“Anti-Christianism” April 24, 2019

There is anti-semitism.  There is Islamophobia.  A leader of Coptic Christianity, responding to the Sri Lanka church bombings, says that the world must also recognize “anti-Christianism.”

From Christian Today (UK):

The head of the UK Coptic Orthodox Church has called on faith communities to make a joint stand against “anti-Christianism”.

Archbishop Angaelos made the appeal in the wake of horrific attacks on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday in which at least 290 people died.

He said it was “time to act” and that “anti-Christianism” needed to be recognised as a “real phenomenon” alongside anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

“It is time for us all to stand together and recognise anti-Christianism [is] as much a real phenomenon and epidemic as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and deal with it as such,” he tweeted.

[Keep reading. . .]

American Christians should not develop a persecution-complex just because some people do not like them.  After all, according to Jesus, this is exactly what we should expect.  Indeed, it comes with a blessing (Matthew 5:11-12).  But Coptic Christians, who experience intense persecution in Egypt and other Islamic countries (remember the Coptic martyrs beheaded by ISIS?), have credibility to speak on this issue.

Archbishop Angaelos is referring to attacks against Christians around the world, especially in Islamic countries that are punishing the ancient Christian communities within their borders and in developing nations where Christianity is growing most rapidly.  But the phenomenon he names, while not usually taking such violent forms, is present in the West as well.

Some people have a hostility to Christians and Christianity that is visceral and pathological, out of all proportion to mere disagreement or dislike of religion.  Just as anti-semites spin elaborate conspiracy theories about how the Jews are taking over the country, there are those–call them “anti-Christianists”–who believe elaborate conspiracy theories about how the “Christian right” is taking over the country to impose a theocracy that will enslave women.  If Islamophobia–the irrational fear of Muslims–is a disorder that manifests itself in bigotry and prejudice, surely there is also Christophobia (a term I like better than “anti-Christianism”).

“But Christians want to take away my sexual freedom!” some will say.  “We are right to hate people like that.”  Well, Jews and Muslims don’t believe in unbridled sex either.  Do you hate them?  If not, if you only hate Christians, you may be an anti-Christianist.


Illustration:  Icon of the 21 Holy Coptic Martyrs of Libya [beheaded by ISIS in 2015] by Fadi Mikhail [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)] via Wikipedia.

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