‘‘I Ter­ror­iz­ing Christ­mas

What the great Is­lamic hi­jack­ing of Ber­lin re­veals

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By Mark Chris­tian Mark Chris­tian, a physi­cian, is the pres­i­dent and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Global Faith In­sti­tute. A for­mer Mus­lim Sunni imam, he con­verted from Is­lam to Chris­tian­ity.

ch bin ein Ber­liner” (I am a Ber­liner). Four sim­ple words ut­tered by Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy on June 26, 1963 against the geopo­lit­i­cal back­drop of the Ber­lin Wall. Four words as ap­pro­pri­ate to­day as they were 53 years ago. To­day in Ber­lin, Cairo and across the globe, Chris­tians are cry­ing out for us to stand against their op­pres­sors with the same strength of char­ac­ter our late pres­i­dent showed the world.

But we live in an age of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness run amok, in which Chris­tians are hes­i­tant about show­ing their faith or wish­ing oth­ers a Merry Christ­mas. We are ex­pert at en­sur­ing we do not of­fend and we change our words to pro­tect the sen­si­tiv­i­ties of oth­ers. We pluck the manger scenes out of our public squares, and even from our churches, as clergy want to avoid of­fend­ing Mus­lims or any other non-Chris­tian sect.

After the events of re­cent days, Amer­i­cans have the op­por­tu­nity to say that we will stand up to the as­saults waged against our way of life by Is­lamists who seek our de­struc­tion.

Is­lam has de­clared war on Chris­tian­ity. They of­fered no ex­pla­na­tions as a church was bombed in Egypt, killing at least 27 wor­shipers and in­jur­ing dozens more. No “par­don me” was ut­tered as an­other mass slaugh­ter of Chris­tians at a Christ­mas mar­ket in Ger­many was car­ried out by who al­most cer­tainly is a Mus­lim mi­grant.

In­stead of of­fer­ing a mes­sage of strength, our re­sponse to the mur­der of our broth­ers and sis­ters the world over at the hands of Is­lam is to hide be­hind an over­weight man dressed in red who de­liv­ers gifts. We have al­lowed an anti-Christ be­lief sys­tem to sys­tem­at­i­cally dis­man­tle our re­li­gious ob­ser­vances and push aside the bedrock of our faith — the gift of re­demp­tion de­liv­ered to us by the birth, death and res­ur­rec­tion of Je­sus.

I came to this coun­try from my home­land of Egypt in 2005 in search of Chris­tian­ity and a safe place to prac­tice a faith other than Is­lam. And while I still see traces of the free­doms I found when I ar­rived, I also see omi­nous changes tak­ing place.

Mean­while, Chris­tians in ma­jor­ity Is­lamic coun­tries con­tinue to stand boldly in the face of un­mit­i­gated per­se­cu­tion. On Dec. 11, Al-Bor­tosia chapel, which is lo­cated near St. Mark’s Cathe­dral in Cairo, the largest Cop­tic cathe­dral in Egypt, was bombed in what has been called the dead­li­est at­tack on Egyp­tian Chris­tians. Po­lice did not rush in to se­cure the area or at­tempt to save any pos­si­ble sur­vivors in the church, which was lit­tered with the shat­tered bod­ies of women and chil­dren who had gath­ered for Sun­day mass.

Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Ab­del-Fat­tah el-Sisi, in an ef­fort to calm the Chris­tian com­mu­nity in Egypt, de­clared the im­pos­si­ble a mere 24 hours after the car­nage — that the per­pe­tra­tor had been ap­pre­hended. That would have been mirac­u­lous since ev­i­dence was cal­lously tram­pled un­der­foot. He added that those who had died were mar­tyrs for their faith. In a pre­pared state­ment, he said, “The pain felt by Egyp­tians now will not go to waste, but will re­sult in an un­com­pro­mis­ing de­ci­sive­ness to hunt down and bring to trial who­ever helped — through in­cit­ing, fa­cil­i­tat­ing, par­tic­i­pat­ing or ex­e­cut­ing — in this heinous crime.”

In Amer­ica, per­haps that would be true. But Mr. el-Sisi is pres­i­dent of a pre­dom­i­nantly Is­lamic coun­try, and Sharia is the law. After his well-in­ten­tioned state­ment, he was re­minded in no un­cer­tain terms by imams who crashed the fu­ner­als of the mur­dered Chris­tians that Chris­tian­ity is an in­fe­rior faith that can­not pro­duce mar­tyrs. The only mar­tyrs in Egypt are Mus­lim, they raged.

Fast-for­ward a few days to Ber­lin and its an­cient Christ­mas mar­ket. Again, cel­e­brants of Christ­mas were slaugh­tered. The mes­sage was clear: Chris­tians are fair game in the quest for the Is­lamic caliphate.

You see, to a Mus­lim from the Mid­dle East, the act of killing Chris­tians is sanc­tioned, glo­ri­fied and noble. ISIS has called for the faith­ful to step up their at­tacks on Chris­tians ev­ery­where, es­pe­cially dur­ing the holy Christ­mas sea­son. And the faith­ful are only too will­ing to an­swer the call.

Amer­ica is the great melt­ing pot, but most of the new­com­ers we are wel­com­ing as refugees to our na­tion aren’t in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a part of our so­ci­ety. Rather, they are bring­ing the cul­tural norms from their home­lands of Pak­istan, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan and So­ma­lia, and liv­ing them out here. And what has the Chris­tian re­sponse been? To make them com­fort­able, even if it means we lose our faith, our tra­di­tions and our very lives.

This must not be­come the new Amer­ica. I crossed the vast seas to come to free­dom in this land, but I see that the per­se­cu­tion and si­lenc­ing of Chris­tians has crossed the seas be­hind me. It is not too late, but we must stand up now and loudly pro­claim that our faith, our free­doms and our tra­di­tions are to be re­spected by all who come to our shores. The Egyp­tian Chris­tians can­not say it. Ger­man, French and other Euro­pean Chris­tians are afraid to speak it. And the faint whis­per of Amer­i­cans stand­ing up for their faith is drown­ing in po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and mis­placed sen­si­tiv­i­ties.

I only hope the church in this great na­tion will em­body Eph­e­sians 6:10-11, which says, “Fi­nally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full ar­mor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

What’s at stake? Ev­ery­thing. Merry Christ­mas.

After his well-in­ten­tioned state­ment, he was re­minded in no un­cer­tain terms by imams who crashed the fu­ner­als of the mur­dered Chris­tians that Chris­tian­ity is an in­fe­rior faith that can­not pro­duce mar­tyrs.

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