Whether executed for the crime of apostasy in Pakistan, or attacked as "kefirs" (infidels) in Mosul, in northern Iraq, Christians are forced to die for their faith in parts of the Middle East.We do not have to think Muslims are safe and that they are the ones threatening others. Muslims are not spared the persecution the other Abrahamic religions suffer: in western China and episodically in India, public allegiance to Islam is punishable by death.
In ever-greater swathes of the world, being a believer means embracing martyrdom. "Civilised" countries have failed to defend the persecuted – and in fact have created an atmosphere where the person of faith finds themselves pushed into an intolerable place. The extremists want their blind allegiance or will claim their lives; while the secularists suspect their collusion with hot-head co-religionists.
Soon Europe, even London, the much-vaunted bastion of multiculturalism, will become No God Zones, banning any public display of religiosity. ‘For your own good’, the authorities will tell their pious citizens, "you must carry out your ancient rituals in secret. We cannot vouch for your safety otherwise." Believers will have to hide their precious religious symbols, and conceal their rites. Like the early Christians in the catacombs, they will lead lives in the shadow.
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