Ironically, it's been the governments of western countries in which Christians are the majority, and whose leaders declare themselves as Christians, which have contributed greatly to the rise of violent anti-Christian extremism.
In Libya, the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi helped Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliates establish a presence in the country as well as aiding the spread of religious extremism into other African countries including Kenya and Tanzania, which were hit by a wave of church bombings in 2013. In June 2015, 38 tourists (including 30 Britons), were slaughtered as the relaxed on the beach or around their hotel when on holiday in Port El Kantaoui in Tunisia. The gunman was reported to have trained in neighbouring 'liberated' Libya. In 2018, the group 'Open Doors', which monitors the worldwide persecution of Christians stated: “Since the downfall of Gaddafi, the situation for Christians in Libya has deteriorated…The main threat Christians face is from militant Islamist groups; violence against Christians has continued on a large scale and with impunity.'
The plight of Christians in Syria (number eleven on the 'World Watch list'), has also been adversely affected by western 'interventionist' foreign policy. Weapons meant for so-called 'moderate rebels' ended up in the hands of genocidal salafist-jihadist groups. Again, we had a government which protected Christians, (Assad's), and observed their religious festivals and holidays, targeted for regime-change by 'Christian' western leaders.
Of course, we can't put all the blame for the upsurge in the global persecution of followers of Jesus Christ on the policies pursued by western leaders. But there's no doubt that the genocidally-minded groups which target Christians have received a big boost by 'regime change' wars against secular governments.
While Sri Lanka was where the extremists struck this Easter, we should not forget that 45 Coptic Christians were killed when two churches were bombed in Egypt on Palm Sunday in 2017. A year before that a bomb in a park in Lahore, Pakistan, where Christians were celebrating Easter, killed 75. Last year, Christian pastors and worshippers were threatened and attacked by Hindu extremists in India, while four members of a Christian family in Pakistan were shot dead at Easter, with ISIS claiming responsibility.
Massacring Christians at Easter- the holiest time of the year in their calendar, has become an annual event. How much of an indictment is that, of the world we're currently living in?
It's not just Christians who are in danger at their places of worship or travelling to and from them. Only last month 49 people were killed in attacks on two mosques in New Zealand. Shiite mosques have been regularly targeted by Sunni extremists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. One of the worst attacks of all time, but which seems to have disappeared down the memory hole, was the one on the Sufi-associated Al-Rawda mosque in Sinai, Egypt, in November 2017, which killed 311. How do we allow such atrocities to happen?
No one in the world should feel in danger when he/she is at their place of worship, or travelling to or from it. The freedom to practice your own religion, without persecution, is an inalienable human right.
The Sri Lankan attacks are therefore not just an attack on Christianity. They are an attack on all humanity. And in the name of humanity, the terrorists, extremists and those who target peaceful worshippers for slaughter must be defeated, and certainly not aided.
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The views and opinions expressed by the contributor do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.