Anti-chris­tian hate ‘yet to be given a name’

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Alexan­dra Ward

THE per­se­cu­tion of Chris­tians is be­ing ig­nored be­cause there is no de­fin­i­tive word to de­scribe it, ac­cord­ing to a UK arch­bishop.

Anba An­gae­los, the Cop­tic Or­tho­dox Arch­bishop of Lon­don, ar­gued that be­cause there are no equiv­a­lent words for anti-semitism or Is­lam­o­pho­bia, the prob­lem is “not seen as the phe­nom­e­non

‘Any­thing that tar­gets peo­ple for their faith must be ad­dressed’

which we know it is”. His com­ments came af­ter an an­nounce­ment that the Gov­ern­ment is to spend £12mil­lion on a pro­gramme to cham­pion re­li­gious free­dom around the world.

Arch­bishop An­gae­los ar­gued that be­cause there is no cer­tain ex­pres­sion or con­cept of Chris­tian per­se­cu­tion, it is sim­ply be­ing “left to hap­pen”.

He said: “We know it’s a phe­nom­e­non in many coun­tries, just as de­plorable as anti-semitism, Is­lam­o­pho­bia and any­thing else that tar­gets peo­ple pre­cisely for their faith and so, there­fore, must be ad­dressed at the same level.”

He sug­gested that hav­ing a word or con­cept that can be eas­ily un­der­stood and recog­nised would al­low peo­ple of “all faiths” to come to­gether to speak against it.

The arch­bishop told BBC Ra­dio 4’s To­day pro­gramme: “In the world of 280 char­ac­ters on Twit­ter, and very quick news feeds, I think that is part of the prob­lem. You can’t have a hash­tag that says ‘per­se­cu­tion of Chris­tians... x, y or z’.”

Asked if he had yet man­aged to find a suit­able word or phrase, the arch­bishop said: “Not yet… this can’t be mine, I can’t own it alone.”

In Pak­istan in 2016, 26 chil­dren were among 75 peo­ple mur­dered in a sui­cide bomb­ing tar­geted at Chris­tians cel­e­brat­ing Easter Sun­day.

And in June this year 238 Chris­tians died in a Fu­lani herder mili­tia at­tack in Plateau State, Nige­ria.

The re­li­gious free­doms scheme will bring to­gether MPS, aca­demics, re­li­gious lead­ers and de­vel­op­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The arch­bishop said the pro­gramme was “not about pol­icy”, but “tak­ing away the tools of those who want to per­se­cute”.

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