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Meriam’s story: Western elites would rather bash Christians than try to stop their persecution

June 27, 2014

My latest for the Wall Street Journal:

Ms. Ibrahim’s story bears uncanny parallels to another Christian story involving young African mothers who did become Christian martyrs, during the early third century: the story of Felicitas and Perpetua, executed for their faith in the Roman port city of Carthage in today’s Tunisia. Vibia Perpetua was a well-educated young woman, not unlike Ms. Ibrahim, who is trained as a doctor. Felicitas was a slave in an advanced state of pregnancy when she was thrown into prison along with Perpetua and other Christians to await their deaths by wild animals in the Carthage arena. Perpetua, like Ms. Ibrahim, went to prison along with a baby son. Felicitas, like Ms. Ibrahim, bore a baby daughter before her execution date.

***

This isn’t just a matter of ancient and modern coincidences. More significantly, the Roman world of the third century was strikingly like today’s secularized West in its contempt for Christians and indifference to their persecution.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has found that Christians are persecuted in more places today than any other religious group, suffering formal or informal harassment in three-quarters of the world’s countries. The persecution of Christians, Paul Marshall of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom wrote in the June 23 Weekly Standard, “is occurring on a massive scale, it is underreported, and in many parts of the world it is rapidly growing.”

Yet this persecution is mostly ignored.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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