Friday, February 14, 2014

Persecution of Christians!

This week on 'The Hal Lindsey Report'

Every year, an organization called Open Doors publishes its "World Watch." It includes a list of the fifty countries in the world guilty of the worst persecution of Christians. This year, North Korea and Somalia topped the list. Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan rounded out the top five.

That means that the United States is heavily involved with three of the five worst offenders in the world. Further, Libya was placed in the category of "Extreme Persecution" and Egypt received a "Severe Persecution" rating. The U.S. helped the rebels overthrow the government in Libya and the Administration helped bring Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt.

Before the "Arab Spring" uprising, Syria was known for its religious tolerance (not its political tolerance). Though President Bashar al-Assad has plenty of blood on his hands, the violence toward Christians in Syria is not being perpetrated by the government. The killing and torturing of Christians is primarily the work of the Syrian rebels -- the U.S.-supported Syrian rebels. It's almost incomprehensible to me that the side supported by the United States in the Syrian civil war is the one murdering and pillaging Christians.

Likewise, in Egypt the severe persecution and attacks on the ancient Coptic Christian population is the work of Muslim factions in the country and encouraged by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Middle East and Islam expert Raymond Ibrahim made a startling observation: "Whenever the U.S. intervenes in an Islamic nation, Islamists come to power... (and) Christian minorities suffer 'extreme persecution.'"

The "Arab Spring" has turned out to be one of the great disasters of human history, yet there seems to be no accountability. The U.S. pours billions of dollars into these countries or into the opposition forces, yet seems to have no influence with them or refuses to use it on behalf of any persecuted Christians.

Why do we empower forces hostile to Christianity when those forces are also inevitably hostile to all things western, especially the United States? As a nation, we are destroying ourselves -- and allowing the destruction of millions of others -- with the notion that Christianity and Islam are essentially the same.

Not only is this idea false, it's deadly.

Just as alarming as America's unwitting support of Christian persecution around the world is the immediate prospect of that same persecution coming to the one nation that all the world describes as "Christian." But, then, it's hardly surprising to see the rise of corruption when the best influence to the contrary -- the Bible -- is being discarded as if it were a deadly infection.

Recently, New York's governor Andrew Cuomo told a radio interviewer that "extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay... have no place in the state of New York." New York's new mayor quickly seconded that motion, "...100 percent."

Cuomo later tried to walk that statement back by saying that he meant the extremists had no place in New York politics. But two of the three issues he mentioned are moral issues, not political ones. If you're a conservative and/or a Christian living in New York, you're probably starting to feel a little unappreciated about now.

But don't be distressed if you are pro-traditional marriage, pro-life, and even pro-Jesus, because the hatred you're beginning to feel from the world is not directed at you. It's a hatred of Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus Himself warned that this would happen in these last days. He said, "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you ... because you are not of this world... therefore the world hates you ... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you."

American Christians are surely headed toward dark days of persecution. I believe this will start as a general dismissal of our claims (which are the claims of Christ) by the society at large. We are already beginning to feel the discomfort that comes with the ridiculing of what we believe by academia, the media, and big government. It will then move through marginalization to recrimination to discrimination to ostracization to criminalization. Once Christian behavior and thought are "criminalized," Christianity can then be effectively and finally removed from the society by the removal of Christians from that society.

You don't think that can happen? 

It's already happening to our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.

You don't think that can happen in America?

 The process has been at full throttle for at least a generation. And this week, I'll give you a few examples of how, right here in the good old USA, Christians are increasingly not welcome in school, in the military, in the media, in business, in government, and even in public.

Of course, there is no way I can even begin to scratch the surface of what's happening here in "Christian" America in one half-hour program, but I believe you will be stunned when you begin to consider how rapidly major changes are happening. Changes thought impossible just a few decades ago. Changes that were foretold by the ancient Bible prophets.

Don't miss this week's Report here Sunday.

God Bless,

Hal Lindsey