WRF Board Chairman Discusses "The Present and Coming Christian Holocaust"
April 24 marked the one hundred year anniversary of the Armenian holocaust. As World War I began, the Ottoman Empire based in Turkey was collapsing. The Armenians were an ancient country in eastern Turkey that had been Christian since the beginning of our era. Some of them may have been the original readers of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians in the late 40s AD.
In any case, the Armenians had chafed under Turkish domination since Islamic armies had swept over the Middle East and North Africa. They had been murdered for their Christian faith or else forced to pay confiscatory taxes, but they had kept their faith and they had survived. There were a million and a half Armenians, perhaps two million. When countries in Eastern Europe threw off Muslim control in 1912 and 1913, Armenians saw their chance to be free.
In retaliation, the Turks slaughtered Armenians who were in the Turkish army. Then, beginning on April 24, they arrested the country’s intellectuals, the educated people, and executed tens of thousands of them. Finally, in the Spring of 1915 Turkish troops rounded up the entire population of Armenia, and force-marched a million and a half Armenian people to their deaths in the desert. Simply because they were Christians. Hitler’s annihilation of six million Jews twenty-five years later had nothing over the Turkish genocide against the Armenians except for greater numbers killed.
I have dear friends and family members whose grandparents and great grandparents narrowly escaped the killing. They tell stories of dramatic escapes and great sorrows. Today, scattered across America, these Armenian descendants still maintain their vibrant faith in Christ. The abhorrent truth however is that American presidents, including George W. Bush and Barrack Obama—under pressure to court an alliance with Turkey—refuse to utter the word genocide in referring to the national slaughter of the Armenian people.
Why do I bring this up? Because now, one hundred years later, it is happening all over again. A few days ago the world watched a thirty minute video produced by Muslim terrorists as they marched orange-suited Egyptian Christians to their execution. Half of them they shot point blank in the head and twenty-one others they decapitated. Egyptian Copts trace their heritage of faith in Christ back to Philip the Evangelist and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8).
ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaad have declared a renewed caliphate. Columnist Matt Walsh writes, “Believers are being blown up, incinerated, shot, and beheaded in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, Egypt, Libya, and many other nations. And this isn’t relegated solely to Islamic State-controlled countries, or even to Muslim ones. Although nine of the top 10 worst persecutors of Christians are Islamic, the worst of all is godless, communist North Korea.”
Very few express concern, however. Certainly not our national leaders. The President refuses to discuss Muslim atrocities. Instead, a few days ago he made snide comments about Christians’ “less than loving remarks” at a prayer breakfast in Washington. But even Christians here in America do not seem to care. I get it that that is there and this is here. And we are consumed with our own lives. But fellow Christian believers are being slaughtered. Dare we remain silent?
At the end of March I had the privilege of meeting with several Christian leaders who live and minister in the Middle East and Africa. They told of Christian churches raided, bloody attacks on worshipers, and of Christian villages targeted for eradication. One of these men, a man named Patrick, is the pastor of five churches. His wife and children have fled to another country for safety while he remains behind to minister to his distraught and grieving congregations. Put yourself in Patrick’s shoes.
There is more here than just Islamic hostility to Christians. There was more going on one hundred years ago as Armenians died and the world did not notice. In the book of Revelation John the apostle sees a vision of Satanic persecution. “And the dragon [the devil] was enraged with the woman [Israel], and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring [Christians], who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17) A cosmic war is being waged. And if you are a Christian, whether you feel it or not, you are in the midst of it. You are a target. Your kids are.
In Italy a few days ago, police arrested a Muslim terrorist (who had accidently shot himself) who was planning to blow up a church in Rome. St. Peter’s Basilica, the symbol of the Catholic Church, is targeted. It is reported that Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is also on the hit list. Don’t think you are safe as you go to church this Sunday. An ISIS camp has been located twenty miles from El Paso, Texas.
What can we do? The first thing is to pray. Make your personal prayer to God as each day dawns for persecuted believers around the world. Enlist your church to pray during worship each Sunday. Most churches don’t. Do not be deluded into thinking that prayer is merely words. When we pray we talk directly to the God of the Universe. Prayer changes things. Jesus said, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:14) Beyond that, say something! For God’s sake let your voice be heard—in Washington, in your community, among your friends and acquaintances. Tell your children. Get in the game! The Christian holocaust must be stopped.