Before coronavirus closed churches, Christians in Europe suffered at the hands of their gov’ts
April 1, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – With the coronavirus crisis, governments and even church authorities are shutting down services and forbidding individuals from entering churches. As Masses and religious services are being canceled we need to remember the hundreds of thousands of Christians across the world who do not have access to religious services and/or who risk their lives to worship God.
In today’s episode of The Van Maren Show, Ellen Fantini, the Executive Director of the Observatory on the Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe, speaks about the religious persecution Christians face in Europe.
Fantini and Van Maren discuss the complex negative cultural attitude toward Christians, persecution of Christians in Europe that is largely ignored, and the future of Christianity.
The Observatory on the Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe was founded 10 years ago, initially as a project to survey which European laws directly and indirectly impacted Christians in a negative way. After finding 46 different laws across Europe that had a negative impact on Christians, the founders saw there was a bigger need and launched the Observatory.
The Observatory collects information on hate crimes such as threats, physical violence, vandalism, and marginalization, against Christian individuals and institutions. Prior to the Observatory’s founding, no one was reporting on hate crimes against Christians. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe collects “hate crime” information every year, but attacks on Christians aren’t included in that.
Watch the full interview here:
Although many people think that persecution against Christians increased during the wave of migration in 2015 and 2016, Fantini suggests that it had been building long before that.
“The Christian church generally has been a lightning rod for any number of ideologies,” Fantini tells listeners.
In Europe, people see Christianity as an organized religion that needs to be dismantled, or as a symbol of the patriarchy and of authority. Van Maren also notes that many Europeans are trapped in a binary view of Christianity as an oppressor and themselves as the oppressed. This view most likely comes from the time when Christianity was the major religion of Europe.
The idea that Christians can’t be persecuted is perpetuated by this idea that it is impossible to victimize a majority religion, even though Christians no longer constitute a majority.
There was an increase in Christian persecution as migrants began to convert to Christianity, but were living in neighborhoods or accommodation homes with the same people they were fleeing in order to practice their faith.
In addition to this persecution, many migrants were thought to be converting so they could stay in Europe, not because they truly believed in the Christian faith. Fantini points out that these refugees aren’t guaranteed asylum in Europe and that conversion itself is very difficult and dangerous.
In Vienna, where Fantini is based, Muslims converting to Catholicism are at great risk. They are received into the Church at a location disclosed only to the priest, convert, and sponsor the day before the event.
Van Maren and Fantini discuss the two main ideologies responsible for Christian persecution in Europe: hyper-secularized radicals and Islamist activists, many of whom might not realize their behavior is unacceptable in Western culture.
Fantini is careful to highlight the fact that most Muslims are not interested in persecuting Christians.
Listen to the full interview here:
Van Maren points out that Islamic culture and hyper-secularism don’t share many similar values. Muslim Imams stood up to the LGBT indoctrination happening in schools pushed by hyper-secularism.
Christians have also stood up to the LGBT indoctrination occurring in schools, but have been vilified for their supposedly hateful stance. Muslims, Jews, and Christians share many family values and could unite to defend them.
You won’t want to miss this great conversation about what is actually happening to Christians in Europe.
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