When we think about the persecution of Christians at the present moment, what comes to mind for most of us are places like China, the Middle East, or pariah states like North Korea, Venezuela, or Cuba. These situations are occasionally noticed but not exactly well publicized in the secular media. We mostly have to rely on religious outlets, Catholic and Protestant, to do the heavy lifting of keeping us informed about the plight of fellow believers in the modern world.
But there’s a whole other dimension of threats against Christians that goes almost unnoticed. We know of the pressures that churches and religious organizations – and even single believers like florists and bakers – come under these days in America when they resist attempts by State or Federal agencies to impose the new sexual ethos, or to enforce rules on alleged “hate speech” or bias on believers.
The Supreme Court has so far been fairly good at protecting religious liberty. And if President Trump – as is highly likely – appoints another justice (or two?) to the Court, sensitive to Constitutional protections of religion, we may have at least some long-term shelter from the constant anti-Christian drumbeat in the universities, media, and Hollywood.
I’ve been aware for years of similar problems in Europe, where there are generally not the same kind of First Amendment protections or judicial recourse. But I had no real idea of the extent of the problems there – I think almost no one does – though we now have a very useful tool to take its measure.
The Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe has published a 74-page 2018 Report that’s a real eye-opener (you can read it online here). This is not simply a compilation of complaints or over-sensitive reactions to clashes in pluralist societies. It provides a portrait of an extensive problem that everyone who cares about liberty, religious liberty included, should be aware of.
Read more at The Catholic Thing.