CHRISTIAN SOLIDARITY WORLDWIDE
No informed Christian would doubt the reality of Christian persecution, especially within the 10/40 Window - the predominantly Muslim nations where evangelism and conversion to Christianity are often criminal offenses. We are neither in denial of this fact nor apologetic for the false religion of Islam. Nor are we indifferent to the plight of our suffering brethren in foreign lands. However, Scripture admonishes us to prove ALL things, since Satan's ministers are transformed as the ministers of righteousness. (I Thess. 5:21; II Cor. 11:15)
The purpose of this series is to examine the counter movement that is mobilizing thousands of Christian churches to political activism against global persecution. Is the religious persecution movement a Christian movement? Has the information disseminated to Christians been accurate? Who are the principal figures involved in leading this movement? Are they true Christians? Are they advocating Scriptural principles? If this is not a Christian movement, then whose agenda is being advanced?
Our research has discovered that modern Christians are being manipulated by ideological forces that are diametrically opposed to the faith of Jesus Christ. The Church has been infiltrated by change agents who have been trained to use the worthy ideals of Christianity to advance a larger agenda. Financed by wealthy foundations, these individuals have multiplied programs ostensibly dedicated to missions, prayer, revival, Bible study, Christian education, restoring marriage and the family, rescuing the unborn - and now Christian martyrs.
Because true Christians love righteousness and hate evil, they tend to join these movements without asking questions. The purpose of Watch Unto Prayer is to research these programs and movements and to present information that enables Christians to make informed judgments about them.
Publications on Christian Persecution
In January of 1997, Nina Shea of Freedom House, a front for the CFR, addressed the House International Relations Committee. Of 27 committee members, five are CFR: Jim Leach (IA), Douglas Bereuter (NE), Armory Houghton (NY), Thomas Campbell (CA), Lee Hamilton (IN). In her address, Mrs. Shea challenged the CFR-controlled State Department report on Sudan, which discounted the religious aspect of the 20-year war in that area:
"In human rights, in Freedom House's view, the State Department reports should evolve in accordance with our understanding of the various mechanisms of coercion and repression used by tyrannical regimes, and, when necessary, the Congress and State Department should make adjustments in the data that is collected...
"The Sudan report section on religion is grossly inadequate and seriously flawed. It focuses principally on the most trivial of problems faced by the beleaguered Christian, and non-Muslim community—issues such as discrimination in adoption rights and visa delays for missionaries. As in the past, the report as a whole misses the big picture by failing to sufficiently connect a devastating war that has left over 1.5 million dead and 3 million displaced with Khartoum's policy of forced Islamization.
"The report as a whole gives little hint of the relentless campaign of persecution against the Christian and non-Muslim populations because of religious reasons and that the war has become, as Khartoum itself has declared, a jihad, or holy war. It neglects to acknowledge the element of religious persecution in the discussion on slavery, mayhem, and other atrocities. It omits the critical assessments of Sudanese Catholic Bishop Macram Max Gassis and Christian Solidarity International that religious persecution in the Nuba mountains has reached genocidal proportions."Indeed, Evangelical organizations, together with Catholics and Jews, forged the compromise measures for the bill which finally passed the U.S. Congress on October 10 as the International Religious Freedom Act. This ecumenical endeavor was documented in a Hudson Institute memo to Rep. Frank Wolf:
"Broadening the President's waiver authority to permit reinstatement of 'any or all' non-humanitarian aid to persecuting countries, and further allowing reinstatement waivers on the ground that they will reduce persecution. (The latter provision, negotiated between the Family Research Council and the National Catholic Conference of Bishops, is attached)...
"Notwithstanding the above revisions, it is my understanding that two generally applicable amendments may be offered by Wolf-Specter opponents. These amendments are viewed by groups ranging from the Christian Coalition to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, from the Campaign for Tibet to the Southern Baptist Convention, from the Family Research Council to the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, from the National Jewish Coalition to the National Association of Evangelicals, as 'killer amendments.'"In the Lion's Den
In 1997, Nina Shea authored In the Lion's Den: Persecuted Christians and What the Church Can About It - a book which calls American Christians to account for their failure to be pro-active on behalf of their persecuted brethren throughout the world. Mrs. Shea contended that more Christians have died for their faith in the 20th century than in the previous 19 centuries combined. Mrs. Shea's definition of the term "Christian" includes a broad range of nominally Christian religions, including Catholics. Her estimate of twentieth century persecution presumes to reflect heavy persecution of Christians in Muslim-controlled nations (the 10/40 Window) where proclamation of the gospel is a criminal offense. It should be obvious, however, that these high statistics reflect the unprecedented slaughter of huge populations under Communist regimes of Russia and China.
According to In the Lion's Den, CFR-controlled Freedom House mailed 70,000 briefing packages on Christian persecution to church leaders nationwide. Another CFR-controlled institution, Hudson Institute, authored legislation requiring the U.S. President to impose sanctions against countries which persecute Christians. The International Religious Freedom Act was passed into law by Congress on October 10. The response of the Evangelical Christian community to this legislation has been overwhelmingly supportive, notwithstanding its provision to submit the United States to U.N. authority in order to secure the "rights" of Christians worldwide.
Mrs. Shea recommended that Christians appeal their cause to the U.N.
"The rights of Christians and other groups to practice their religions freely -- irrespective of the culture and custom of an area, or a Christian community's minority status -- is universally recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and numerous other international treaties and instruments." (1)The International Religious Freedom Act of 1988 contains the following provisions:
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS...Their Blood Cries Out
(9) RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
"The term 'religious persecution' means any violation of the internationally recognized right to freedom of religion, as defined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights...
SEC. 702. INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT.
"It is the sense of Congress that in negotiating the definitions of crimes to be included in the subject matter jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, the President should pursue the inclusion in such jurisdiction of gross violations of the right to religious freedom to the extent such violations fall within the meaning in international law of crimes against humanity or genocide."
A similar book by Paul Marshall, Their Blook Cries Out, The Untold Story of Persecution Against Christians in the Modern World (2) has been circulating in the Christian network with equal success. Marshall is a Senior Fellow in Political Theory at the Institute of Christian Studies, Toronto and an Adjunct Fellow at Claremont Institute in California. He also testified before the Helsinki Commission of the U.S. Congress. It should be noted that the president of Claremont Institute is Larry Arnn, who graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
LSE was founded and financed by the socialist Fabian Society in 1894. It was intended to be a long-term investment to educate and train an elite workforce to carry out the schemes of socialist reform. The LSE is now one of the largest schools of the University of London, having also an international reputation. The LSE also provides consultants to many organizations, including the UK government, international bodies such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. The Ford Foundation, which funds and whose members serve as trustees on the Council of Foreign Relations, provided a grant in 1967 to the LSE for a Centre for International Studies.
An established missionary organization, the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM), while not denying the fact of Christian persecution in Sudan, is one source on the field which seems to doubt the accuracy of these books in conveying the real numbers of Christian martyrs. The Summer issue of Servant Magazine quotes SIM Relief Coordinator, Don Stillwell:
"Both Shea's book and Paul Marshall's recent release Their Blood Cries Out embrace a wide spectrum of faith - immediate cause for some readers to unplug... Many of those cited are not born-again believers. Some are 'nominal' or cultural Christians, some are Roman Catholics, others are 'traditionalists.' SIM missionaries working in Sudan have seen moderate Muslims name Christ as a means of retaliation against looting Islamic factions. 'While many Christian women and children have been taken into slavery, it might be hard to make a case that this was done because they were Christians,' explains SIM's Relief Coordinator Don Stilwell. 'It may well be that they were abducted because they were black, or because their particular village or district didn't support enthusiastically the present regime.'"C.E. Carlson, the director of We Hold These Truths ministry, doubts Mrs. Shea's estimates on the basis of population statistics for Sudan:
"In fact, it is likely that only 5 to 10% of those killed were Christians, not the vast majority, as we have been consistently led to believe. This is about the percentage of Christians in the Sudanese population, so Ms. Shea and those who follow her lead are probably exaggerating by about ninety percent...Why is this statistical fudging so important in this day and age of Madison Avenue journalism? It is important because Nina Shea has been elevated to the authority on Christian persecution in Sudan. Her book, In the Lion’s Den, has become the standard, often quoted by others. But, if her basic figures are misleading, how valid are her conclusions? It is she, with her close ally, Caroline Cox of Christian Solidarity International, who have sold the idea of Christian slave trade in Sudan, moreover, her total body count of 1.3 million persons must also be examined with a jaundiced eye.
"Others who promote HR2431 have repeated Nina Shea’s precise words about death and slavery in Sudan over and over again until all but a few have come to accept them. One of hundreds of examples of this cloned distortion is found in The Prayer Journal for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, which has been sponsored by many of the same organizations that have taken the lead in selling HR2431. On page 13 under a heading 'Sudan' we read almost the exact same verbiage as Ms. Shea, except that the death number has grown to 1.5 million and homeless has been expanded to 5 million. Distortions grow!"
A previous Watch Unto Prayerreport on Freedom House included information on the Sudan Symposium sponsored by the same at Georgetown University on November 7-8, 1998. This facilitated meeting was designed to lay plans for a nationwide student protest movement against the Muslim government of Sudan. Featured as main speaker was the Baroness Caroline Cox, a member of the British House of Lords and the President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide:
College Symposium on a National Campaign of Conscience led by College Christians in Support of Persecuted Christians in Sudan.
"The purpose of the conference is to see whether Christian students from campuses across America can generate sufficient commitment and creative moral energy to effectively assist persecuted Christian populations in the Sudan. It will debate whether the Christian community here, led by Christian college students, can take action aimed at stopping the extremist Islamic regime in Khartoum from using genocidal tactics against Christians in southern Sudan in a war that is essentially over religious freedom. The Conference will feature Baroness Caroline Cox, who is among the world's most prominent opponents of anti-Christian persecution. The recipient of Prison Ministries' Wilberforce Award, she serves as Deputy Speaker of the British House of Lords. Baroness Cox has visited Sudan 20 times in the past three years and has personally redeemed over 1,000 Christian slaves from the open-air slave markets of that country."Last July, the Baroness Cox was honored at a Freedom Festival awards banquet in Provo, Utah with the Rev. Robert Schuller and Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is a Mormon. The location of the festival was Brigham Young University. Marriott Center provided tickets. Both are Mormon-owned. A profile of Baroness Caroline Cox on the Freedom Festival web site lists her impressive credentials:
"...deputy speaker of the House of Lords since 1985 and Life Peer since 1985, former Head of Sociology Department at Polytechnic of North London and Director of Nursing Education Research at Chelsea College at the University of London; heavily involved with international humanitarian and human rights work, serving as a non-executive director of the Andre Sakharov Foundation, a trustee of Medical Emergency Relief International (MERLIN) and the Siberian Medical University; President of Christian Solidarity-UK; recipient of the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and Wilberforce Award for humanitarian work; awarded Honorary Fellowship of Royal College of Surgeons of England and honorary doctorates by universities in the UK, the United States, Russia and Armenia; Chancellor of Bournemouth University, Vice President of the Royal College of Nursing, President of the Institute of Administrative Management; Honorary Fellow of the University of Westminster, the City and Guilds of London Institute and the University of Luton."In 1997, Christianity Today carried a story: "Through bombs and bullets: Baroness Caroline Cox offers aid and advocacy to persecuted Christians." This heroine of the persecuted church is acclaimed by CT to have written a book, The Rape of Reason, The Corruption of the Polytechnic of North London "in which she upbraids the 'physiognomy of hatred' propagated by hardline Marxist/Leninist esprit breeding at the school."
We discovered that the co-authors of this book with Caroline Cox were Keith Jacka and John Marks. Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake, now the Governor General and Prime Minister of New Zealand, is found on the list of Famous Freemasons.
The late husband of the Baroness was Murray Cox, a notable British psychiatrist, author and lecturer. One of his respected works, Shakespeare as Prompter: The Amending Imagination and the Therapeutic Process, was commended by a reviewer as "a way of writing about psychotherapeutic matters missed since Jung."
Murray Cox lectured at the Centre for the Study of Theology at the University of Essex, which was officially opened in February of 1988 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie. As an Anglican institution, the Centre's research subjects include: theology and social criticism, research on embryos, AIDS and sexual ethics, the status of animals, the use of armed force, environmental concerns, human rights, inter-faith understanding. In April of 1997, just months before his death, Murray Cox lectured at the Centre on the subject, "'Grasping the Whirlwind' - Where Forensic Psychotherapy, Poetry and Theology Meet."
The Baroness left the Scottish
Presbyterian Church and Dr. Cox the Methodist Church to join the Church
of England. However, Charisma
Magazine was pleased to report the ecumenical mindset of the Baroness,
who stated, "I'm happy in Baptist or charismatic churches, as in Roman
Catholic churches," she says. "The gifts of the Spirit are very widely
Britain's Education Reform Act
As deputy speaker of the British House of Lords, Baroness Cox was responsible for passage of the 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA) which (thesis) required all new agreed syllabuses for school curricula to "reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain." This new law led to a complaint that the general curriculum was devoid of specific content on the various religions:
"The main grounds of criticism was the lack of specific content on Christianity and the non-Christian faiths. Syllabuses were vague and focused on skills and aims or themes between religions. They did not set out a body of knowledge to be studied in Christianity and the other faiths."To fulfill the mandate of the House of Lords, a guidance letter was issued to all curriculum producers that a syllabus must : "give sufficient guidance to the reader, and thus the teacher, as to what Christian traditions, learning, teaching and festivals are going to be taught and what elements are going to be taught in respect of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain."
This led to complaints (antithesis)
that in-depth study of non-Christian religions were lacking in curricula.
To satisfy these demands, it was agreed (consensus) that 50% percent of
religious education would cover the in depth study of Christian traditions
and 50% the non-Christian faiths. Due to the education reform legislation
introduced by the Baroness Cox (and the dialectical process), public schools
in Great Britain now teach children comparative religions.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Baroness Cox is President of the Board of Management of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. Serving on CSW's Board of Referents is U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf, sponsor of HR2431, the Freedom From Religious Persecution bill. The web site of Christian Solidarity Worldwide indicated the political influence of this organization in the UK, US and worldwide, as their name states:
"Over 100 Parliamentarians in Westminster and Brussels regularly support CSW by taking up cases of persecuted Christians. CSW staff working in the British and European Parliament as well as the United Nations are able to brief key decision makers, and regular delegations to Embassies ensure that governments are well aware of our concerns."
Baroness Cox, Frank Wolf and several members of the Board of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (formerly Christian Solidarity International) are members of the Anglican Church and/or Evangelical Christians of the Charismatic variety - this information according to the Executive Intelligence Review:
"In this regard, consider U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), a member of the international board of referents of Baroness Cox's blood-smeared British intelligence front, Christian Solidarity International (CSI). Wolf has made the Toronto Airport church his own spiritual stopping point, where the participants fall in heaps, jerk about on the floor, and bark.
"Lady Cox is the Anglican high priestess of the Pentecostals. An August 1997 Charisma magazine story, headlined 'Just Call Her Saint Caroline,' explains, 'Baroness Caroline Cox--a member of London's House of Lords -- is spending lots of her time in war zones these days. She's dodging bullets to help the world's persecuted Christians.... She attends mainline Anglican churches but says she also enjoys 'the sort of robust and very expressive forms of worship' found in charismatic fellowships.... Many CSI board members and supporters are from the more evangelical and charismatic end of the church spectrum, she notes."
Several organizations have challenged the motives of Baroness Cox and Christian Solidarity Worldwide, claiming that the stated humanitarian objectives serve as a cover for British and American imperialism. The Sudan Foundation is a London-based organization whose purpose is "to improve awareness and understanding between the peoples of the United Kingdom and the Sudan." The Sudan Foundation web site is a good source of alternative information on this issue.
According to the Sudan Foundation, reports slavery reemerged after a 40 year respite "in the mid-and-late 1980s in the course of the civil war being fought in parts of central and southern Sudan between central government [of Sadiq al-Mahdi] and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army under John Garang." In an Open Letter to Baroness Cox and Christian Solidarity International, director Sean Gabb questioned the Baroness' close association with Juang Garang, leader of the terrorist SPLM/A. We quote here a portion of that letter:
"Much of your work and that of Christian Solidarity International on Sudan has centred on allegations of slavery within that country... Paradoxically you have openly associated, and continue to associate yourself, with people and organisations closely identified with what would clearly qualify by your definition, and that of several human rights organisations, as slavery and forced labour. These people and organisations include Sadiq al-Mahdi, the Umma party president and prime minister of Sudan from 1986-89, and John Garang and his faction of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). Several of your visits to Sudan, for example, are within areas of the country controlled from time to time by SPLA gunmen.
"As detailed further on in this letter, reports on Sudan by Christian Solidarity International have lacked any sense of balance and objectivity and have been somewhat selective in their reading of recent Sudanese history. The reports, for example, have made no mention of the thousands of adult black Sudanese and young boys who have been abducted or kidnapped by the SPLA and subjected to forced conscription and forced labour, practices which by your own definition qualify as the practice of slavery...
"Given the above facts about John Garang and his organisation it is somewhat jarring to read in Christian Solidarity International's June 1996 report that you recommend support for 'the efforts of the SPLM/A...to promote the values and institutions of civil society'. You also claim that 'the SPLM/A shows a serious commitment to the implementation of principles and policies for the promotion of peace and justice'. [CSI Visit to Sudan, June 10-15 1996, Christian Solidarity International, London.]"
"Baroness Cox, your close association with both John Garang and Sadiq al-Mahdi, when coupled to your obviously sincere concern about slavery and slavery-like practices is confusing given that most, if not all, human rights organisations and commentators date the "slavery" issue to the mid-to-late 1980s, when the government of Sadiq al-Mahdi armed tribal militias against the SPLA."
In 1997, C.E. Carlson charged that unwarranted allegations by CSW (CSI) and the CFR establishment were responsible for the sanctions imposed against Sudan by President Clinton:
"Sudan has been victimized by a massive propaganda blitz organized primarily through certain non-government organizations (NGOs), notably Freedom House, Christian Solidarity International and the defense establishment related Hudson Institute. Michael Horowitz, Director, Projects for Civil Justice at Hudson Institute, the author of the so called FREEDOM FROM RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION ACT (HR2431), circulated a memo dated October 16th that goes hand in glove with Mr. Clinton’s action and does much to explain the administration’s move to sanction Sudan."Sanctions harm only the innocent, argues Carlson who further charged that Freedom House anti-Sudan misinformation legitimized U.S. bombing of the pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum - an act which destroyed one half of Sudan's medical supplies:
WHTT Responds to a Letter from Freedom House
"Was not Freedom House started by Wendell Wilkie and the President's wife, Eleanor Roosevelt in 1943, and wasn't its initial purpose to promote the United Nations Charter, which was approved a few years later? Isn't it also true that the majority of the board of directors, who we must assume control Freedom House's agenda, are members of the Council on Foreign Relations? The Council on Foreign Relations has projected an anti-Islamic editorial policy since at least 1983, which you can read about in We Hold These Truths Journal, The Warmaker's Attack On Religious Fundamentalism. It appears the bombing of the medicine plant in Khartoum is part of an agenda to tighten the sanctions on Sudan that Bill Clinton placed there by Executive Order on November 4, 1997. The Administration has put forth no evidence that provided the slightest excuse for this act. In taking away malaria drugs for survival in the swamps of Sudan, this has every appearance of a deliberate act to destroy the immune system of a starving country."The Baroness Cox has made numerous fact-finding and relief missions to Sudan, which have issued in shocking reports of Christian genocide and slavery undertaken with full support of the Islamic government. These allegations are addressed in an open letter to Baroness Cox by the Sudan Foundation:
Propaganda and Distortion:
Allegations of Slavery and Slavery-Related Practices
"Given the present hostility of the United States government to the Sudanese state, it is interesting to note the references to slavery contained in the Department of State's comprehensive human rights publication, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The 1990 entry on Sudan touches on several of the issues mentioned above: 'Slavery reportedly exists in those remote areas where government control is weak and where displaced persons fleeing the war zones come into contact with armed groups...The revival of slavery is often blamed on economic pressure and the civil war, especially the practice of arming tribal militias.'  The 1992 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices quite clearly states that: 'Sudanese law prohibits forced or compulsory labor and there was no evidence of organised or officially sanctioned slavery.'"In 1997, the German Bundestag issued a Resolution of the same opinion, with initiatives to counter the British/US imperialism in Africa. On the Sudan Foundation web site, this Resolution is preceded by an introduction by director, Sean Gabb (para. 1):
"That the causes of this civil war cannot be reduced - as so many in London and Washington would have us believe - to a simple conflict between the Islamic North and the Christian South, in which we as Christians are obliged to side with our co-religionists. It is, instead, a conflict based on differences of tribe, of culture, of historical development, of competition for scarce resources, and of much else besides. The Resolution, indeed, notes that there are differences often just as violent within the northern and southern parties to the civil war. It does not note the obvious truth, that the Christians make up no more than five per cent of the entire Sudanese population, and about 15 per cent of the southern population; and that therefore if the civil war really had been all about religion, it would have been over decades ago, with the north as clear winners. But what it does note about the causes of the civil war is very different from the official line within much of the English-speaking world."German Bundestag Resolution
"In the Sudanese civil war, which has lasted since 1955, with only eleven years' respite 3 million people have died. The war has also led to one of the biggest refugee movements in the modern world. Five million Sudanese have been displaced inside the country, 500,000 of them in neighbouring countries.
"Every attempt to portray the civil war to a conflict between the Islamic North and the Christian South misconceives the multi-dimensional nature of the problem. The causes are also to be sought in the divergent interests of the many ethnic groups and in the different economic development rates in the North and South of the country, which have derived from the unequal distribution of land."Critics of the religious persecution movement seem to agree that Sudan has been chosen as the sacrificial lamb to be offered on the global altar by high priests of the new world religion - whose totalitarian agenda requires religious monitoring on a worldwide scale. In this regard, C.E. Carlson's letter of rebuttal to Freedom House is worth reading, a portion of which is quoted here:
"FREEDOM HOUSE has used Sudan as a scapegoat to promote the FREEDOM FROM RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION ACT, which would set up an American agency, the ORPM to do exactly what you are advocating, monitoring the very thoughts of other people and governments and punishing them at the will of one man, the Director of the ORPM. You should ask yourself, what is the real reason Freedom House wants RELIGIOUS MONITORS? The president's illegal act of bombing Sudanese civilians shows us exactly why we do not want an appointed ORPM who could not be questioned for acts of this kind."
Sudan is not the only victim of the global strategists. The religious persecution movement is part of a grand design for the strategic use of Christianity as a tool for expanding the power of the United Nations. A religious crusade is underway which will eliminate all impediments to the gospel of consensus and Muslims do not have a reputation for conforming to the consensus model. Those who have noted the recent resurgence of medieval orders of knighthood may begin to understand how the Roman Catholic Church once mobilized public opinion and powerful armies to crush the Islamic threat to "Christianity," aka Rome. Nine hundred years later, Modern Crusades have commenced again with the support of Evangelical Christendom:
"Most Americans, including some media Christian and conservative leaders, have been subtly influenced to accept a new era of war in which our own armed forces become glorified mercenaries at the behest of the United Nations. Operating through the establishment media, the Warmaker dominated establishment media has openly promoted a new enemy to replace the Soviet Union. That enemy is religious, not political, for this war is to start as a religious crusade. The Warmakers have picked the Islamic nations as their new enemy, and they have already engineered the destruction of Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia. Sudan and Iran are to be next. In order to condition the American Christians to accept acts of genocide against the Muslim world the Warmakers have undertaken a massive propaganda program that has unfolded in stages."Dr. Miguel Martinez, whose involvement in the religious persecution issue has been to expose the international cult apology network, has also a degree in Arabic language and literature and has worked briefly with the University of Alexandria in Egypt. He suggested to us that the recent legislation may serve to further associate Christianity with U.S. aggression in the Muslim mind - a sure hindrance to missionary efforts:
"Muslims think in terms of religion. They find it hard to think of the West in any way except as 'Christian', and the West has meant: - a century of humiliating defeats, military occupation and corrupt rulers supported by the West (the French occupied Algeria to avenge their ambassador, slapped with a fly-whisk for suddenly demanding full repayment of debts from an almost bankrupt country). - the creation of artificial states in a world which had no notion of 'frontiers'.
- Oil, which on the one hand made the Near East a carefully controlled petrol tank for the West, and on the other led to the creation of a tiny and extraordinarily corrupt elite of millionaires who spend most of their time running after girls in London.
- The creation of Israel.
- The induction of unending strife.
- Such humiliation as the seven-year embargo on Iraq which has led to the death of about 1 million people so far.
"It is unfair that resentment for such treatment should fall on the shoulders of local Christians; however this resentment will only increase if the US 'proves' that its military might and Christian missionaries are one and the same thing, through 'anti-persecution' laws which violate what is left of the sovereignty of other countries."Violation of Sudan's sovereignty, in fact, forms the basis of litigation to be initiated against the Baroness Cox, according to the University of Pennsylvania African Studies newsletter:
"The Sudanese government is said to be taking steps to sue Baroness Caroline Cox, a member of the British House of Lords for contravening the Sudanese passport and immigration laws. 'She uses human rights issues as a pretext to realize her political aims against the Sudanese government', a Sudanese government official said. The British human rights activist has paid several visits to rebel held areas in Southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountain region in southwest Sudan to the disappointment of the Khartoum government which has been accusing her of violating Sudan's sovereignty and supporting the Sudanese rebels."A Memo from Hudson Institute's Michael Horowitz (author of HR2431) to Rep. Frank Wolf (sponsor of HR2431) substantiates that the United States is involved in a conspiracy to overthrow the government of Sudan:
"As such, all coalition members believe that Wolf-Specter’s Sudan provisions -- operating in concert with covert U.S. military aid already provided to overthrow the Sudanese regime -- should and will rapidly help bring down the Sudanese regime precisely as anti-apartheid laws cause to happen to South Africa’s former regime. Among other things, this is the way, and in the coalition’s view the only way, to ensure the long-term stability of our gum arabic trade."NOTE: "...our gum arabic trade" is a reference to the substance used in American soft drinks, for which the United States relies primarily upon Sudan. The U of PA African Studies newsletter documents the extent of American greed which would impose sanctions, but then move to protect its own interests by overthrowing the Sudanese government -- an extreme measure which will insure a steady supply of a raw material for American pop:
"GUM ARABIC - THE STICKING POINT? 'The Sudanese government has no friends on Capitol Hill and no lobbying clout. But that was before the gum arabic lobby woke up,' says the Washington Post. 'Minute Maid Orange Soda, Ultra SlimFast diet drinks, Coricidin, M&Ms and scores of other everyday products, it seems, are made with gum arabic, a derivative of the acacia tree... [Sudan] is the source of 70% to 90% of the world's supply. Without gum arabic, fruit particles in fruit drinks would sink to the bottom of the can ...Many candies, printing inks, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics would not be the same."
It is clear from current events that the Muslim nations are on a collision course with Western powers. The New Age Movement is committed to the abolition of Islam, as well as Christianity and Judaism. Bible prophecy foretells that the Muslim nations will come under the severe judgment of God for their persecution of Israel in the latter days. Given this certainty and the added condition of Christian persecution by Muslims, does the God permit or encourage believers to participate in the subversion of Islamic governments?
In responding to this question, we may not avoid the directives in the Word of God which address the issue of the Christian's relation to governing authorities. We must apply Scripture to this relationship, be it with the corrupt government of the United States, the communist government of the Republic of China or the extremist Muslim government of Sudan.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1)The overriding spiritual crisis of the moment is not the extent of Christian persecution in the Islamic nations. It is rather that, through their unscriptural response to persecution, large numbers of Christians here and abroad have allowed the secular State to manipulate and exploit the Church to serve its political agenda. They have opened the door for a counter movement which, as the dialectical process led to a 50/50 curriculum on comparative religion in British education, will provide the impetus needed for the consolidation of world religions. Even worse, by conforming to this world system (whose special interest groups continually complain and litigate for their ill treatment) a portion of the Church has forfeited its spiritual power and witness in the world.
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king." (I Peter 2:13, 14, 17)
Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work. (Titus 3:1)
Disciples of Jesus Christ in every nation may soon be confronted with severe persecution. As such, we need to rethink our responses to this fact of the Christian life in terms of Scripture. Do protest and resistance fulfill the mandate of our Lord? What about retribution and retaliation? Or subversion of governing authorities?
The sobering issue of martyrs in foreign lands should cause the devout Christian to reflect upon the supreme example of martyrdom given by our Lord Jesus Christ. How many modern heroes of the faith have identified with Jesus as they took up the cross and followed their Lord to an ignominious death? And how like the well-intentioned Evangelical activists of today was Jesus' own disciple, Peter, who sought to hinder God's will in this matter: "But Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, 'Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.'" (Mt. 16:22)
Jesus recognized at once the source of this temporal mindset. Scripture records that he turned and said to Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." With His view, as always, on the eternal reward, the Lord Jesus set forth for his disciples the foundational teaching on Christian suffering and martyrdom:
"Then Jesus said unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul." (Mt. 16:22-26)Three centuries of relentless persecution would follow the death and resurrection of Christ, all directed at His fledgling Church. When the Roman Emperor Constantine ascended to power c. 325 A.D., he commanded that the persecutions cease throughout the Roman Empire. Rather than instituting true freedom of religion, however, Constantine synthesized all religions. In a short period of time, every Roman citizen would be required to be baptized as a member of the Roman Catholic Church - a model of consensus between paganism and Christianity.
Tertullian was a second century Roman who had persecuted the Christians but converted to Jesus Christ as he observed their faith. In The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels described the opportunistic nature of heresies as escape routes from persecution:
"...Tertullian traces the rise of heresy directly to the outbreak of persecution. This, he says, impelled believers to look for theological means to justify their cowardice: This among Christians is a time of persecution. When, therefore, the faith is greatly agitated and the church on fire...then the gnostics break out; then the Valentinians creep forth; then all the opponents of martyrdom bubble up...for they know that many Christians are simple and weak, and...they perceive that they will never be applauded more than when fear has opened the entries of the soul, especially when some terrorism has already arrrayed with a crown the faith of martyrs."Indeed, wrote Tertullian, the siren call to evade the martyr's crown is a heresy per se:
"...To what he considers 'heretical' arguments against martyrdom Tertullian replies: Now we are in the midst of an intense heat, the very dogstar of persecution...the fire and the sword have tried some Christians, and the beasts have tried others; others are in prison, longing for martyrdoms which they have tasted altready, having been beaten by clubs and tortured...We ourselves, having been appointed for pursuit, are like hares being hemmed in from a distance---and the heretics go about as usual!' This situation, he explains, inspired him to attack as heretics those 'who oppose martyrdom, representing salvation to be destruction,' and 'who call encouragement to martyrdom foolish and cruel'". (3)A foundational teaching of the Christian life is the disciple's identification with the cross of Christ, and many heresies negate this spiritual principle. It is for this reason that Jesus required His disciples to be as their Lord, scorning the flattery and compromises offered by this world system which would ease their suffering. The goal of the disciple must at all times be the eternal salvation of souls, not the temporal salvation of his own body.
We are told that such will be treated as the offscouring of the world - like the prophets of old who "...were tortured, not accepting deliverance . . . others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword . . . being destitute, afflicted, tormented..." Yet of these who declared that they were seeking a better country (of whom the Master declared the world to be unworthy) we are told they were promised a better resurrection. (Heb. 11:35-40)
Articles on the web site of the Sudan Interior Mission indicate that, rather than hindering the spread of the Gospel, persecution causes the Church of Jesus Christ to flourish:
Persecution Spurs Church Growth
Sudanese Come to Christ despite Persecution, War, and Poverty
Jailed Missionary Leads 36 Prisoners to Christ
Freedom From Religious Persecution
1. Nina Shea, In the Lion's Den, Persecuted Christians and What the Church Can About It , Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997, p. 2.
2. Paul Marshall, Lele Gilbert, Their Blood Cries Out : The Untold Story of Persecution Against Christians in the Modern World, Word Books, 1997.
3. Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, Vintage Books, 1979, p. 106.