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The moment Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was arrested in Birmingham, England for silently praying on a public sidewalk outside a women's clinic. Image: Youtube.

Persecution of Christians in West on the rise, watchdog leader says

Persecution of Christians in the United States and throughout the West is on the rise, according to Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern in Washington.

“Basically, we are frogs in the kettle and the bubbles keep coming up under us,” he says. “Too many people are not aware politically and they’re so used to thinking of how things were that they can’t figure out where these bubbles are coming from, not realizing they’re being cooked.”

King warned that the same trends his nonprofit has been tracking and advocating against overseas are increasingly manifesting in the historically free nations of the Western world, including the United States. He identified a corrupt, cumbersome judicial process and proliferating hate speech laws as the main prongs of the attack on Christian beliefs. Dictators and despots promise religious liberty out of one side of their mouths while at the same time effectively mandating that religious citizens keep their opinions to themselves and out of the public square.

“If that sounds familiar, there’s a reason,” he said. “The big picture, and what people need to grasp, is that’s what’s going on here in the West and that’s what a lot of people who dislike Christianity are proposing and trying to push forward.”

READ: Canadian pastor win in court after being jailed

In countries where leaders possess antipathy toward Christianity, a politically weaponized judicial system plays a key role in chilling speech and driving Christians to self-censor, King said. He cited the example of India, where Christians are increasingly persecuted and their churches vandalized despite the guarantee of religious freedom in the country’s constitution.

“They have religious freedom in their constitution, but it doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s what happens in practice. And so when pastors are often attacked in the streets or in the churches, guess who gets arrested? It’s the pastor. What happens is you keep your head down. So this is what we’re seeing in the states.”

Although the most egregious hate speech laws are in Canada and Europe, the same impulse to clamp down on speech, especially regarding sexuality, also is emerging in the United States with proposed legislation such as the Equality Act.

“It’s strategic, it’s banana republic and these are political enemies of Christianity,” he said. “They’ve gained power, and they’re using the very laws, the very power of democracy,, to go against their political enemies.”

King said Christians first must seek revival in their own spheres of influence.

“This really comes down to revival, and it starts with us personally,” he said. “We’ve all got to turn back and cry to the Lord about not the political state of our country but the religious state. We desperately need revival, and that all starts with us personally looking to the Lord and saying, ‘Call me back and I’m completely yours, whatever you would have me do. All of my life is yours.’”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice


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