In our forthcoming April issue we have a feature on religious freedom in Canada and Europe and an editorial on why the secular elite cannot tolerate Christianity. We’ll have those stories online in a few weeks. Persecution comes in different forms and restrictions on the ability to live faith publicly very different than martyrdom, so we in the West should be thankful that the battle for express and practice our religious beliefs may cost us our freedom and livelihood, but it does not cost us limb and life.
Open Doors USA has released its list of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians around the globe, where one’s religious beliefs can literally be a matter of life and death. Doug Bandow notes what kind of countries persecute Christians:
Open Doors has released its latest World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians around the globe. A Baker’s Dozen are communist or former communist states, led by North Korea. An incredible 38 are Muslim, including several of Washington’s allies. (Seven are both communist/former communist and Islamic, truly a toxic combination.) The other six are a potpourri — Hindu India, Buddhist Burma and Bhutan, conflict-ridden Colombia, and Eritrea and Ethiopia, which are both repressive and religiously divided.
So let’s bring this back home. The Conservative government is creating an office of religious freedom within the Department of Foreign Affairs, which is good news. We should shine a light on persecution and attempt to shame those regimes that do it. However, we should also make sure that we are not guilty of what we criticize other countries for doing. As we editorialize in the April issue, ”we would promote religious freedom, we ought to lead by example; if Canada would be a doctor, it should first heal itself.” Religious tolerance in Canada is extended to minority religious views (Islam, Sikhism) “under the aegis of multiculturalism … embraced as tokens of these foreign cultures.” Heck, Canadian governments cannot even bring themselves to condemn so-called honour killings. Yet at the same time governments in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario are clamping down on schools and/or homeschooling lest one Christian parent teach her child that homosexuality is wrong. Tolerance, you see, is reserved for non-Christians. Those Christians who have been told that they can practice their religion as long as it is meaningless and follows the liberal script on a host of moral issues is too long to list but a perusal of human rights commissions in our search engine is a good place to start.
We must condemn violent and brutal attacks on the free expression of religion abroad, but we must also condemn and end the persecution of Christians in Canada. As our editorial concludes:
Any office of religious freedom that does not recognize Canada’s own implicit restrictions will, therefore, enjoy limited success. If we preach the religious freedom which we do not practice, no one will listen — and no one should.