Modern Christians are “called” to suffer and even die for the faith in a new era of ‘martyrdom’, says Archbishop of Canterbury.
Christians are facing a new age of “martyrdom” across much of the world, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.
Speaking in Istanbul, Turkey, the Most Rev Justin Welby singled out the persecution of believers across the Middle East and said Christians are still “called” to suffer and even die for the faith in the 21st Century.
But he insisted that religion is often just a “pretext” for violence and not the real cause.
[This is the sort of contorted logic that afflicts most Christian leaders today, who apparently are so fearful to confront the truth about the religion of Muhammad that they wind up excusing it of any culpability for Muslim persecution against Christians throughout the Islamic world. This in spite of the fact, documented again and again, that the Muslim persecutors themselves describe their efforts in purely religious terms, motivated by their desire to please Allah and establish Islamic rule. In Raymond Ibrahim's recent analysis of the Open Doors report on Persecution of Christians, he pre-refutes Justin Welby's ridiculous exoneration of Islam:
The one glaring fact that emerges from [the Open Doors] report is that the overwhelming majority (82%) of Christian persecution around the world today is being committed at the hands of Muslims of all races, languages, cultures, and socio-political circumstances: Muslims from among America’s allies (Saudi Arabia) and its enemies (Iran); Muslims from economically rich nations (Qatar) and from poor nations (Somalia and Yemen); Muslims from “Islamic republic” nations (Afghanistan) and from “moderate” nations (Malaysia and Indonesia); Muslims from nations rescued by America (Kuwait) and Muslims claiming “grievances” against America.
The global Muslim persecution of Christians is characterized by specific targeting of Christians, attempts at forced conversions to Islam, and wholesale destruction of churches and slaughter of entire Christian villages, all to screams of "Allahu Akbar." Sadly, the head of the Anglican communion is completely wrong about the root cause of Muslim persecution of Christians. But it's easy to see why he prefers his fable to the truth: If even 10% of the nearly 2 billion Muslims worldwide are supportive of and inclined to active jihad against infidels, this gives us a staggering number of 200 million extremist Muslims. It's more comforting to choose to believe the fiction that the religion of Islam has nothing to do with persecution of Christians "at the hands of Muslims of all races, languages, cultures, and socio-political circumstances."]
He made his remarks at the end of a two-day visit with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholemew I, the most senior cleric in the eastern Orthodox church.
His comments in a city which has in the past been the capital of both the Christian and Muslim worlds underline the significance he attaches to the threat to Christians in the region, an issue the Prince of Wales also singled out last month.
Referring to the original Greek meaning of the word martyr, as a “witness”, he said: “Your history is more and more important in the increasing confrontations of the world in which religion is used as a pretext for violence that in reality comes from greed and the pride of human beings.
“You have demonstrated over the centuries the martyrdom to which we are called in scripture, the call to witness in word and life, a call more important than life itself.
“The cost of that martyrdom is seen in so many places today.
“Closest to here we remember and seek the mercy of Christ and intercession of the Blessed Mother on Syria.” He then singled out the orthodox leaders in Aleppo and Antioch.
The Archbishop also spoke about the effects of the banking crisis and the troubles of the eurozone, which he said had spread “terrible suffering” in Europe.
“During the last years we have seen the world changing in a diversity of ways,” he said.
“We have had an economic crisis through a banking system which had lost its way, seeking its own good at the expense of nations and their peoples.
“There is conflict in many regions of the world, acute poverty, unemployment and an influx of oppressed people driven away from their own countries and seeking refuge elsewhere.
“In Southern Europe terrible suffering has seized the people, most especially the poor for whom we weep and cry to God.”
And in a warning to politicians, he added: “Economic crises tempt governments and people to look to the short term and forget the needs of the generation to come.”