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“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5: 10 KJV

“To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” — John 18: 37 KJV

In far-off lands, Islamic militants, fuel-injected from birth with the twin poisons of blind hatred and fanatical religion, revel in cruelty, torture and forced conversion of Christians. An even greater hatred is reserved for Jews.

In other parts of the world, atheistic communist tyrants – with neither heart nor soul, having given up both long ago for the sake of raw power – murder, intimidate and imprison Christians and others who profess allegiance to a higher power than the state.

Indeed, WorldNetDaily editors recently named Christian persecution worldwide as the most underreported story of the past year.

As the March edition of Whistleblower magazine reveals, persecution of Christians – not just prejudice and abuse, but encompassing severe intimidation, torture, imprisonment and execution – is prevalent and even increasing in many parts of the world.

Why?

Why the horrific brutality, against not only Christians, but Jews as well? (Indeed, the level of anti-Semitism in any age, in any hemisphere, has long been a barometer of the state of civilization itself.)

Funny thing about corrupted human beings – whether they’re communists, radical Islamists, Nazis, criminals or just plain dishonest, shallow, selfish folks: When they’re confronted by a person more innocent than they are, someone who lets God’s light shine out even a little bit, they can’t stand it. The pain is unbearable. They feel compelled to put the light out.

Let’s try to understand the real reasons for persecution by bringing the issue a little closer to home.

Who hasn’t noticed that when you tell a person about something he’s done wrong, if he isn’t willing to face his offense, he becomes angry with you, the messenger?

Every day in America, “sidewalk counselors” stand outside abortion clinics, speaking in urgent but respectful tones to the women entering therein – desperate souls intending to end the little life within their womb. Many have been penetrated by these words and changed course – if not, pro-lifers wouldn’t be doing it day in and day out.

But other times, the object of the “sidewalk counseling” becomes enraged at the words, “Please don’t kill your unborn child.” She later swears that the sidewalk counselor was abusive, threatening, intimidating, obscene, screaming, perhaps even violent. She threatens to sue the pro-life group, insisting she was assaulted and emotionally injured by vicious attackers.

It’s all untrue, of course. But the psychic shock of her having confronted, albeit involuntarily, the truth she had been running away from, felt to her like an act of great cruelty. After all, she felt awful after encountering the sidewalk counselor, so therefore the sidewalk counselor must have done something really terrible.

No. All that happened is that the conscience she had worked so long and hard to avoid, discredit and ignore popped out and talked to her from within another person.

This is persecution in its essence.

Why do the pro-abortion activists of Planned Parenthood and NARAL loathe pro-lifers with so much venom? Why do radical homosexuals hate Christian conservatives with such a seething contempt? (If you think I exaggerate, you haven’t been around these groups.)

It’s because the gay-rights movement is based on a lie. Homosexuality is a harmful lifestyle – period; the lifespan for homosexuals is radically shorter than for heterosexuals, and always has been – long before the age of AIDS.

The “pro-choice movement” is also based on a lie. The sidewalk counselor bursts the lie-giver’s bubble just as it is about to claim its next victim – at the point of no return.

Evil just hates it when that happens.

It’s been said that life itself is a war – first and foremost, a war between the hidden forces of good and evil for the souls of men (and women and children). Good wins in some souls, who grow up principled and virtuous — and evil gets the upper hand in others, who grow up rebellious, confused, deluded, reprobate.

But here’s the key point: Good can tolerate evil – but evil can’t tolerate good. That’s why the U.S. could co-exist indefinitely with communism, but communism couldn’t stand to co-exist with freedom. Since communism is based on a lie, freedom would always expose that lie for what it really is.

The Jews in Israel could co-exist peacefully with the Arabs forever. But the corrupt Arab and Muslim leadership – as distinct from the many decent Arabs and Muslims – have regarded the very existence of Israel as a hot dagger twisting in the heart of the Arab world since it was re-established on May 14, 1948. That’s why the very next day, Israel was attacked by the armies of five of her Arab neighbors in an intended war of annihilation.

It’s pretty simple, really. The persecutors feel compelled to put out the light, since the light causes them agony.

If, as Christians believe, Jesus was a perfect man, so full of goodness, why did so many people hate Him? Why was He persecuted and executed?

It’s because He was so full of goodness.

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” – John 1: 4-5 KJV

Understanding the world’s “uncomprehending darkness,” Jesus counseled His followers that they also would be “persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” And who can deny that being willing to suffer for righteousness – for what is right – is the very nitty-gritty of the true Christian life? It is, after all, how God demonstrated His love to the human race – through the redemptive suffering of His Son.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” – Matthew 5: 10-12 KJV



Editor’s note: The March 2002 edition of WND’s acclaimed Whistleblower magazine is devoted entirely to Christian persecution, including over two dozen stunning photos, many in-depth eyewitness articles and a section on how readers can effectively help combat the worldwide scourge of Christian persecution. Subscribe to Whistleblower now, beginning with “PERSECUTION: The untold story of intimidation, torture, imprisonment and murder of Christians worldwide.”

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