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Christian Lives Matter: Complicit Silence in the Face of Persecution of Christians

Christian Lives Matter: silencio cómplice frente a la persecución a cristianos, EFE

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A Nigerian priest was burned alive this Sunday in his parish residence. However, most of the traditional media did not report the news.

According to Vatican News, members of a criminal group attempted to enter the residence of the parish of St. Peter and Paul in Kafin-Koro, Paikoro region, in the early hours of January 15. As a result of the incident, Father Isaac Achi died in a fire set by the attackers after the arrival of the security forces, while another priest was shot and wounded.

Approaches between this criminal group and Boko Haram have been reported in past years. Thus, in 2021, Nigeria’s immigration chief, Muhammad Babandede, warned of a displacement of “bandits” to the northeast of the country, in order to receive training organized by the jihadists.

In the midst of the 21st century, it is alarming to witness Christian martyrdom. And the indifference of the mainstream media, political authorities and even international organizations and self-styled “defenders of human rights” is deeply disturbing. Or do Christian lives not matter?

Last June, individuals allegedly linked to Islamic fundamentalism broke into the Sunday Eucharist at St. Francis Xavier Church in Owo, Nigeria. The result: at least 50 people were killed and at least as many seriously injured. Just two weeks later, at least 3 dead and 40 people were kidnapped as the result of another attack, this time on the St. Moses church in Kaduna state.

This is not to mention further aggressions reported in the last months of 2022. However, these terrible events are nothing new for the African country. This was reported by Guillermo Rodriguez, in his column for El American.

“When Western media does report on Nigeria, they dismiss the Christians’ genocide as an ethnic, and not religious conflict. Anyone informing about the genocide of Christian Nigerians by Islamic fundamentalists risks being cancelled by woke crowds under “charges” for “islamophobia”,” he said.

Hananya Naftali, an Israeli activist, has been one of the most critical voices against the media silence on the massacre of Christians. In this regard, he highlighted the indifference and contempt they suffer, not only from extremist groups but also from the Western world. “Persecuted Christians have no voice and are often ignored by the very agencies that are supposed to speak for them,” he told El American.

“Every day Christians are butchered in Africa by ISIS-aligned jihadist groups and no one cares. This is unthinkable. The liberal world went crazy with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign, what about Christian lives? Who will stand up for them if not us?” he added.

It is striking that, in our days, Western civilization remains silent and complicit in the abuses that continue to be perpetrated throughout the world. Because, although the news makes little noise, the persecution of Christians continues more than ever.

Fernando Rodríguez Doval, of the Mexican National Action Party (PAN), expressed his concern about this latent situation to El American. “In many regions of the world, the right to religious freedom is still something almost utopian,” says Doval, alluding to the very serious violation of fundamental rights that does not seem to matter.

In the words of Edgar Beltrán, Deputy Editor of El American, “Being a faithful Christian means being a part of the most persecuted religion in the world. It means getting your church burned down and your saint’s statues getting toppled thanks to media lies-filled narratives. It means that, if you live in the wrong country, you could be one of the 11 Christians killed daily for their faith.”

Rodríguez Doval also makes a necessary distinction between the different forms of persecution that persist today. He specified that these “occur in countries where Christians are a minority, as in the case of Nigeria, but also in those where historically there has been a Christian cultural base, as in the Western world. In the latter, persecution occurs mainly through censorship”.  

“They do not have the media coverage they should, largely because certain sectors are trying to build a society that eradicates any Christian anthropological foundation, and it is considered that making these facts known will generate legitimate sympathy towards the testimony of Christians and the evangelical teachings of Jesus,” he explains.

As regrettable as it is, today the West has turned its back on Christianity and its ideas. It is not in the least interested in making visible those who differ from the progressive narrative. On the contrary, they seek to censor and minimize their opinions because Christians contribute little, if anything, to the propagation of an ideology that has taken over the great political institutions of the world.

In this regard, Father Juan Manuel Góngora has spoken out firmly against the negligence of the traditional media in the face of the persecution of Christians. According to him, “it is clear that the operation of silence surrounding the very serious attack in Nigeria obeys a plan where facts like this have no place in the story of the great ‘manipulation’ media, at the service of an atheist globalist elite”.

Góngora encourages readers of El American to keep in mind the meaning of the bloody sacrifice that, as in Nigeria, many of the faithful have offered for the greater glory of God. “We must remember that the blood shed by martyrs, out of hatred for the faith, is the seed of new Christians who will never be silenced”.

It is also necessary to consider what we are called to do not only as Christians but also as defenders of freedom. For, precisely, to remain silent or indifferent would be to dishonor the sacrifice of the martyrs. And, more importantly, it would be to dishonor God himself.

Christ, the Son of God, warned during his lifetime that we Christians would be hated and persecuted by the world. The greatest consolation we have is to be able to accompany him in his pain and humiliations, which he gladly endured for the redemption of humanity. “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before it hated you” (Jn 15:18). If our Christian brothers and sisters- as well as the Creator and Lord of the world- were able to give their lives for the truth, how cowardly we must be to remain silent in the face of what is evident!

Victoria es estudiante de Derecho y Ciencias Políticas. Abocada a la defensa de la vida, la familia, la libertad religiosa y, en general, de la dignidad humana y los valores democráticos.