A Cry for Religious Tolerance There is no denying the fact that in recent years, religious persecution has spread across the world more rapidly than ever before. However, religious persecution does not only affect one specific religion around the world. Many different religions and sects are being targeted each day because of their beliefs. “ The Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, concluded that 75% of all religious persecution is directed at Christian minority groups. ” “Studies have shown that across sixty countries, more than 2 million Christians are being persecuted each day.
Out of those 2 million, an average of 210,000 Christians will be being killed each year by 2025. A cry for help is being heard all around the world where the freedom of religion is being diminished day by day due to laws, decrees, and restrictions that are limiting people’s freedom to openly speak about their beliefs, openly practice their beliefs, openly choose what to believe, and even openly wear the clothes of their choice (Source C). After the reformation Anti-Catholicism, hostility towards Catholics, had spread amongst the Protestants in Great Britain and in Germany.
Many Protestants believed that the Catholics church was the Whore of Babylon mentioned in the Book of Revelations. The Whore of Babylon is a beast that has seven heads and ten horns. She is said to represents all evil. Protestant leaders also “attacked the Catholic Church as not only theologically unsound, but an enemy of republican values” (Source M). Then in 1835 the Plea for the West excluded Catholics from settling on Western lands. Nativism in the United States brought hostility towards the Catholics.
Their property and possessions were destroyed, broken, and burned and many of them were killed. “Irish Catholic immigrants were blamed for spreading violence and drunkenness” (Source B). In 1910, The Menace, a popular newspaper contained a lot of Anti-Catholicism views. Then in 1920, “the Klu Klux Klan, believed that Catholicism was incompatible with Democracy and that parochial schools encouraged separation and kept Catholics from becoming loyal to Americans. ” In 1925, A Catholic church was built in a large Protestant area in Royal Oak, Michigan named the church of the little flower.
Days after the church was built members of the Klu Klux Klan arrived at the church and set a cross on fire and rejoiced as they watched it burn in front of the church (Source B). In the country of Indonesia, the Ahmadiyah Muslim sect has been banned. In the city of Java in 2011 twenty Ahmadiyah men were ordered to remove all clothing before being beaten with multiple objects such as hoes, sticks, and machetes. After those men had been left beaten, the building in which they all had assembled was burned. This atrocity was captured on video to warn others of their possible fate as well (Source C).
Under section 295-C of Pakistan’s penal code, any form of blasphemy against the Qur’an or the Prophet Mohammad may be punishable by life imprisonment or even death. ” Without any trial or conviction, angry crowds arise prompting riots. Many civilians attack, beat, and kill many Christians and other minority religious groups once the accusation of blasphemy has been made. “In 2009 in the city of Gojra, forty homes, one church, and 8 victims are burned alive due to one of the many riots” (Source L). In September of 2010, Farrukh Mushtaq Gill was taken into custody after letters were found that contained blasphemous material.
Once arriving at the prison, a police officer told Farrukh “Don’t tell anybody you are Christian. ” Many Christians and other minority religious groups live in fear to openly profess their beliefs due to the laws, restrictions, and persecutions that they are forced to face everyday. The freedom to openly practice a religious belief has been taken away from many people. “Chen Zhenggao, Chinese minister of housing and urban-rural development, has ordered the destruction and demolition of 1,500 churches and the removal crosses using the pretext of illegal building. Government officials and workers begin their demolition with no court orders or document. Christian citizens are claiming that the government themselves are doing illegal acts by demolishing the crosses and church buildings. Members of a local parish wrote a letter to the government explaining their concerns. In the letter they stated that “removal of the cross is not an administrative penalty, but the illegal administrative act,” Along with the fact that the demolitions occur without notice and without official documents, the workers who are doing the demolition are not legal construction workers (Source H).
Religious freedom to openly wear the clothing of one’s choice and preference is also being limited in China. In the city of Xinjiang, burqas were banned because it reflected “terrorist clothing” (source I). Each year on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims around the world celebrate the season of Ramadan. During this time period, Muslims fast in order to pay homage to the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. In the city of Xinjiang in China, students and other civilians have been banned from fasting during the Ramadan season (Source H). Regulations in Russia have made the number of Crimean Christians in Russia decrease. New requirements have obligated leaders to become Russian citizens, join an existing centralized religious group, or even pass a religion expertise test. ”
Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians have been threatened, fined, beaten, and kidnapped for their beliefs. Many Muslims, Jehovah Witnesses, and other religious booksellers have been fined for possessing literature that had been banned in Crimea. In Oryol, Pavel Pilipchuk, a Baptist pastor was imprisoned due to the fact that he was evangelizing in the streets of Oryol. Police took Pilipchuk into custody after he had refused to pay a fine for his actions.
Also, in the city of Yalta, a Polish Catholic priest was fined and forced to leave the city for ministering and for preaching his face (source D). As religious persecution continues to spread and expand across the world, many people are forced to pack up their belongings and leave their homes in hopes of finding a better safer place to live. Many refugees, a person who is in fear of persecution for reasons of race , religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, have found that relocating to a new region or country seems to be more difficult than expected.
A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. It is clear that many people leave their homes because they have no other choice. They can either stay in their homes and face persecution, loss of human rights, and even death, or move away in hopes of finding a better life. Many nations such as the United States, Europe and Australia have the resources to aid these refugees, but choose not to based on fear that these refugees may bring problems or that these refugees may be terrorists.
However the “United States recognized its special duty to receive refugees from Vietnam following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Though U. S. military engagement in Iraq was not the sole cause of the displacement of many Iraqis, the U. S. intervention was the occasion of the huge forced migration of Iraqis that followed. ” Thus, instead of closing our doors to those in need, we must open them and aid those in need. As people continue to live in fear of persecution, the number of Christians has begun to plummet in many Middle Eastern countries.
Many Middle Easterners decide to either flee to safety or stay in their homes in hopes that their current situation will one day get better. Even though many Christians have chosen to stay in their homes, the number of them has still decreased due to many kidnappings and death. Also, many women have slowed down or stopped the cycle of reproduction, because they do not want to bring a child into this dangerous and cruel world filled with persecution. According to a study done by Pew Research, “the fertility rate in Egypt for Muslims is 2. 7 and for Christians is at a low 1. 9. ”
The goal of many Jihadists groups, a group that is deeply rooted in Islam, is to eliminate Christians across the Middle East. “In 2014, Jihadists went around placing the letter N on houses in which Christians lived to show that they were Nazarene. ” Afterwards the occupants of the homes were given the options to convert to Islam, pay the jizya, a tax to non-Muslims, or face death. Many however decided to flee instead. In 2014, IS had declared that the city was now free of all Christians. ” The most well known attack on a religious group occurred in the 1930’s during the reign of Adolf Hitler in Germany.
Hitler, the nazi military, and much of Germany had Anti-Semitism beliefs. Anti-Semitism is hostility to or prejudice against the Jewish people. The Nuremberg Laws, which were put into place in 1935, stripped Jews of their German citizens. In 1938, an attack broke out which resulted in the death of ninety one Jews. As Hitler continued to gain power and influence over Germany and other European countries rapidly, SS soldiers, an elite corps of combat troops which acted as Hitler’s bodyguards, protruded the streets killing many innocent civilian Jews.
Between September 30 and 31, a rough estimate of 33,771 Jews were killed in 1941. Until 1945, millions of Jews were take away from their homes, stripped of their belongings, separated from their families, sent to ghettos, and later sent to concentration camps. The ghettos were filled with pests and infections and many of the people who were forced to live there died of either diseases or starvation. Auschwitz and Auschwitz II- Birkenau two of the most well known concentration death camps became the home of many unfortunate Jews. Some were instantly killed in gas chambers.
Others, however were subjected to hard laborious work. They were starved, beaten, tortured, and worked to death. These atrocities are now known as the Holocaust. During the Holocaust an estimated six to eight million Jews were killed in those death camps. As history has revealed, religious persecution and the loss of religious freedom has been obstructing the lives of people for many years. Whether they were Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Protestants, other Christian denominations, or other religions, each of these religious beliefs have been persecuted and targeted at one point in history.
Amnesty International, an organization committed to preserving and protecting human rights is fighting to achieve religious freedom around the world. They are asking for any prisoners who have been kept captive for professing their faith to be let free without a charge and for other bands that are limiting the freedom of speech or the freedom of expression to be subtracted from the law books. A reform is being called to change the world’s outlook on relies freedom. A plea to take action. A plea to create equality. A plea to defend freedom (source E).