Yesterday, all across America, individuals celebrated the Christmas holiday with gifts, relatives, and festive family meals. However, sadly, not all Christians had the luxury of enjoying their holiday in the same way American Christians can. All around the world Christians are being persecuted.
A Merry Christmas Around the World?
In Germany, Christian shoppers at an outdoor Christmas market in Berlin were attacked by a 24-year-old Tunisian migrant. In Pakistan, Christians face violent attacks. In France, the Netherlands, and Canada, churches are being publicly targeted by ISIS sympathizers. In a letter to churches around the world, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote the following statement in his Christmas letter:
In many parts of our troubled, uncertain world, Christian minority communities along with other minorities are being similarly targeted. In some places, this is motivated by a desire to eradicate the indigenous Christian presence completely. These are acts not only of terror but of genocide; criminal acts for which the international community must bring those guilty to account.
A Merry Christmas in Bethlehem?
Christians are also faring no better in the believed birthplace of Jesus this Christmas. In Bethlehem, and the surrounding neighborhoods, Christians have been the targets of death threats and bomb attacks. One local Christian leader, Samir Qumsieh, “who hails from a large and well-respected Christian family in the town of Bet Sahour, near Bethlehem,” stated the following in an exclusive interview with the Gatestone Institute:
To understand the severity of the situation, let us recall that in the 1950s about 86% of the population of the Bethlehem area was Christian. Today, we are only 12%. In Israel, by contrast, we have 133,000 Christians and the figure is stable. Of course, I am worried about the future of Christians here.
In the end, it is important that we celebrate and enjoy the current Christmas season. However, it is imperative to simultaneously recognize the dire situations faced by Christians across the globe.