This week, Canadian, M.P. and Conservative, Candice Bergen (not to be confused with the American actress of the same name), took the opportunity to make a public statement on behalf of Christians.
In direct contrast to the vicious ambiguity employed by leading Democrats in the United States, who referred to the victims of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, as “Easter Worshippers”, Bergen spoke plainly. The Canadian Conservative M.P. acknowledged that the perpetrators of the attacks were Islamic extremists who had deliberately targeted the Christian community in Sri Lanka.
Addressing the Canadian parliament, Bergen urged the West to take a stand against unprecedented levels of Christian persecution around the world. Included in her brief statement, was an appeal to Western leaders to discontinue their apathetic response to the violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. In addition, Bergen said that it was time for Western governments to take active steps against the subtle persecution of Christians living within their borders.
Bergen’s speech also included the fact that:
Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. They’re targeted by Islamic extremists in countries like Pakistan, Iran and Nigeria; and by Communist regimes in China and North Korea.
Here in the West we see a subtle persecution. For example, if you are a Christian in the West and you believe in creation or the teachings of the Bible be prepared to be mocked and ridiculed by many, including some of your own political leaders. And if you have social beliefs based on your Christian convictions you might be denied government funding. This is shameful!
And as uncomfortable as it might make some, it must be called out. It’s time we stand up for all religious freedoms. We must lead by example and reject all violence and persecution of people because of their faith and beliefs.
According to a recent Open Doors USA fact sheet, ‘245 million Christians experience high levels of persecution in 50 countries. The top of this list is North Korea, with Islamic oppression fueling Christian persecution in 8 of the top 10. 1 in 9 Christians experience high levels of persecution worldwide. 4,136 Christians have been killed for faith-related reasons. 2,625 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned, and 1,266 churches or Christian buildings were attacked.’
The Sri Lanka bombings killed 250 people (a figure that was rounded down from 290) and injured close to 500 more. Most of who were Christians.
Candice Bergen’s statement to the Canadian parliament appears to be unique among world leaders and journalists, most of whom remain aloof, and silent, in the shadow of an unprecedented level of persecution and hostility towards Christians around the world.
Bergen’s brief statement echoes the boldness of Winston Churchill’s warnings to a sedated and automatically dismissive bureaucratic caste throughout the 1930s. The difference is that the automatic dismissal from such a political caste is now toxically laced with an anti-Christian sentiment and a blatant, academically seasoned prejudice, (if not outright irrational and hypocritical intolerance) of Christianity.
As Margaret Thatcher, another famous Conservative politician reminded the world following an assassination attempt on her life:
“Winston Churchill’s warning is just as true now as when he made it many, many years ago: ‘Once you take the position of not being able in any circumstances to defend your rights against aggression, there is no end to the demands that will be made nor to the humiliations that must be accepted.’
“He knew, and we must heed his warning.”1