I have just watched The World Over on EWTN and this week it is all about the persecution of Christians in: India, Egypt, China, Sudan… one could go on Iraq, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, N Korea, Vietnam etc etc
I have seen other programs before on this subject. Most of the time is it Fundamentalists: Islamic, Hindu, Secular. Yes Secular Fundamentalism is also rife - look at Bill Maher. He relentlessly mocks our Faith and has now made a movie mocking all Christian religion.
Is it not time for ALL Christians to stand together and FIGHT all kinds of persecution?
We Christians extend a helping hand to the poor of all faiths. There is no discrimination. We send missionaries to all these countries and work to help feed, nurse, build - there is no exception. No questions asked. You are poor - we get our help.
I am going on a week’s holiday and I hope others will find this thread and l look forward to hearing your ideas of what we lay people can do for the cause of Christianity throughout the world.
This is nice in theory, but bad reality. While missionaries do good work, they also at the same time cause un-wanted problems for others and are SEEN by other religions as Christians attempting to convert them, so no I do not believe we should send missionaries to all these country - especially ones where tentions are already high between religions.
I hate to sound bad, but don’t we Americans get it yet? A great number of these countries don’t want us there and yet we try to push our way in. We think we are doing it to help the poor - and they believe we are doing it to convert them from a religion they grew up with - whether we are doing that or not (which sometimes the missionaries do try to do).
Other countries a lot of the times do not like christian missionaries and it causes problems. They think we are butting into their affairs and in predominately non-christain countries there are often times lots of conflicts as nearly all of these kinds of organizations have an agenda - pushing Christianity on another religion - I think the ones that don’t have this agenda do much better and have much better results as they gain more trust from the local people.
I know we look at it as spreading the faith - but it is not seen as that from their point of view. Now in Dubai they now have a catholic church which is great. Which is even greater is the priest took notice that this was a non-christian country for the most part (this church was for catholics and christians coming from other parts of the world to work there) and decided for the good of everyone the church does not have any external christian markings - I don’t even think it has the church’s name on the outside of it. It’s just a square ordinary building until you go inside. And they do not in any way spread or push their faith. But as I said so many times christians will go out of their way to try to tell someone about christianity and it upsets the balance of things. I see where people want to go out and spread the message, but they have to remember where they are spreading it and to who - because they can’t just do what they want, it causes problems - problems they should have seen coming.
Also, we must remember that it’s not just we’re the innocent guy, and it’s not everyone against Christianity - it’s also Hindu’s against Islam, etc. Are Christians being treated unfairly? Yes. Even today in our own country, I see this. I think that we need to work on our own country first and then send missionaries if the country is wanting overseas.
The Great Commission requires us to spread the faith. Period. Its oftentimes difficult, and maybe dangerous, but I think as Christians we have no choice. What if the early missionaries had not done their work because the local population might not like it? I praise and pray for all our missionaries. They know they will be persecuted, but they persevere anyway.
I am sorry, but I just don’t agree with this. If someone comes to a church or missionary place and are interested in knowning more, then by all means, please answer their questions and give them information on christianity. But, do not force it on them - people wonder why we are in war and this and that. I am NOT saying it’s because of Christianity, but other countries do feel like America is butting into their affairs and couple that with a psycho like BinLaden, and it’s a recipe for what happened on 9/11.
Also, you speak of the missionaries as if they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I give them great credit where it’s due - there are so many doing good work. BUT, in my husband’s country, when the christian “missionaries” came to convert his people a couple of generations back, they did so by rape, trickery, force and cutting the heads off of cows and throwing the heads into the wells so when people would drink of the water, they were automatically shut out of their own faith and forced into the religion. Have you ever seen Mangal Pandey? Is my husband happy he is a christian - very much! But he won’t forget the way the missionaries “converted” people there.
Today the Hindu’s are trying to use this same force to convert Christians back to Hindu. It’s just a horrible situation. But, from their point of view, they are just “missionaries” for their own faith. However, we adamently oppose these hindi missionaries - you wouldn’t want a Hindy knocking on your door and telling you how wrong you are for following Christ - can you see my point? I believe most people’s reaction here would be that this is a Christian country and how dare you individuals come over to this country with the purpose of converting a Christian nation into a Hindu nation (or Muslim nation, or Budish Nation - you get my point).
And while I definately see where you are coming from thinking we are going good with these missionaries, as I said other countries do not think this. They see it as “big bad America” coming to force them into something that they do not want. Obviously past missionaries were not truly following Christianity and it’s teachings, and our missionaries today are quite different - they would not do any of these things they did in the past. However, the beliefs going against Christianity in these foreign countries are deep and long and will not go away just because we have changed our approach. Their ideas and memories of how Christian missionaries acted in the past are what comes to their minds when they think or see a missionary today. This is why I feel it is not always good to send missionaries to other countries, especially when it’s obvious they do not want it.
I think it’s great and wonderfull to spread christianity, but in a different way.
**Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in Heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.
As the Father loves Me, so I also love you. Remain in My Love. If you keep My Commandments, you will remain in My Love, just as I have kept my Father’s Commandments and remain in His Love.
I have told you this so that My Joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My Commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from My Father. It was not you who chose Me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He may give you. This I command you: love one another.
If the world hates you, realize that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
Remember the Word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of My Name, because they do not know the One who sent Me. **
I mean, I know you just posted a quote, but are you referring to current missionaries or past ones? If past ones, are you just brushing aside the torture endured by other countries in the past? And as a Christian then, you should understand that Jesus never forced anyone into Christianity - just the opposite. Yes, if you feel called, follow Jesus - and if you go to other countries, do not force or pressure - if they come to you, then by all means, PLEASE tell them of Christainity!
“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of Me”
Yes, but it’s not a false claim that the Portugese chrisians were torturing Hindu’s to convert them - that is evil and not of Jesus and his teachings.
"This is My Commandment: love one another as I love you. "
" This I command you: love one another."
Again, past missionaries did not follow JESUS’ commandment.
If you are speaking of current missionaries, then yes, take up your cross, but as I said, don’t force or pressure - don’t do something Jesus would not do.
i watched a show today about christianity in iran. i was surprised to learn that they allow christianity to be practiced in iran as long as they don’t try to convert anyone. if you are found guilty of trying to convert someone,
you can be killed.
there is a site in northern iran where st. jude was supposedly killed for converting 3,000 people. a church has been built on the site and it is a very revered religious site and the church is very ancient.
This is correct. This is why as I said, I believe that missionaries are fine as long as they are not pushing. If muslims were here knocking door to door in our neighborhoods, I bet there would be a lot of upset Christians on here (heck, Christians get upset when other christian religions knock on their doors to convert them). I think it’s fine to have places set up and to talk with those interested, but not pushing anything. I feel that those missionaries that go to dangerous parts of the world kind of bring it on themselves if they get into trouble - especially when going somewhere like Saudi Arabia. My brother in law who is a priest was going through there years ago, they threw his Bible in the trash at the airport - the airport is the one place in that country they should not be able to do such a thing, but they do.
Jesus did tell the Apostles to spread the Good News. We must spread the Faith. We are tasked with converting others.
However, I think you have a very good point - one should never force or overwhelm others. I think Mother Teresa never went out to CONVERT. She just loved everybody, helped and nursed them. If anyone converted it is because they saw someone who LIVED her Faith and they saw the inner beauty of the Faith. Mother Teresa once said she helped Muslims to be better Muslims and Hindus to be better Hindus and I believe that her simple example and the Holy Spirit did the rest. You must remember that noone can convert anyone else - it is the work of the Holy Spirit. What Missionaries do is work among the poor and teach them and if they wish to learn about the Faith then teach that too.
Missionaries have a lot of work to do in feeding the poor, clothing them, teaching them (school work) - reaching out to the poor and being an example of what children of God are and how they live their lives.
St Francis said “Spread the Gospel and if necessary use words” so Pinkyyy there are many ways in which one can spread the Faith… Also people should be free to choose their Faith and no Government should condemn anyone or punish or hurt anyone for spreading the Faith providing it is done in the way I described above.
In Saudi Arabia they are very extreme. The population HAVE to adhere to their brand of Islam. If you convert from one form of Islam to another you can be severely punished. If you are born Suni you HAVE TO REMAIN SUNI etc.
i believe it is in saudi arabia also that if you are found with a bible in your luggage at the airport it is thrown away. i don’t know what would happen if you were caught reading your bible in public.
this is very wrong for governments to persecute other religions. people should be allowed to freely worship the religion of their choice, but that will take some time in the middle east.
Those weren’t true missionaries. True Christians know that acceptance of Jesus and His Truth cannot be forced unto anyone. It is a shame…truly…and should have been reported to the proper Christian authority over the missionaries. You can be sure that the Vatican NEVER approved such methods.
I don’t see the relationship between spreading Christianity and being American. The two do not go hand in hand. There are very many Christian missionaries who have absolutely nothing to do with America…they are only out there to spread the love of Christ.