Religion the sickness of the world 12

Religion is the sickness of the world. It is a destructive force, profoundly evil.

If there was an excuse for dogmatic superstition in ages past – say, as an explanation by which people tried to understand and influence the forces of nature – there is none now. Irrational belief can only be harmful.

History is hugely about the clash of religions. And in our time millions of people are experiencing an eruption of religious strife as widespread and catastrophic as any that has ever occurred, possibly the worst ever considering the numbers involved. Right now religion is the major cause of wars, massacres, and vast movements of desperate refugees.

Islam, the most belligerent of the world’s religions, is waging war fiercely on the rest of the world. Its methods are savage and cowardly. Wherever the faithful of other religions are weakest and most at their mercy, Muslims are torturing, burning, dismembering, raping, and slaughtering them.

Most of their victims (other than fellow Muslims of a different sect) are Christians. In Arab lands, Christians are being forced to flee or die.

In particular the Coptic Christians of Egypt are victims of the Muslim revolutionaries who rose demanding “freedom” for themselves, but are unwilling to grant it to the Copts.

Barry Rubin writes at PajamasMedia:

Christians in most of the Arabic-speaking world may be on the edge of flight or extinction. All of the Christians have left the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip which is, in effect, an Islamist republic. They are leaving the West Bank. Half have departed from an increasingly Islamist-oriented Iraq where they are under terrorist attack. …

In Lebanon while the Christians are holding their own there is a steady emigration. …

Egypt has more Christians than Israel’s entire population. There have been numerous attacks, with the latest in Cairo leaving 12 dead, 220 wounded, and two churches burned. …

We of this website do not mourn for the buildings, only the people. To us, every church, every mosque, every temple is a monument to intolerance, oppression, persecution, and massacre.

The Christians cannot depend on any support from Western churches or governments. Will there be a massive flight of tens or even hundreds of thousands of Christians from Egypt in the next few years? …

Very likely – but where will they go? What country will grant them asylum?

Up until now, the strength of the Muslim Brotherhood has been badly underestimated in the West. But increasingly it is also apparent that the strength of anti-Islamist forces has been overestimated.

Like most Western commentators, Professor Rubin nervously makes a distinction between Muslims and “Islamists” – by which he can only mean more actively jihadist Muslims, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

I have noted that even Amr Moussa, likely to be Egypt’s next president and a radical nationalist, has predicted an Islamist majority in parliament. That should be a huge story yet has been largely ignored.

He is not creating his own party, meaning that a President Moussa will be dependent on the Muslim Brotherhood in parliament. Rather than the radical nationalists battling the Islamists these two forces might well work together.

And who will they be working against? …

Christians certainly. Christians everywhere in the Muslim world. But not only Christians. No non-Muslim is exempt from Muslim animosity.

So what does the Western world, where the children of the Enlightenment have a civilization ordered by reason, try to do about it? How do Western leaders diagnose the problem? If they will not consider that religion itself might be the cause, what do they prescribe for a cure?

First they hold a discussion.

That could be a good start, if opinion would eventually agree on the real cause of the disease.

We confidently predict that will not happen.

At Front Page, Faith J.H.McDonnell writes:

On April 29, 2011, the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom (IRF) co-sponsored a 2011 Hours Against Hate event. Hosted by George Washington University, the event was billed as a “Town Hall Discussion on U.S. efforts to combat discrimination and hatred against Jews, Muslims, and others.” Hopefully, the 100 million-plus Christians experiencing persecution around the world today, along with Hindus, Sikhs, Baha’i, etc., are included in “and others.” The IRF office should be reminded that advocates for persecuted Christians played a major role in its creation, along with the creation of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Both were mandates of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).

Though outspoken in their denouncement of hurtful language, the folks at Foggy Bottom have been silent about the massacre of hundreds of Christians in Kaduna State, and several other states in northern Nigeria that took place after Nigeria’s federal elections last month. Angry that Christian President Goodluck Jonathan defeated Muslim candidate Muhammadu Buhari, Islamists in the Shariah-ruled north began rioting on Monday, April 18, 2011, after preliminary results of the April 16 election were announced. Soon newspapers featured grisly photos of charred bodies lining the streets.* Hundreds of churches were burned and thousands of Christian-owned businesses destroyed, according to the Christian human rights group, Open Doors. And International Christian Concern reported that the Kaduna-based Civil Rights Congress was still “discovering more details of massacres that have been carried out in the hinterland.” Upwards of 40,000 Christians have been displaced in the past few weeks.

In its comments about the situation in Nigeria, the U.S. State Department disregarded the religious aspect of the post-election mayhem. Secretary of State Clinton’s April 19 statement on the elections (available in Arabic as well as English) “deplored violence,” but ignored the targeting of Christians. …

Although some, including U.S. State Department officials, would paint the post-election violence as purely political, the head of the advocacy group Justice for Jos, attorney Emmanuel Ogebe, refutes this claim. … [He]  says that for the Islamists in northern Nigeria, “anything is used as an excuse to kill Christians — beauty pageantslunar eclipsesschool exams, political elections….” These are the sundry reasons in the last dozen years alone that have sparked violent, deadly attacks against Christians. …

Strikes on Christians took place simultaneously in rural districts of a dozen Nigerian states … Some initial attacks took place in the middle of the night, when the Christians were least able to defend themselves. And anti-Christian sentiment was inflamed in many of northern Nigeria’s mosques … Victims were made to quote the Quran, not identify for whom they had voted. …

Pastor Emmanuel Nuhu Kure … demanded, “How would you explain a spontaneous call to prayer on most of the loudspeakers of the mosques across the city at the same time, at 9 p.m. or thereabout in the night, with a shout of ‘Allah Akbar’ as Muslims began to troop towards the mosques and designated areas, to be followed at 10 p.m. with another call on loudspeakers – this time with a spontaneous shout of “Allah Akbar” from the mosques and most of the streets occupied by Muslims and the burst of gunfire sound that shook the whole city?” Kure said that these actions were repeated a few times, and then “the killings and burnings began.” And … Bishop Jonas Katung, national vice president of the North Central Zone of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, stated that the post-election attacks “were ‘a descent into barbarism’ in which northern Christians were targeted and subjected to horrendous and relentless acts.”

After performing the obligatory “deploring” of “the violence” in an April 28 press briefing, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson assured the media that “the president and the main opposition candidates both called on their supporters to not support violent activities and to work to restore peace as quickly as possible.” Yet the media has reported in the past that Buhari told his supporters “never again allow an infidel to rule over you”

The US State Department, and the governments of the Western world generally, are propitiating Islam. That’s like treating the plague with soothing syrops. Islam is a symptom. The sickness is religion itself.

 

*For a picture of the lined up bodies of Christians burnt to death in Nigeria, see our post Acts of religion, November 6, 2010.

‘They brought young children unto Him …’ 0

Christian missionaries have exerted themselves zealously to spread their faith in Africa. Christianity, they most sincerely and passionately believe, will improve the miserable life most people lead on that benighted continent. Let’s look at the improvement it has wrought.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall. His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him — Mount Zion Lighthouse. A month later, he died.

Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of “witch children” reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files. Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the Biblical exhortation, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

Other Christians protest:

“It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity,” said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria.

The bleeding-hearts brigade make excuses:

For their part, the families are often extremely poor, and sometimes even relieved to have one less mouth to feed. Poverty, conflict and poor education lay the foundation for accusations, which are then triggered by the death of a relative, the loss of a job or the denunciation of a pastor on the make, said Martin Dawes, a spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund. When communities come under pressure, they look for scapegoats,” he said. “It plays into traditional beliefs that someone is responsible for a negative change … and children are defenseless.”

The idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria’s 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.

The United Nations is being as useful as ever – making not the slightest difference:

Nigeria is one of the heartlands of abuse, but hardly the only one: the United Nations Children’s Fund says tens of thousands of children have been targeted throughout Africa….

American members of the same church plead ignorance …

The Nigerian church is a branch of a Californian church by the same name [Mount Zion Lighthouse]. But the California church says it lost touch with its Nigerian offshoots several years ago.

“I had no idea,” said church elder Carrie King by phone from Tracy, Calif. “I knew people believed in witchcraft over there but we believe in the power of prayer, not physically harming people.”

… while Church authorities say they’re too big to do anything about it:

The Mount Zion Lighthouse — also named by three other families as the accuser of their children — is part of the powerful Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. The Fellowship’s president, Ayo Oritsejafor, said the Fellowship was the fastest-growing religious group in Nigeria, with more than 30 million members.

“We have grown so much in the past few years we cannot keep an eye on everybody,” he explained.

Read the rest of the LA Times article if you can stand the sickening details of the torture inflicted on children by their parents and pastors.