Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Christians: The Most Persecuted Religious Group in the World, Part 1

Freedom of Worship Is Not Freedom of Religion 
Being a Christian, in my case a Catholic, has been a wonderful gift.  This is why it was a nightmare when the communist government of Cuba began to discriminate, persecute and murder Christians.

The regime even banned Christmas and kicked out of the island most of the Cuban priests and religious.  Catholic schools and seminaries were closed. Christians attending religious services were discriminated in jobs, professions, and other categories.

Many Cubans died by firing squads, shouting “Long Lives Christ the King”.  This type of violence against religious people is a characteristic of Communism, which has been manifested in many places, including France, Russia, China, Mexico, Vietnam, and North Korea, among other countries.
As a result of experiencing persecution for being Christian, religious freedom has become the most important civil liberty for many of us. However, this is not to be confused with freedom of religious worship, that is, the right to attend religious services only inside churches.

In other words, we want instead freedom of religion, the right to express our faith not only inside our religious buildings, but also throughout the entire society. Christians and others deserve the freedom to live their faith everywhere, including in the streets, in the media, in the schools and in the political life.

Many dictatorships and the corrupt United Nations are trying to substitute freedom of religion with freedom of worship.  This will prevent people from practicing their faith in the "public square".  It is another way for tyrants to control their people.

The Persecution of Christians in Islamic Countries
The writings of A. M. Rosenthal, a Jew, former editor of The New York Times, and an incisive writer, caught our attention many years ago when he scolded his fellow journalists in the United States for failing to write about the attacks and murders of Christians all over the world.
Unfortunately, the lack of coverage by the media of the war against Christianity is now even worse.  Presently, the persecution is worse in those Islamic countries which use a literal interpretation of the Koran.  They implement the last declarations of Mohammad which forbid religious freedom and urge the humiliation and the fighting against the Christians (Koran 9:29).

This view also is against Muslims making friends with the Christians.  Several articles on Islam documenting these assertions can be found at my blog Dr. German Munoz dot com.

For these reasons, the discrimination, persecution and murder of Christians are taking place even in countries and areas which are considered democratic because they have had some type of elections recently with American help:
  • Afghanistan
  • Gaza
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Northern Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Turkey
  • Others
The persecution against Christians takes many forms depending on the country being considered, but they include the following actions:
  • Outright murder.
  • Threatening Christian girls with rape so that they convert to Islam.
  • Destruction of churches and the legal impediment to repair them.
  • Imposition of blasphemy laws which make it illegal to criticize Islam, and can lead to the death of the accused.
  • Arrest for holding religious services in private and public places.
  • Impossibility of creating religious monasteries and seminaries to train priests and religious.
Democracy is not Freedom
The United States and other liberal democracies share some responsibility for the plight of the Christians.  They have promoted the insane notion that you could develop democracy in an Islamic country before building the institutions for freedom which are essential to protect religious minorities.  It is as if elections were a magic which by itself could bring freedom and security.

For example, allowing voting among people of a culture that does not believe in tolerance and respect for the rights of ethnic, political and religious minorities leads to tyranny and to violence against them.  Democracy is not freedom.  

Therefore, developing such civil liberties as religious freedom, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom to organize politically, freedom from arbitrary arrest, and so on, should have preceded so-called democratic elections in Islamic states.

For instance, recent popular unrest overthrew the government of Egypt and elections have taken place.  And yet, 88 per cent of Egyptians support the killing of Muslims who convert to Christianity.  While these people might know how to vote, they are still unable to understand tolerance and the freedom of religion which should permit everyone to choose their own faith without losing their lives.

This madness of confusing democracy with freedom is also demonstrated by the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq, two countries created with the bloody sacrifice of many Americans, mostly Christians. And yet, they are both grounded on Islamic law which does not accept religious freedom.  Christians are currently being murdered in both countries and the governments are not providing protection to them.

Part II

About the Guest BloggerDr.Germán Muñoz was born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on July 13, 1950. He attended the Jesuit Colegio Dolores. Upon emigrating to the United States, he studied at the Salesian orphanage Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa, Florida, and at the Belen Jesuit Preparatory High School in Miami, Florida. Dr. Muñoz earned a B.S. in Psychology at the Jesuit Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, a Masters of Arts in International Relations, and a Doctorate in Political History at the University of Miami, Coral Gables in May 1981.
          He is the producer of the award-winning Social Science Lecture Series, of the Faculty Forum and of The Public Affairs Forum. He is the author of Background Lessons on Global Affairs (1997), of The Social Environment: A Primer on World Civics, 11th Edition, 2008, and International Relations: a Primer on Global Affairs (2004).          Dr. Germán Muñoz is the recipient of the following awards: “John Barret Prize for Best Dissertation on Hispanic and Latin American Affairs,”, “Excellence in Curriculum and Instruction Award,” 1987, by the Florida Association of Community Colleges, “The Times Teaching Excellence Award,” 1990, by the National-American Association of Community Colleges, “The Reverend Glen C. James Endowed Teaching Chair,” 1992-1994, “The Award for Outstanding Community College Chairs Who Encourage Teaching Excellence,” 1993, by the National Community College Academy, “The David Pierce Department Chair Quality Leadership Award,” 1995, “The National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness,” by North Carolina State University, “The First Union Endowed Teaching Chair,” 1996-1998,  “The Excellence in the Social Sciences Award 1854-2004”, by Belen Jesuit Preparatory in 2004, The Collinfontanum Award for Professional Achievement 1831-2006, by Spring Hill College in 2006.            Dr. Germàn Muñoz has served in the following boards: St. Kevin’s Catholic School Advisory Board; Miami Archbishop John C. Favalora’s Board of Catholic Education; the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc., and the Socio-Economic Development Council of Miami Dade County.              Dr. German Muñoz worked at Miami Dade College, the largest college in the United States, from August 1976 through August 2011. He was the Chairperson of the Department of Social Sciences from 1983-2011. Dr. Muñoz retired on August 2011 due to ALS. The College awarded him Professor Emeritus status and has created the Dr. German Muñoz endowed teaching chair.
Contact Dr. Muñoz:  Via E-Mail  or on the Web

Reposted with permission given to Raising {& Teaching} Little Saints.

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