Is It Persecution If No Violence Occurs?


English: Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Another incident has erupted in Lahore, Pakistan, as Muslims have raided a Christian school complex and threatened Christians there with violence.  The incident occurred after a local Muslim leader announced over the loudspeaker that Christians at the school were guilty of tearing pages from the Quran.  Within minutes, a mob had attacked the school and gained entrance to the Christian compound.

 

Fortunately, police also responded quickly, and no further violence ensued. No Christian was beaten or arrested. So, is this an incidence of Christian persecution?  Can there be persecution if no one is arrested, beaten, tortured, or imprisoned?  Yes, I think persecution can and does happen at times even when there is no violence.  Jesus is the reason I think this is true.

 

In Matthew 5:11, ‘Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.”

 

There are two main points in Matthew 5:11 which make it possible to have persecution even when there is no violence. This case in Lahore, Pakistan, provides a perfect example of Christian persecution without violence.  Here are the two reasons briefly explained.

 

First, notice that the blessing of Matthew 5:11 occurs for those who have had things said against them falsely. Insults and slanders are lumped into the broader blessing for the persecuted.  Jesus Himself faced these slanders, as some referred to him as a drunkard, while others said he did his work by the power of the Devil.  Jesus was not immune to falsehoods being levied against him, and neither will any of His followers be.  In Pakistan, Christians at this school were falsely accused of crimes they did not commit. Those false accusations were responsible for mob rioting.  The rioting was clearly anti-Christian persecution.

 

Second, and more important, the attacks were happening because of Christ. Ultimately, all persecution is against Christ Himself. So, in this case, the school was targeted because Christ is present there with His people.  The school is part of an outreach ministry. More than 100 Muslim students are getting a great education free of charge because the Christians are reaching out to them, attempting to help the poorest neighborhoods of the city by providing schooling free of charge. This is Christian love in action because it is empowered by Christ Himself.  The presence of Christ is on display, thus fueling the fires of persecution. Even as unbelievers hoped to silence Christ when He walked on earth, so, now, the same pattern is repeated against Christ’s body, the church.

 

We can be very thankful that this latest attack did not include violence.  We can be thankful that no one was killed or injured. But we can be certain that the harassment will continue because where Christ is present there will be opposition to Him. The darkness still hates the light.

 

 

Dishonorable Killings Continue


Lahore City Centre

Lahore City Centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just read this devastating account of a couple in Lahore, Pakistan, who killed their 16 year old daughter because she was talking to a young man. In many Shariah-compliant Muslim communities, parents are driven to kill their children (almost always their daughters) in order supposedly to preserve the honor of the Muslim family.

As I have written before, I cannot think of much that could be more dishonorable. Yet, this kind of killing is not uncommon. In Pakistan, for example, there have reportedly been at least 1,000 such killings this year. Astounding, isn’t it?

Pakistani Muslims Redefining Neighborhood Watch


Do you live in a subdivision that has a neighborhood watch? In America, we take this watch to mean that neighbors Persecution Pakistan Neighborhoodare looking out for one another, protecting each other from harm.  In a Pakistan neighborhood in Lahore, the neighborhood watch has taken the opposite turn.

According to this report, Ahmed Bhatti has organized Muslims in the Walton Road neighborhood to force Christians there either to convert, to leave their homes, or to die.  From the story,

Ahmed Bhatti on his microphone was shouting, ” I am giving Christians this invitation to convert to Islam otherwise they will face consequences” while announcement was made gathering of Muslims were raising Islamic Slogans.

Muslim persecution christians pakistan neighborhoodThere’s an invitation you just can’t refuse!  One Christian pastor–Rev. Dr. Jamil Nasir–recounts the horror his family faced while he was away at a meeting.  His wife was left to calm the screaming, panic-stricken children who were frightened by a group of Muslims gathered outside the house chanting threats.

I have a hard time imagining what this must be like for the residents of the neighborhood. Certainly, they need our prayers. What do you think you would do if your neighborhood were overrun by Muslims demanding that you convert or die?