Current Events & Trends: Persecution of Christians in Britain

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Persecution of Christians in Britain

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A graph accompanying a recent Newsweek article bore the notation, “Terrorist attacks on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and Asia increased 309% from 2003 to 2010”—a mere seven years (Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World,” Feb. 13, 2012). But one wouldn’t normally expect religious mistreatment in the English-speaking, democratic Western world. Nonetheless, raw persecution is now rearing its ugly head in Britain.

Most realize that the secular establishment has not been friendly to Christianity, and church attendance in Britain has been in decline for decades. Based on recent statistics, an article in The Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine titled “What’s Next for This Year’s Child?” presents a metaphorical baby exclaiming, “By the time I’m an adult, there’s a 70 per cent chance that I’ll be a non-believer” (Paul Kendall and John Hind, Feb. 18-19, 2012).

The current climate in Britain becomes more evident from statements by political leaders, such as Baroness Warsi, Conservative Party co-chairman. A Muslim herself, she wrote prior to leading a British delegation to the Vatican: “Faith has been neglected, undermined—and yes, even attacked—by governments … My fear today is that a militant secularism is taking hold of our societies. We see it in any number of things … religion is sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere. It seems astonishing to me that those who wrote the European Constitution made no mention of God or Christianity” (“We Stand Side by Side With the Pope in Fighting for Faith,” The Daily Telegraph, Feb. 13, 2012).

Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey warned in a forthright Daily Mail feature article: “For the Christian faith is now being increasingly marginalised in this country—as a shocking court case this week has illustrated … Since the September 11 attacks, we seem to have become obsessed with not upsetting British Muslims, while successive pieces of legislation means the rights of homosexuals now seem to trump those of everyone else …

“Sadly, I could take you to many countries in the world where brave Christian minorities are facing dreadful persecution. What’s happening here is that Christians are being pushed into the background by a secular establishment that seems to be embarrassed by the fact that Britain is a Christian country” (“As a Judge Bans Prayer at Council Meetings, a Former Archbishop of Canterbury Warns That Our Faith Is Under Siege,” Feb. 10, 2012, emphasis added throughout). (Sources: Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, Newsweek.)

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