Horrible. Just horrible. Let’s stand with our brothers and sisters and lift them up.
A spasm of religious violence came to this rural town in the shape of an angry Muslim mob Saturday morning. The Muslims marched to avenge what they believed was the desecration of a Koran one week earlier. When it was over, dozens of houses were torched and Faith Bible Pentecostal Church lay in ruins. Two villagers were shot dead, residents said. Five others, including two children, burned alive.
Killing has become commonplace in Pakistan. But this attack startled the country both for its ferocity and for its stark message to religious minorities. Many saw the violence as further evidence of the growing power of the Taliban and allied Islamist militant groups in Punjab province, home to about half of Pakistan’s population.
“They have made up their minds to crush Christianity. They always call us dogs of America, agents of America,” said Romar Sardar, an English teacher from the area. “There has been no protection by the police. Nothing.”
More detail is provided on Crosswalk.com.
14 thoughts on “Anti-Christian atrocities in Pakistan”
I think your comment must be pertaining to the atrocity in Tel Aviv in which gay youths were killed, not the atrocity in Pakistan in which Christians were attacked.
Mission America asks:
No, those who “bravely stand up against the deviance of homosexuality” are not responsible for all crime against gays. Maybe none of it. And yes, It would be “wildly irresponsible, unjust and inaccurate” to blame them for all of it. We don’t know what motivated these shootings. Maybe homosexuality had nothing to do with it.
But maybe just a little part of anti gay sentiment is inflamed by the message that says gays all have an “agenda”, are “anti-Christian” and that they are psychologically and morally inferior to straights. Or maybe those who already hate gays just use that message as justification for their violence.
I have seen signs at Gay Pride events that say, “Suffer not a sodomite to live”. Of course, this is a hateful fringe — and not representative of real Christians.
Let the war go. These kinds of actions are meant to ignite more violence and shower blame to one community or the other. Suffice to say – we do not have all the information to even be discussing these issue save we discuss peaceable actions only.
And another correction (dang, I should have proofread):
Should be its, not it’s.
I meant Iran, not Iraq.
All the more reason for you to know better, then. Of course it has always been a global religion. That’s not the point. The point is that this is a political and cultural war and religion is just a subcategory of that, a handy target.
You might cringe, but it should come as no surprise to you if you have studied the geopolitico as well as religious/cultural aspects of such accusations as I would think you would have.
People will, out of their bitterness and anger, always choose two things with which they are in conflict and “equate them” whether that is fair or not, whether that is rational or not. Surely as a minority, gay people know this as well as anyone.
example: Pedophilia, homosexuality.
People who wish to show their contempt for Western thought will choose America to vilify, even if such thought can be traced back to the Greeks, even if a more modern conception/manifestation and illustration of such thought can be traced back to the British and the Magna Carta.
You really don’t think people who committed these acts of violence are about to vilify the peoples of Southeast Asia who are Christian, do you? What, you expect them to shout, “Death to the Vietnamese? Death to all Filipinos”? Or, do you think they are about to attack Kenyan converts? That won’t get them much press.
Remember Bush 1’s admonition to the world and to Americans when we realized the breadth of the Soviet Union’s disintegration? The meaning of that New World Order of which Bush spoke went over the heads of most of his listeners. One thing he was preparing us for was a simple lesson in human psychology: when the big bad bully of the block has been bloodied and laid flat and when your protector, the other big guy with muscles is the only one left standing, attitudes toward that protector will change. Believing he is no longer needed to insure your very existence, people’s behavior will change. Not until another bully who treathens them rears its head will that attitude once again change.
There’s only one muscle body out there right now–the US. Korea, Iraq, India, Pakistan may have nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons programs but they are far from reaching the status of the former USSR and Russia herself and Putin have contained themselves and their rhetoric just enough to not scare the wits out of the rest of the world.
So, my point? With only one world power, whom do you expect Muslim extremists to target in their rhetoric?
1. You speak of “The Christian Church in the USA” as if there IS such an entity. I am unaware of such a “Church.” Can you point it out to me? It’s leader, perhaps? It’s headquarters, perhaps? It’s congregation, maybe? I live in California. Where is this “Christian Church” of which you speak?
Don’t people of the Christian faith have many faces, many voices? To categorize them as “The Christian Church” is absurd. I know of no such church nor does anyone else except those who would like to believe that all Christians are evil, all Christians are the enemy. It is they who think in terms of “THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.”
2. As for the the US having a long history of proclaiming itself as a Christian nation–well if you mean that for most of its history, most of its people labeled themselves as believers in a Christian faith, then yes–for most of its history, the American people have seen their country as having more Christians than non-Christians. That the country’s leaders– Lincoln, Kennedy, Roosevelt, etc. might have included such language in their speeches can be seen cynically as a ploy to gain votes or as representative of something they saw as fact or as both.
” a chosen nation”????? Ah, those old Puritans and their notions of Providence. And old Jefferson and Adams and even old fool-around -with- women and -make- a- lot- of -babies Ben Franklin. They were something, weren’t they?
Guess you should take it up with them and with all they wrote. Make sure they understand that they need to make their words more politically correct and more suited to the country as it exists over 200 years later.
Stephen, I suppose there are those in your life who believe we are a “chosen nation” , thus a “chosen people,” but if you judge most Americans and even most Christians by that phrase, then I suggest you need to get out and meet more people, more Americans.
Well now, see, there you go again. What is this business of “the church”?
And, how’s that going? Christianity in the Middle East, I mean? In Lebanon? In Syria? Yeah, how’s it going for Christians in either of these places? Or in the rest of the area?
Once again, do you “get” the animus of these particular Muslims, animus toward America? Animus toward all Western thought and cultural accoutrements?
In answer to your question about would would it have taken so that Pakistani Christians were not accused of being American agents?
In that part of the world? Under all the social and political factors that shape such attitudes and behaviors?
Nothing. There is nothing that would have stopped such verbiage. If a single “Christian Church” did not even exist there, such words would still be shouted. That seems to be what you don’t understand. Or maybe you have forgotten Salman Rushdie and other writers and cartoonists and all those who must put up with such crazies?
the religious striations in Pakistan…
Mohenjo Daro, Harappa….
it will take those who really lack prejudice, and who really seek to understand the problems of religious separation to change these problems with epochs-ancient roots.
“One of the most fascinating yet mysterious cultures of the ancient world is the Harappan civilization. This culture existed along the Indus River in present day Pakistan and India. It was named after the city of Harappa as it was the first of that civilization’s cities discovered. Harappa and the city of Mohenjo-Daro were the greatest achievements of the Indus valley civilization (although it should be noted that this is in part owing to the relative lack of systematic excavations and published information on other Indus Valley Civilization urban centers)…Decline and fall of Harappan civilization
There has been much speculation on the decline and fall of this civilization. The decline of the Harappans was gradual at first and may have come to a very abrupt termination later on. In the period of climate history coinciding with the decline of the Harappans, a significant change in the global climate took place by the expansion of arctic air. This may have been responsible for such things as drought in northern Iowa, affecting the Mill Creek Indians, and in Greece, affecting the Mycenaeans. It may have contributed to the fall of the Harappans as well.
Another possibility is an invasion from the Aryans, who inhabited the region of present day Northwest India. The Aryans were a warlike people, but it has not been proven that they in fact had a hand in wiping out the civilization of the Indus Valley. The Santorini volcano of 1400 B.C is another matter for speculation., but this has its problems too; evidence indicates that by that time the Harappans were already in decline. They were also quite a distance removed from the volcano.”
people of intellectual steel will approach and solve these ages old problems.
Exactly right. I don’t understand how Christians claim to “love” homosexuals when their conduct clearly betrays them.
Imagine if, upon losing a beloved child to homicide, a parent got up at the funeral and said “I am saddened by the loss of my daughter. At the same time, she was a drunk and a slob. It is deplorable that her death is being used by some to attack me for attacking her. I’m the victim here. It is also sad that she is dead now since she is no longer able to heed my sage advice.”
Would anyone conclude that they were listening to a loving parent, or would they conclude that they were listening to a heartless neurotic control freak?
I realize that you wouldn’t know that my doctoral dissertation explored the expansion of Christianity across the globe, showing how it changed as it moved from Israel into Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. But that is my historical perspective on Christianity–it has always been a global religion. It has always been a part of Middle Eastern culture, and it has also existed (though less visibly) in India and China for about 1500 years. So it would make sense that Pakistanis would be aware that Christianity had a long history in the region before the USA was ever invented.
Therefore, I cringe when I read that Pakistani Muslims are accusing Pakistani Christians of being agents of the United States. And I cringe when I hear people equate Christianity with Western Culture. And I cringe when I hear Americans talk about the USA as a Christian nation.
I agree with you that the enemies of the USA will attack “any of its descriptors.” But that to me shows where the problem is. The Christian Church in the USA has failed miserably at demonstrating that Christianity is not American, but is its own separate entity–that it is, in fact, a Middle Eastern religion and not an American religion. For that failure, I blame the long tradition of naively proclaiming that this is a Christian nation and worse, a chosen nation.
So I wonder: How could the church have made a clearer distinction between what it stands for and what the nation stands for? What would it have taken for the church to present itself in such a way that Pakistani Christians were not accused of being American agents?
What do we in the church have to do so that anti-American Muslims can recognize and admit the difference between Christianity and the USA?
non-metaphysical stephen said,
You know, as a non-religious person who reads this blog, I usually refrain from discussions about such issues, but I feel I really want to say something here.
1.) I really can’t understand why anyone would say that “Americans have so co-opted Christianity……”.
This statement strikes me as horribly naive and indicates that you, Stephen, don’t seem to have much of a historical perspective to have written something that shallow.
I could say plenty, but I’ll just say that because America is the “leader of the world”, not just in our eyes, but face it, in the eyes of its enemies as well, it stands to reason that people who perceive it as an enemy will attack any of its cultural descriptors (in this case Christianity). They would just as easily be setting Ford or Chevy motor cars on fire instead of churches if they could.
Also, perhaps you are aware that most of Europe, once considered religious and Christian, is so no longer. Even countries in which the Roman Catholic faith has been dominant and their people once devout in their practice and observance –Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, once France, etc.–have become increasingly secular. Thus, if people wish to attack Christianity, American Christiandom is still alive and well among a certain population whereas it is not in these other countries. Thus, it stands to reason that people who wish to attack Christianity attack their “American conception” of it.
However, what’s really going on here is that they will attack all things American. For you to somehow see American Christianity versus Christianity as practiced elsewhere as the villian here is preposterous.
One last thing on a related note. Over the past year, I have read the posts on religious matters most of the time because I find the points of view interesting from both a cultural and historical perspective. In addition, the sheer humanity of the posts often overwhelms me. As an outsider, I sometimes am able to see things from both sides, sometimes from one side more than the other, then vice versa.
It rather amazes me that the discussions about SSA/OSA and religion rarely if ever stray from a discussion of Christianity (some churches, some denominations, some pastors, some congregations, etc.) The data I have seen don’t paint a particularly pretty picture of the view of SSA and gays by other faiths, and it strikes me that as this country becomes increasingly diverse in that regard, it might matter to some on this blog. This isn’t a criticism at all, just an observation of something that has puzzled me.
Brian – You linked to Mission America’s statement about the Tel Aviv shooing. Linda Harvey said:
Why say anything if you are going to say this? When someone begins a paragraph, “at the same time…” you just about know they are going to undo whatever was just said.
If I were to adopt the language and attitude of the American Christian conservative, I would say something like:
“While I certainly don’t condone violence, I also cannot condone the abnormal lifestyle choices that these people made. What can these people expect when they so deviate from the founding moral principles of the Pakistani nation and flout the traditions of millions of devout Muslims? In any event, we cannot make martyrs out of these people, since that might entice innocent young people into choosing Christianity and aid Christian activists in their recruitment efforts.”
If you think the above is an exaggeration, check out what Mission America had to say today about the mass shooting of young gay people in Tel Aviv. http://www.missionamerica.com/agenda.php?articlenum=95
Fortunately, I don’t possess the cold-blooded cruelty of the American Christian, and actually have genuine sadness at this violence in Pakistan.
How sad that Americans have so co-opted Christianity that now the religion is associated with our nation in other countries. We really have to get past the “Christian nation” myth–our identity as the church depends upon it!
Praying for our brothers and sisters throughout Southwest Asia. May God have mercy on them, protect them from all harm, and raise up wise leaders to guide them in the ways of compassion and healing, so that they may be a light to the world of what True Christianity looks like.
Long memories. At every opportunity Christians must prove they really are christians.
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