Wednesday 18 May 2011

Churches burn, the media sees nothing

The footage below is of St Mary's Coptic Church in Cairo after it was firebombed by Muslim extremists following street battles in the Egyptian capital last weekend. This week, the UK director of Aid to the Church in Need, Neville Kyrke-Smith, " called on the (British) government to uphold human rights and religious freedom as part of its commitment to overseas aid." This follows on from Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien's criticism of the British Government's foreign policy as being "anti-Christian"  for handing out "no strings attached" aid to countries with horrendous human rights records, particularly with regard to protecting Christian minorities. The cardinal specifically criticised a UK government plan to double overseas aid to Pakistan to more than £445 million despite a massive upsurge in violence against minority groups, particularly Christians. ACN reports that  "of the top 10 recipients of UK bilateral aid in 2009-10, as documented by the BBC, seven are countries featured in the Persecuted and Forgotten? report, which assesses areas where Christians suffer worst human rights’ abuses."

If another religious group -- say B'hai or Jains or whatever -- were having their places of worship burned, and being forced to leave their homes through violence and coercion, the liberal media  -- and our government -- would be up in arms. For some reason, when it's a Christian minority being persecuted in a non-Christian country, it's a non-story (or an "isolated event"). That simply isn't true as the facts demonstrate: there has been a global escalation in 2011 of anti-Christian violence, and the mainstream media doesn't want to know.

If you want to get a sense of how back things are, you could do worse than to check which is published by the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. This horrendous story is not unusual:

"On March 19 a group of Islamic extremists burned alive Arshed Masih, a driver employed by a wealthy Muslim businessman in Rawalpindi. His wife worked as a maid in the same estate, situated in front of a police station. ...The couple had suffered threats and intimidation to force them to convert to Islam. ... His wife Martha Arshed was raped by police en she sought to denounce the violence inflicted on her husband. The couple's three children - ages 7 to 12 years - were forced "to witness the torture inflicted on their parents. "

Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. Pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Arshed Masih, whom I can only believe has gone straight to heaven as a martyr for the Faith. Pray for his wife Martha and their children and for all Christians in Pakistan.  And then write to your MP and ask him what he's doing to make sure that foreign aid is tied in with a guarantee of religious freedom and human rights for all.

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