Why the nations rage.
We need to preach Christ risen regardless of the season. But know that the world will hate us. The world would, given a choice, kill us.
Do not think it cannot happen in the West. The rulers of the West hate us as well, and they are importing those who hate Christ, so that Christendom, the West, goes.
And they will say that they have the hand of God with them. Note that the Communists want the people to worship them: not Christ. While the Hindu and Muslim burn our churches, kill our ministers, and martyr the people.
But Christ is risen, and their rage does not change that.
As Christians around the world prepare to observe the holy weekend of Easter, many will be asked at their services to pray for the persecuted around the world. After years of advocacy groups raising awareness, the plight of the Christians of the Middle East, particularly in the former Islamic State territories, has become common knowledge among American Christians. Yet they are far from the only group that will celebrate Easter this year in defiance of state persecution, mob violence, and repressive cultural norms imposed by groups threatened by the spread of the Christian faith.
Below, six countries where Christians struggle to practice their faith freely against systematic institutional and cultural pressure.
China: Xi Jinping has led a systematic crackdown on “unauthorized” Christianity that has worsened year after year since he became “president” in 2013. Xi has led a movement to “sinicize” Christianity, forcing the legal Christian churches to deliver sermons extolling the virtues of his regime. “Unauthorized” Christianity is deemed a “national security threat,” and Christians who dare worship in their homes face severe law enforcement reprimand.
Venezuela: Dictator Nicolás Maduro and his subordinates have struggled for years to submit the Christian faith to their whims – publishing socialist Christmas carols, identifying their policies with the Gospels, and proclaiming that “Christ is Chavista.”
India: In India, the repression faced by many Christians is not at the hands of the government, but at the hands of violent Hindu nationalist mobs. According to Open Doors, an organization that tracks the persecution of the Christian faithful worldwide, the permissive attitude of a Hindu nationalist government has allowed for the exacerbation of violence against these communities, some of the oldest Christian congregations on earth. In one incident this year, a mob tortured and hanged a Christian pastor after six months of loudly disturbing Sunday services. Local police ruled the death a suicide, triggering thousands to protest for justice.
Nigeria: Nigeria’s population is 40 percent Christian, with many practicing freely in the nation’s south. In the north, however, Christians face severe persecution from jihadist groups like Boko Haram and violence by the majority-Muslim Fulani herdsmen against Christian farmers. The herdsmen are believed to be conducting raids targeting Christians and have killed an estimated thousands of civilians.
Sudan: Sudan, a nation run by Muslim tyrant wanted for genocide, is one of the most repressive states in the world, a Muslim-majority tyranny where Christians face destruction of property and arbitrary arrest if they are too visible. Open Doors ranks Sudanese Christians in the top five most persecuted Christian nationalities in the world.
Indonesia: Indonesian Christians are under growing public scrutiny. While Christians have long coexisted in the world’s most populous Islamic country, they have increasingly fallen victim to radical Islamic mobs.
1When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
The more eagle eyed will notice that there is a lot more Catholic and Orthodox symbols, memes, posts and comments here. This is good: for I know this: we will either be united by this pressure or we will be destroyed separetly. For the nations are raging, and in that rage they are losing the subtlety that is the sign of the devil. The evil is becoming apperent. And when the Poles or Croats or Russians push back because of Christ, we should rejoice.
But when the mainline churches bow to the gods of the nations and the UN, we should grieve. Then excommunicate them.
On Saturday, ten thousand Christian nationalists in Croatia marched against the government’s plans to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which was adopted by the Council of Europe in 2011. The Istanbul Convention is officially entitled the “Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.” Croatians are concerned about the provision that countries accepting the convention are required to criminalize any discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The right-wing opposition parties, along with the Catholic Church, organized the protest action. An organizer and former lawmaker, Gordana Turic, said: “They [the EU] say we are backwards because we believe in God. The Istanbul Convention is against God and Christianity.”
The Catholic Church in Croatia and protestors demanded a referendum on the issue.
Another organizer, Kristina Pavlovic, summarized the issue beautifully: “I think this is a turning point for Croatia. . . . We must decide whether Croatia will choose a preservation of family and traditional values or go another way imposed from outside, from Brussels, or like what we see in Canada where there will be a Parent One and Parent Two instead of mother and father.”
The nations and their rulers rage because their time is short. And short, they want to do as much damage as they can. Which they call progress.
So instead do what is right, and watch them rage.
Though know that if you live where they import their new crowds and zampolits, they will come for you.