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The Queen, the Archbishop of Canterbury and chief Rabbi offer sympathy. None offered for Nigerian Christians slaughtered by Islamists.
Muslim Uigers capture headlines; Christian persecution in China is ignored.

By David W. Virtue, DD
May 6, 2021

THE Queen, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Chief Rabbi in the UK were among prominent secular and religious figures to offer sympathy to Israel after the stampede last Friday at a Jewish festival resulted in the deaths of at least 45 people. Thousands had gathered at Mount Meron to mark the Hassidic religious festival of Lag B'Omer.

By contrast, a report by the U.S-based Christian persecution monitoring group Open Doors, shows the number of Christians killed in 2020 increased by 60%, mostly because of Islamic violence against Nigerian Christians.

The study says more than 2,200 of 4,761 Christians killed around the world in 2020 died in Nigeria because of radical Islamists.

Neither the Queen nor the ABC offered their sympathy for these Christians, many of them Anglican. There were no MSM global headlines commiserating with Christian leaders in Nigeria for their suffering.

Open Doors CEO David Curry says the global focus on battling the coronavirus pandemic last year also contributed to an increase in Christian persecution.

Another U.S.-based organization, International Christian Concern, estimates 50,000 to 70,000 Christians have died in violent attacks in Nigeria over 18 years. These attacks were mostly carried out by Boko Haram terrorists or arms-wielding gangs.

Nigeria has been battling insurgents seeking to create an Islamic caliphate in the country's north for more than a decade. The conflict has also affected Nigeria's neighboring countries.

In 2014, the Archbishop of Canterbury met Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja and prayed with him over the serious security situation in Africa's most populous nation. That's it.

So where is the present outrage by the international community for this mass slaughter. Why are Christian and secular leaders so silent?

Nigeria is home to the second-largest province of the Anglican Communion. Nigeria has been named "a country of special concern for 2020" by Release International, an inter-denominational ministry supporting persecuted Christians around the world.

Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, Release International's partner in Nigeria, has said "Nigeria has become the largest killing ground for Christians in the world today." The organization quoted him saying:

"Across the north, the mainly Muslim Fulani have been taking land from predominantly Christian farmers by force and occupying their villages. ... They attack, typically, in the middle of the night while people are sleeping. They shoot in the air and create panic to drive the villagers out. When the people flee from their houses into the darkness, the Fulani lie in wait with their machetes and cut them down. Again and again. And the government seems powerless to stop them."

Kwashi, who has survived three attempts on his life, has been bishop of the Diocese of Jos since 1992. From 2008 to 2017, he was also Archbishop of the Province of Jos and has been active in the GAFCON movement.

Take the country of China. It's not just the Uigers; Christians are being persecuted as well. If you watch and listen to mainstream media, you would think that the only persecution taking place in China is among Muslim believing Uighurs.

It is not true. Stories are emerging that reveal Christians are being persecuted on a mass scale with crackdowns by the police that include arrests, torture and death with crosses torn off buildings, churches torn down as new highly restrictive administrative measures on religious staff went into effect.

This past week China shut down Bible App, Christian WeChat as new crackdown policies went into effect. Anugrah Kumar contributor to the Christian Post said China's communist authorities are continuing their crackdown on Christianity by removing Bible Apps and Christian WeChat public accounts.

Father Francis Liu from the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness said in a tweet that some Christian WeChat accounts, including "Gospel League" and "Life Quarterly," were no longer available online. This was reported by the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern.

When someone tries to access those accounts, a message reads, "(We) received report that (this account) violates the 'Internet User Public Account Information Services Management Provisions' and its account has been blocked and suspended."

Bible Apps have also been removed from the App Store in China, and Bibles in hard copy are no longer available for sale online either, ICC added. Bible Apps can only be downloaded in China with the use of a VPN.

Another sign of the ongoing crackdown is that bookstores owned by the state-sanctioned Three-self churches have increasingly been selling books that promote President Xi Jinping's thoughts and communist ideology.

"Even their WeChat accounts are turning into propaganda channels for CCP," ICC said.

New regulations under Article 16 under Chapter III states that Catholic bishops must be approved and ordained by the state-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Bishops' Conference.

According to the interpretation of the Union of Catholic Asian News, the regulations "indirectly assert that the election of Catholic bishops will be done by the state-approved system under the Chinese Communist Party's direction and the Vatican and Pope Francis will have no role in it [...] It runs contrary to the laborious China-Vatican deal on the appointment of Catholic bishops, signed in September 2018."

When he was vice-president, Mike Pence railed on about the Uigers and religious freedom with the American people standing in solidarity with the people of all faiths in the People's Republic of China. Pence did not specifically mention the persecution of Christians.

There are an estimated 67 million Christians in China; it is the fastest growing religion in that country with an average annual growth rate of 7%. They pose a major threat to President Xi and the Chinese Communist Party.

They will not be silenced however much they are persecuted. President Biden should speak out about the persecution of Christians when he next mentions the Uigers or talks to Chinese Communist leaders. It's the least he could do.


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