Police fine Christians for praying without permission, a government paints over a cross mosaic, a church is invaded and Bibles are torn to pieces, and a man’s Christianity is mocked by a state official who tells him it is not a religion of peace. With one estimate holding that 300 million Christians worldwide are subject to violence and that their faith is our time’s most persecuted, it won’t surprise astute observers that the aforementioned abuses occurred just recently. But it may surprise them to learn that the scene of one was a Western nation that once helped spread Christianity throughout the world.
That country would be Britain, where ministerial department the Home Office rejected the asylum claim of an Iranian Christian, sending him an anti-Christian letter impugning his faith.
“The Iranian national was turned down for asylum in 2016, with the Home Office claiming his conversion from Islam was ‘inconsistent’ with his claim Christianity is a peaceful religion,” the Express reported Thursday. “In the rejection letter from the Government department, published by the Iranian’s immigration case worker this week, six passages from the Bible are listed, with a claim made that Revelations is filled with ‘images of revenge, destruction, death and violence’. The letter also uses six examples from searchable online holy book Bible Gateway, and quotes parts of The Book of Leviticus from the Old Testament.”
“The full statement below the verses says: ‘These examples are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a peaceful religion, as opposed to Islam which contains violence, rage and revenge,’” the Express continued.
The Iranian’s aforementioned caseworker, Nathan Stevens, posted the outrageous excerpts on his Twitter page and said that while he’d seen much in his time, the “unbelievably offensive diatribe” shocked even him.
Yet there’s still more. Stevens also referenced a portion of another rejection letter, which read, shockingly, “You affirmed in your AIR that Jesus is your saviour, but then claimed that He would not be able to save you from the Iranian regime.”
“It is therefore considered that you have no conviction in your faith and your belief in Jesus is half-hearted.”
This reflects striking ignorance, likely bias-fueled. “Salvation” in Christianity refers to being saved from eternal damnation, to the promise of Heaven in the next life, not freedom from man-made hells in this one. In fact, Jesus said himself in Matthew 10:22, “And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.”
Of course, the Home Office official should note that we’re called to not be among the persecutors, though we could ask him: Sir, is this what your religion/ideology prescribes?
Of course, the official’s mockery is quite old with a very dark precedent: He’s in the company of those who when Jesus was crucified said that if He was so powerful, He should save himself “and come down from the cross.”
While the Home Office did acknowledge its error and issue some conciliatory statements, the bias exhibited is not unusual. CNS News reported in 2015, for example, that of the “2,184 Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011, only 53 (2.4 percent) have been Christians while 2098 (or 96 percent) have been Muslims” — despite the fact that Mideast Christians were being targeted for destruction by jihadists.
This changed, however, after President Trump took office and decided to prioritize Christian migrants. Almost 71 percent of 2018’s refugees were Christian.
Interesting is that nothing has been said about disciplining the offending Home Office worker. Yet it’s hard to imagine that, if an official had expressed corresponding sentiments about Islam, he’d even have his job.
As to his identity, one might wonder: Is he a militant secularist or closet-jihadist Muslim? Is he at all like London mayor Sadiq Khan, who currently is defending the arrest of a Christian street preacher?
One thing he certainly is, is ignorant. His citation of “violent” Bible passages is interesting, too, because I just examined this matter Thursday, referencing research from Bill Warner, director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam. Contrasting the violent political/religious language in Christianity and Islam, I wrote:
In the Koran, nine percent of the text is devoted to jihad, he [Warner] informed. Yet the Koran is only 16 percent of the Islamic canon, which also comprises the Sira and Hadith. Known together as the Sunna, these two books record what Mohammed did and said and, as Warner writes, form “the perfect pattern of all Islamic behavior.”
What is that pattern? In the Hadith, 21 percent of the text is devoted to jihad. And Sira?
A whopping 67 percent.
In all three books (known as the “Trilogy”) taken together, 31 percent of the words are devoted to jihad.
Note that this amounts to 327,547 words devoted to political/religious violence, versus just 34,039 in the Hebrew Bible. Yet even more striking is the number found in the New Testament, which tells the story of Christianity’s founder and foundation: Jesus.
Yet even this doesn’t tell the whole tale. Understand that the “political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place,” wrote Warner. “This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies. The violence remains a constant threat to all non-Islamic cultures, now and into the future.”
The proof is in the pudding, too. Just consider a German study involving 45,000 youths, whose results were reported in 2010. It found that increasing religiosity among Muslim youths actually made them more violent.
Yet increasing religiosity among Christian youths made them less violent.
That wouldn’t mean, mind you, simply less violent than the Muslims — but less violent than secular youths.
So the Home Office ignoramus may want to consider that whatever his religion/ideology, perhaps it is not one of peace.
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