The Sri Lanka Attacks, the Global Persecution of Christians, and Western Liberal Indifference

April 25 2019

Responding to the bloody Easter terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, Ross Douthat examines the way they have been discussed in the West, and what they say about the global situation of Christians, who—contrary to what much of American liberal opinion alleges—are not always the privileged majority:

Three Catholic churches were bombed, and with them three hotels catering to Western tourists, because often in the jihadist imagination Western Christianity and Western liberal individualism are the conjoined enemies of their longed-for religious utopia, their religious-totalitarian version of Islam. Tourists and missionaries, Coca-Cola and the Catholic Church—it’s all the same invading Christian enemy, different brand names for the same old crusade.

Officially, the Western world’s political and cultural elite does its best to undercut and push back against this narrative. . . . But if the equation of traditional Christianity with privilege has some relevance to the actual Euro-American situation, when applied globally it’s a gross category error. And so the main victims of Western liberalism’s peculiar relationship to its Christian heritage aren’t put-upon traditionalists in the West; they’re Christians like the murdered first communicants in Sri Lanka, or the jailed pastors in China, or the Coptic martyrs of North Africa, or any of the millions of non-Western Christians who live under constant threat of persecution.

One of the basic facts of contemporary religious history is that Christians around the world are persecuted on an extraordinary scale—by mobs and pogroms in India, jihadists and United States-allied governments in the Muslim world, secular totalitarians in China and North Korea. Yet as an era-defining reality rather than an episodic phenomenon, this reality is barely visible in the Western media, and rarely called by name and addressed head-on by Western governments and humanitarian institutions.

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More about: Christianity, Christians, Jihadism, Liberalism

 

Is There a Way Out of Israel’s Political Deadlock?

On Tuesday, leaders of the Jewish state’s largest political parties, Blue and White and Likud, met to negotiate the terms of a coalition agreement—and failed to come to an agreement. If none of the parties in the Knesset succeeds in forming a governing coalition, there will be a third election, with no guarantee that it will be more conclusive than those that preceded it. Identifying six moves by key politicians that have created the deadlock, Shmuel Rosner speculates as to whether they can be circumvented or undone:

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Election 2019, Israeli politics