Adding to the chaos flaring up across the globe is a new and growing evil that most western journalists seem inclined to ignore. As anti-Semitism rekindles in Europe, radical Islamist factions across the Middle East are openly persecuting Christian inhabitants of the Arab world. The western mainstream media and most citizens of the US seem oblivious to or unconcerned by the open hostilities aimed at Middle Eastern Christians and European Jews. Perhaps that attitude reflects not only that Christians have now joined Israel as targets of ridicule, disrespect and worse among the media and social elites. Those who dominate mainstream culture in the US now consider intolerance of Christians to be justified. American Christians and Jews must actively call attention to this rising tide of bigotry before it becomes completely legitimized, as it has in decades past.
To compare the growing persecution of Christians with the centuries of atrocities heaped upon Jews may strike many Jewish people as overly presumptuous. Historically, many Jewish people have believed Christianity bears much of the responsibility for the origins of anti-Semitism. However, Christianity and anti-Semitism are utterly incompatible from a Biblical perspective. Those who believe otherwise are either themselves deceived or deliberately choose to perpetuate the lie that the kinship between Christianity and Judaism was forever cleaved. Adolph Hitler and the Nazi regime claimed Christianity as their faith while perverting the truth of God’s Word to justify their quest to eradicate European Jews. Their satanic actions constituted mankind’s greatest perversion of the Christian faith.
Even today, many Christians continue to buy into a false theology regarding our Jewish brethren by negating the promises God made to Abraham as set forth in the Abrahamic Covenant. Clearly from Genesis to Revelation, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are called God’s Chosen people. The boundaries of the land of Israel were divinely deeded to the Jewish people and were carefully delineated by God in Scripture. True followers of Yeshua believe this truth is eternal and therefore, love and support Israel and the Jewish people without reservation. Christians and Jews need to unite under the power of God and His eternal promises to combat the reemerging evil threatening all His people.
The American conservative news organization, The Blaze, published a recent study by the European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights. The study confirmed that 90 percent of the world’s Jewish population currently resides in eight European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This report supports anecdotal accounts from European Jews that anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise again. The study finds that a majority of Jews living in Europe believe prejudices stemming from anti-Semitism are affecting their everyday lives in the form of hate speech, and verbal and physical assaults. Out of fear, many European Jews refrain from wearing any clothing that would identify them as Jewish. Some are considering migrating to other countries. New York Times best selling author, Joel Rosenberg recently stated, “day after day Israel is facing not only an onslaught of terrorism but an evil double standard. Israeli citizens have absorbed more than 3000 rocket attacks and numerous terror squads who have come from the Gaza strip to murder innocent men, women and children. Yet rather than receive encouragement from world democracies, which see a fellow democracy under attack, much of the world is turning against Israel. Anti-Semitic attacks are skyrocketing, especially in Europe.”
The most recent rise in persecution of Christians is happening in the Middle East. The militant group ISIS has as its goal the emergence of a Caliphate, an exclusively Muslim state. ISIS now dominates Iraq and Syria and has demanded that all inhabitants who are converted Christians either return to the Islamic faith or be killed. Christians born in the region have a third option of leaving the region. Ironically, in Iran, a revival of Christianity is taking place among Iranians. However, if discovered Iranian Christians are forced to leave the country or risk arrest. With the continued unrest in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Egypt also cannot guarantee safety for Christian worshipers.
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a counter terrorism expert at the National Defense University, fears we are witnessing not just the beginnings of a Christian holocaust in the Middle East, but also an increasing intolerance for Christians in western culture. While recently highlighting the lack of western media attention placed on Christian persecution in the Middle East, Dr. Gorka also asserted that postmodern secularists comprising most of the main stream media consider belief in God an indication of a lack of sophistication. This dangerous worldview allows the cultivation of an environment where persecution of Christians and Jews in the West becomes not only tolerated, but also somehow justifiable.
How can anti-Semitism and persecution of Christians be combated? First and foremost engage in prayer and fasting. Ask the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for deliverance and mercy in our times of trouble. We have not because we ask not. Read and pray the promises of scriptures. In Psalms 91 God promises: “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.” In the Christian Scriptures, Yeshua promises in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Give generously of your energy, time, and financial resources to reputable organizations that have formed to fight these injustices. Speak out in your different forums, schools, churches, synagogues, bible study groups,etc. Educate your communities, particularly community leaders. Do all these things with passion, persistence and faith. You can be sure the enemy is attacking with this same fervor!
As philosopher George Santayana famously stated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Not remembering the holocaust is a choice that carries with it a great and unimaginable price! Shall we never again underestimate the depths of evil unleashed on this world!
In a recent interview on Fox News Channel regarding the war in Israel, Joel Rosenberg stated, “I encourage the Prime Minister of Israel to call the nation to prayer and fasting…All the great Kings and leaders have done it. It would be time for the PM to do it as well.” This is also great advice in combating anti-Semitism and the persecution of Christians. In the US during times of National crisis, many of our Presidents have turned to prayer for our country and asked Americans to do so as well. It is time for President Obama to humble himself before the God of the Universe and call our country into a time of prayer and fasting.
Israel and America must remain united against evil. Genesis 12:3 is my favorite promise God made to Abraham regarding Israel. The promise affects all people and nations and bears remembering, sharing and repeating at every opportunity:
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”