For the last couple of years we haven’t heard much about the “war on Christmas” here in the U.S., for good reason: political correctness is more annoying than threatening. But around the world, there is an actual war on Christmas, which we have seen in the headlines over the past few days.
In Nigeria, on Christmas Eve, “[m]ultiple explosions in central Nigeria have killed 32 people and six others died in attacks by Muslim sect members on two churches in the north….” In the Philippines, “[a] bomb exploded during Christmas Day Mass at a chapel inside a police camp…, wounding a priest and 10 churchgoers.” In Cyprus, “troops in northern occupied Cyprus entered at least seven Greek Orthodox churches, stopped the worship services, threw out the people, and in at least one case forced a priest to remove his clerical dress.” In England, Muslims have mounted a “Christmas is evil” campaign, as shown in this poster:
That’s not to mention what is happening in Iraq, where nearly all Christians outside the Kurdish north discreetly refrained from celebrating Christmas this year.
In all of these instances, what is going on is a war, not just against Christmas, but against Christians. In this year’s Christmas message, Pope Benedict, to his credit, did refer to the persecution of Christians around the world:
May the love of “God-with-us” grant perseverance to all those Christian communities enduring discrimination and persecution, and inspire political and religious leaders to be committed to full respect for the religious freedom of all.
Benedict singled out China as a persecutor of Christians, but otherwise was discreet as to the source of such persecution. Yet it is not in China where Christians gathering to celebrate Christmas are in danger of being massacred. I continue to be mystified as to why Christians in America and other developed countries are so indifferent to the fate of their fellow Christians overseas.