The Christian religion is built upon tales of persecution and martyrdom. From the earliest days of conflicts with Jews and Romans, Christians have often clashed with ruling classes. Some of this persecution complex is based upon facts and some on revisionist views of history. Stories usually begin with the crucifixion of Jesus, but there is serious scholarship that doubts the existence of this individual.
It is generally accepted that there was a move my some Roman leaders to stamp out the upstart religion, but again, some scholars doubt the severity of this persecution. Of course, there has been considerable persecution by Christians against other Christians and especially against non-Christians. How else to explain the concept of proselytization which is designed to wipe out all other religious and non-religious belief. Indeed, many examples of Christian martyrs are those who were killed while trying to force their religion and politics on others.
Leaving aside the historical question of who killed whom, the 21st century has seen a significant amount of religious restrictions against all religions, and since Christianity has the largest number of adherents, it is not surprising to find they are often targeted. This information, illustrated by the figure to the right is from the PEW Report The Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion.
The report is very detailed and separates government restrictions on religious expression and physical violence directed against believers of any faith. Also, the most restrictive laws and the most violence are religion against religion, commonly, but not exclusively, in Islamic countries. Christians, Jews, Hindus, and others are certainly not exempt from blame.
Leaving aside this violence which is abhorrent to any thinking person, the Catholic church has made a total mockery of the topic by expanding their persecution complex to include Liberal democracies that are moving away from their centuries old control by Christian churches. In a ridiculously un-selfaware articles from the Catholic News Agency, challenges to their hegemony in areas such as reproductive and gender rights are seen as persecution.
Legal counsel Paul Coleman has spoken of the increasing persecution of Christians in Europe, identifying the main groups driving ideological agendas counter to Church teaching.
Anti-Christian ideologies at the U.N. are “being advanced by three different groups,” Coleman told CNA in a March 23 interview, the first being “activist organizations, the primary drivers behind the movement.”
“Then you have liberal, primarily Western countries driving the movement,” and finally “the institutions themselves at the United Nations.”…
Explaining some of the trends currently taking place, Coleman observed that one of the biggest is “the attempt to create a right to abortion in international law.”
“There are many documents that are discussed at the United Nations where the phrase ‘reproductive health and rights’ and ‘sexual reproductive health and rights’ appear constantly … no matter what the issue is that’s being discussed, they always find a way to include those issues.”
Another growing theme is that of the “SOGI movement” — sexual orientation, gender identity movement — which has emerged forcefully only “within the last decade,” Coleman noted.
“It’s seeking to promote the terms sexual orientation and gender identity on an international level, and seeking to provide protections” and “to change international laws to include those terms.”
Totally ignoring the fact that worldwide, restrictions on contraception and abortion cause untold harm to women, man, and children, and that gays, lesbians, and gender queer people face violence worldwide, even in these liberal democracies, he complains about restricting the ability of the Church to control the issues.
“We see for example, the United Kingdom has said it would withhold aid for Third World countries if those countries don’t change their laws on homosexuality” and “we see in America President Obama saying it’s a foreign policy priority to promote homosexuality across the world.”
He condemns the critics of the very real persecution of gays in some African countries, Russia, and many other countries as promoting homosexuality, when the reality is to promote the protection of people.
In reference to UN Treaties on Human Rights, he moans “they are used as a tool to kind of force nations to change their laws,” something his organization has never done.
Eventually, he said, “if they’re told constantly, you need to change your laws on abortion, you need to change your laws on homosexuality, then that pressure can lead to change at a domestic level.”
If there was ever an organization that successfully not just influenced, but controlled, governments worldwide it has been the Catholic Church.
The U.N., he explained, was designed in order “to bring the nations together in peace and harmony, and not to override their state sovereignty and certainly not to criticize doctrines of the Church.”
In his mind, persecution means not getting your own way.