggressive stance towards foreign religions in recent years.
The Spread of Radical Islam
The vast majority of the incoming immigrants and refugees from the Middle East just want to mind their own businesses and have a chance for a fresh start in the Western world. Unfortunately, a small minority are violent radicals. With a recent uptick in radical Islam in Sweden and other countries, persecution of Christians may increase.
An End in Sight?
At this time, it does not appear that the next few years will bring an end to these horrific murders. However, groups like Open Doors and others hope to minimize the casualties and enrich religious freedom. We have only scratched the surface about this, but as the internet thrives, it appears that awareness for Christian persecution may also rise. With this, awareness groups may hope to raise more funds and rally more people to their cause to end intolerance.
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By Cornelius Whitewater | USA
Throughout history, be it the Mughals, Romans, Ottomans, or even the Tokugawa Shogunate, one thing has plagued great civilizations: excess over efficiency. On January 2nd Vanity Fair published a bombshell article detailing the drug-fueled sex parties of the mega elite in Silicone Valley. They focused on the pressure and exploitation faced by women at these parties, as well as the fact that these Silicone Valley entrepreneurs are often “catching up” on sexual relations they went without through high school and so on.
This is all well and good, but for the purpose of this article, I will depart from these areas of thought to one’s I deem more important. The bottom line is, is that these types of hedonistic engagements, though not against the law per se, are the very type of engagements that corrode and have corroded great civilizations of the past. As the Romans relegated warfare to mercenaries and the elites engaged in orgies and culture at the expense of economy and nation, their society began to crumble. This albeit is a bit reductionary to the overall problems encountered during the fall of Rome, but you get the point.
At the end of the article in Vanity Fair, the writer, Emily Chang, notes that business decisions are made at these parties, that women who attend are excluded from high position jobs due to the relationships fostered at these parties, and that if certain people don’t participate they are blacklisted from business endeavors. Is this how titans of industry, those that control vital sectors of our economy should be conducting themselves? Certainly not. This isn’t just low-level techies involved. As per Vanity Fair, very important tech moguls attend and put on these orgiastic activities. Drugs, business, and women. A tale as old as time, but the stakes are much higher now than in the past.
What is at stake is not simply the moral fabric of America, but moreover the economy and stability of the nation. China is rising, and if good old-fashioned American innovation falters, it will be one more thing working against America as we compete with a China rising. The more industrial giants become resigned to indulge in their sexual perversions, the less likely they are to innovate, to conduct good honest and productive business. Moreover, while these parties don’t spill into weekday activities right now, how much longer can we trust that to be the case? We expect a lot from our politicians: in terms of morality, how they carry themselves, and the vast and important responsibilities they bear. Why not the same for tech giants who work closely with that very government.
I am by no means one who denies the rights of individual liberty. But these rights are simply foregone when you get subsidies, or work with government, or worse spy on American citizens. Another thing that needs to be touched on is the hypocrisy of this type of activity. Out of one side of their mouth, these tech people speak about diversity, and being ethical consumers and so on. Out of the other side, they engage in potentially exploitative and wholly illegal drug-fueled sex parties.
What made America a bastion of Western Civilization was its ability to innovate, to encourage free thought and the exchange of ideas. Now it seems America has found itself at a crossroads: one road leads to the prosperity of the nation, the other to the decay of our civilization. President Trump has worked diligently to drain the swamp in Washington. Perhaps he should also set his sights on Silicone Valley.
We as Americans cannot allow perverted hedonists to destroy the service sector. It is vital to our success, to our economy, and to the nation. If such problems persist we must not discount the possibility of nationalizations. We cannot allow the floundering away of our wealth. Or we may soon find barbarians at the gates.