Will Germany Help Syrian Christians

Deutsch: Dr. Angela Merkel Bundeskanzlerin der...

Deutsch: Dr. Angela Merkel Bundeskanzlerin der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Vorsitzende der CDU Deutschlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the founder of a ministry to the persecuted church, I am well aware of the serious degree to which Christians are suffering from North Korea around the globe and back to Malaysia. In Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, Christians are routinely beaten, imprisoned, or killed because their faith in Jesus Christ cannot stay secret or silent.

There is no doubt that Christians are the most persecuted people on the planet right now, but Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany and the daughter of a Christian pastor, has come under inexplicable fire for stating what ought to be obvious to all: Christians are in danger.

Thankfully, Chancellor Merkel has not cowered yet to the liberal pressure to stop standing up for Christians. In fact, Merkel recently called on Germany to exercise its right to defend Christians by welcoming the persecuted Christians from Syria. As I have chronicled before, Christians in Syria are being squeezed from both sides and are in severe danger of being wiped out completely in some areas.

Without a doubt, many in the German government will fight her efforts to protect and preserve Syrian Christians; so we must pray for Germany and for Merkel. We must be thankful that at least one European leader has the moral fortitude to see the violence for what it is and to actually reach out to those in greatest need, rather than sitting on the fence hoping not to “anger” those who are violently imposing their religion on all Syrians.

Thank you, Angela Merkel, and (hopefully) thank you, too, Germany.

Faithless Funerals

There is a controversy brewing in Houston, TX, between veterans and the Veterans Administration.  I am interested in the controversy for a couple of reasons.  First, I attended the funeral service of my wife’s grandfather not too long ago in Houston.  He was a veteran, and there was a veteran’s service for him at the Houston National Cemetery.  I preached at the service and called on God to bless the family with grace and peace.  I am not sure whether the veterans attending the service spoke the name of God to my mother-in-law.  But, if they wanted to wish her God’s grace and peace, they certainly should have had that right.

Second, and more fundamental to the cause of freedom, I am interested in this incident because of its shocking similarity to another incident in a society which once sought to eradicate references to God from funeral services. I am thinking, of course, of the National Socialism in Hitler’s Germany.

On June 12, 1934, Pastor Paul Schneider took a stand for freedom and was summarily arrested by the Nazi leaders in Dickenshied.  In the so-called cemetery incident, Pastor Schneider spoke against Heinrich Nadig, a Nazi official who sought to take over the funeral service and promote a fictional “Horst Wessel Troop” in heaven rather than allow Pastor Schneider to conduct a normal funeral service.  Pastor Schneider could not remain silent while a Nazi official replaced mention of the living God with a fictitious, heavenly “Horst Wessel Group,” invented by a Nazi sympathizer.  Thus, Pastor Schneider protested just as the people in this video are protesting now.  For his protests, he was arrested.

Pastor Schneider was released and arrested again repeatedly.  In October of 1937, Pastor Schneider was arrested for the fourth and final time.  He was sent to the concentration camp at Buchenwald, where he was eventually killed by his captors.  Upon his death, Pastor Paul Schneider became the first Christian martyr in Nazi Germany.  He was killed on account of his faith in Jesus Christ.  His persecution started with his stand for God and liberty at a funeral service.