Christians worldwide have been facing intense persecution. But now some of them are fighting back. Pakistani churches have been subject to periodic attacks for decades. But last time that happened, when an attack on a worship service killed 14 and wounded 70, some 4,000 Christians staged a riot of their own, lynching two suspects. Authorities are worried that Pakistan, already torn by conflicts between Sunni and Shi’ite Islamic militants, will descend into full-fledged religious war if the Christians get involved.
Some Iraqi Christians have organized a militia to fight ISIS. In central Africa, Christian militias have been attacking Muslims whose militias have been attacking them. Lebanon has long had a formidable Christian militia organization. After the jump, an excerpt and a link about what is happening in Pakistan.
What do you think about this? Should Christians facing persecution accept martyrdom or fight their persecutors? Or does it depend on the situation, and, if so, what are the situations?
From Pamela Constable, The dam of self-restraint bursts for Pakistan’s Christians – The Washington Post:
For years, Pakistan’s beleaguered Christians, estimated to number between 2 and 3 million, responded to such assaults by turning the other cheek. Their leaders urged them to abjure violence, and their social marginalization left them with few weapons other than faith.
Last Sunday, that dam of self-restraint finally burst. After suicide bombers linked to the Pakistani Taliban attacked two churches in Lahore, Pakistan’s cultural capital, leaving 14 worshipers dead and at least 70 injured, 4,000 angry Christians amassed in protest, chasing suspects and lynching two of them in broad daylight. Turning the other cheek was replaced by taking an eye for an eye.
For the forces of sectarian hate that have long sought to ignite religious conflict in the vast, diverse country of 180 million, this tragic turn of events was a victory. Pakistan is already embroiled in a conflict between majority Sunni and minority Shiite Muslims, both of which have violent militant wings and masses of easily roused devotees. If Christians join the volatile mix, Pakistan could lose its last bulwark against religious war.