Recognizing all persecution

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It was with great interest that I watched on the news the raising of the Gay Pride flag by Steve Kent, representing the provincial government and Dennis O’Keefe, representing the City of St. John’s, to bring attention to the human rights abuses to LGBT people in Russia during the Winter Olympics. I understand that the City of Mount Pearl also raised a flag.

It is a fact that no one group should be targeted for persecution or abuse in today’s society.

There are about 6.6 billion people in the world and one-third, or 2.2 billion of these, identify as Christians. It is estimated that  one per cent of the world’s population identify as LGBT, roughly 6 million.

In 2013, there were 2,123 murders of Christians for their faith. In North Korea, there are between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians jailed for their faith.

It is estimated that 100,000 million believers in Christ, worldwide, suffer ruthless persecution by imprisonment, torture, rape, execution, expulsion and forced labour. Christians are persecuted in more than 65 countries around the world, especially in the Middle East, where Islamist rulers often purport to make faith in Christ a crime.

Is there persecution of Christians in North America? There certainly is. Consider a pastor who was arrested for quoting from the Bible, which the police claimed to be offensive. An ESPN sportscaster was fired because he supported marriage as being between a man and a woman. A nurse was fired for praying for a patient even though the patient requested prayer.

Under Obamacare, Christian employers, the church and church hospitals are forced to purchase insurance to cover abortions and abortive drugs for their employees.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that quotes from the Bible may be considered hate literature.

Based on these facts, which group — Christians or LGBT people — do you feel are being persecuted the most?

Where is the flag-raising ceremony, by our elected officials, to protest the persecution of Christians in North America and around the world?

I will be delivering a Christian flag to Mr. Kent, Mr. O’Keefe and Mr. Simms before Easter week to be raised and flown to remind us of the persecution of Jesus Christ and his followers to this day.

 

Tolson Chapman

St. John’s

Organizations: ESPN, Supreme Court of Canada

Geographic location: North America, North Korea, Middle East

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Recent comments

  • Alison Melvin
    February 21, 2014 - 10:37

    I shall be praying for all persecuted peoples, with a special emphasis on persecuted Christians. I shall also pray for the raising of a Christian flag in pre-Easter time. May God bless all and deliver His people, His church, from persecution. May God's holy truth triumph, and all peoples reap the fruits of that triumph.

  • Herb Morrison
    February 21, 2014 - 10:30

    Mr Chapman, first off, I would like to make it clear that I am a professing and confessing Christian. Secondly, feel compelled to tell you that, as a Christian, I am experiencing difficulty deciding what is more offensive to me, as a Christian, your over-abundance of audacity, or you ignorance of basic Christian Doctrine as taught by Christ during His earthly Ministry. Your over-abundance of audacity, which; in my opinion, is amply demonstrated by your presumption that, when you present your flag to Mr Kent, and Mayors O’Keefe and Simms, you have either the support of all Christians or the right to publicly represent the interests of all Christians. Well Sir, I hate to either burst your bubble or to stick a pin in what appears to be a badly over-inflated ego, but this Christian neither needs nor do I want you to publicly represent my interests when it comes to the manner in which I live my Christian Faith. Within the context of this situation, As a Christian, I cannot allow what, in my opinion, is the decidedly unchristian content of the above mentioned rant. I cannot and will not agree with the contents of what, 8in my op8in8ion, i8s your obviously, decidedly unchristian rant entitled Recognizing All Persecution. I base my opinion of your rant on Scripture; specifically, the Beatitudes as taught by Christ, once again during His earthly Ministry, and recorded in Matthew 5:03-13. The last two of the Beatitudes state: `Blessed are you when men shall persecute you and revile you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so persecuted they the Prophets which came before you. Please note the abundance of humility, self-sacrifice, faith, and hope contained in Christ’s teachings known as the Beatitudes and compare and contrast them with, what in my opinion at least, is the self-pitying, childlike, unchristian cry for the world’s attention, which is contained in Mr. Chapman’s submission. Christians are called to emulate what Christ said and did during His earthly Ministry, by calling for the just and right treatment of all people be they male, female, Gay or straight, black, white, red, or yellow-skinned. We are called to love and to serve God by loving and serving others (1 and2 of the Ten Commandments). As a Christians I am not called to seek equality, justice, righteousness or public recognition of any kind for myself, which is what Mr Chapman appears to be seeking. Such self-centred behaviour is not a Christian concept, if you believe Christ’s Beatitudes. I will have my reward for serving God on earth, when, by God’s Grace, I reach Heaven. Mr Chapman, first off, I would like to make it clear that I am a professing and confessing Christian. Secondly, feel compelled to tell you that, as a Christian, I am experiencing difficulty deciding what is more offensive to me, as a Christian, your over-abundance of audacity, or you ignorance of basic Christian Doctrine as taught by Christ during His earthly Ministry. Your over-abundance of audacity, which; in my opinion, is amply demonstrated by your presumption that, when you present your flag to Mr Kent, and Mayors O’Keefe and Simms, you have either the support of all Christians or the right to publicly represent the interests of all Christians. Well Sir, I hate to either burst your bubble or to stick a pin in what appears to be a badly over-inflated ego, but this Christian neither needs nor do I want you to publicly represent my interests when it comes to the manner in which I live my Christian Faith. Within the context of this situation, As a Christian, I cannot allow what, in my opinion, is the decidedly unchristian content of the above mentioned rant. I cannot and will not agree with the contents of what, 8in my op8in8ion, i8s your obviously, decidedly unchristian rant entitled Recognizing All Persecution. I base my opinion of your rant on Scripture; specifically, the Beatitudes as taught by Christ, once again during His earthly Ministry, and recorded in Matthew 5:03-13. The last two of the Beatitudes state: `Blessed are you when men shall persecute you and revile you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so persecuted they the Prophets which came before you. Please note the abundance of humility, self-sacrifice, faith, and hope contained in Christ’s teachings known as the Beatitudes and compare and contrast them with, what in my opinion at least, is the self-pitying, childlike, unchristian cry for the world’s attention, which is contained in Mr. Chapman’s submission. Christians are called to emulate what Christ said and did during His earthly Ministry, by calling for the just and right treatment of all people be they male, female, Gay or straight, black, white, red, or yellow-skinned. We are called to love and to serve God by loving and serving others (1 and2 of the Ten Commandments). As a Christians I am not called to seek equality, justice, righteousness or public recognition of any kind for myself, which is what Mr Chapman appears to be seeking. Such self-centred behaviour is not a Christian concept, if you believe Christ’s Beatitudes. I will have my reward for serving God on earth, when, by God’s Grace, I reach Heaven.

  • Cashin Delaney
    February 21, 2014 - 05:25

    Some say the only True Christian was Jesus Christ, and I love him dearly, even if he is not historically proven. He left home and got an education in Alexandria, went to Cornwall at the tin, came home and worked with his step-dad and stirred up MAJOR SHIT for the mean-spirited authority – Roman, and Jewish alike. I love him. Good guy, big heart, just enough of a saucy streak - bowed to no one on Earth. Perfect? No, if you think otherwise, you miss the point, and have forsaken yourself. PEOPLE, please feel free to fly all manner of flags, and have a celebration of life. Let me have my Jesus-concept, (who has as much to do with Modern Organized Christianity as Aunt Jemima has to do with pancakes) and let others be free to interpet his message. As for LGBT, or whatever, read about the sex organs of the Heyena, (Aristotle, or Stephen Jay Gould) and about their female-dominated society. We are all in this together, we have to get along. I don’t mind Christians, or Gays, (or Lizzys, as Grandmudder called them) but when ANYBODY rubs me the wrong way by preaching hate disguised as piety, or sookiness as holiness, or WORST – blind, stupid, EQUALITY – I tend to laugh and have fun with them. Why not raise flags, or preach sermons on the importance of EQUANIMITY?