Archive for September, 2013

Year-of-Martyrs

“2013 has been a deadly year for Christians across the world.”

So begins a recent article of mine at The Canadian Lutheran, in an attempt to remind us all that, in many places of the world, bearing the Name of Christ is still deadly serious. These Christians need our prayers, that Christ would support them in the midst of persecution. He who suffered for them suffers with them. May He give them strength.

canada-flag-webA little while back, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams made headlines for his comments on the persecution (or lack thereof) of Christians in the West. “Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable,” he said. “I am always very uneasy when people sometimes in this country [the United Kingdom] or the United States talk about persecution of Christians or rather believers. I think we are made to feel uncomfortable at times. We’re made to feel as if we’re idiots—perish the thought! But that kind of level of not being taken very seriously or being made fun of; I mean for goodness sake, grow up.”

It’s perhaps best the Most Rev. Williams restricted his comments to the United Kingdom and the United States, because the threat of religious persecution in Canada just got a whole lot more real. The Province of Quebec is planning to pass a law which would ban public sector employees from wearing religious symbols, including such things as turbans, crucifixes, hijabs, and kippas. And it’s not just for government representatives: it would apply to all public institutions, including schools and hospitals. That’s right: teachers, doctors, and nurses, among numerous other workers, would all be forbidden from wearing religious symbols on the job. Don’t like it? Find another job.

Read the rest in my article over at First Things.

———————

Update (September 15): The Charter has been officially unveiled. I’ve got more on this story at First Things in a post entitled “Quebec’s Charter: When ‘Values’ Means the Denial of Religious Rights.”