In the midst of the current persecution of religion supposedly triggered by the COVID-19 Panic (and which is such a convenient excuse), we must not forget that these restrictions, these attacks have been going on for a long time, in times BCV (before coronavirus).
Not long ago, I ran across several articles condemning “right wing” groups for claiming that religion (especially Christianity and Judaism) is being attacked by governments. Now, I run daily across articles – some by those who seem(ed) to be faithful christians, claiming that the actions of various states and localities are NOT persecution because they apply to more than just churches and synagogues. (I shan’t list these various articles – I have no desire to help spread their propaganda.)
The sometimes hateful and often naïve postings and statements by various people after the attack on Jews in New York, and on the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas, (in December 2019) just raise the ante. However, those attacks are by private individuals, even if some of them are politicians.
But I can point out some recent (and on-going) attacks which are coming from government and the statist thugs that support government, from around the world.
From China: The Daily Star (in the UK) reports that Chinese Communist Party Chairman and President Xi’s government has ordered religious groups, including Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists to “revise the translations” of their holy books to “adapt them” to the era of President Xi Jinping. Xi has followed Mao (and the rulers of North Korea) in developing a cult of personality. Churches and Mosques which do not do so will be closed and their members “reeducated” as is currently being done to 1-2 million Uighar Muslims in Sinkiang, and has been since 1960 to Buddhists in Tibet.
From Michigan: From the DC Dirty Laundry website comes this story. Lenawee County officials have condemned 14 Amish houses as being unfit for human habitation, and have gone to court to get the houses demolished. The reason? They are not “modern” and lack running water, flush toilets, electricity, and proper heat. These Old Order Amish, for generations (probably at least 170 or 180 years) have exercised their strong religious beliefs and use hand-pumped water wells, cesspools and outhouses, candles, and such. They also do not use phones (including cell phones) or automobiles or farm tractors, but rather horse and buggy. (No word on whether or not the county thugs are also trying to keep the horses off their roads to prevent pollution.)
From Dallas: According to DC Dirty Laundry and the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (an NGO aid group), churches in that city which have opened their meetinghouses for temporary shelters for homeless people in cold weather have been charged by the City with code violations, because homeless shelters are not permitted within 1,000 feet of any church building.
From Ohio: TMU.org reports that the City of Cleveland, on Christmas Eve, delivered an ultimatum to the Dennison Avenue United Church of Christ (aka Congregational Church) by posting on the building door a notice to stop allowing homeless people to sleep in the building or lose their status as a “religious organization.” Apparently they have also been told that the building needs to be redesignated from a “house of worship” or church building to a “homeless shelter” and massive improvements made for it to be safe to let homeless sleep there.
These are just a few right here close at hand and in the last few months. But the files contain hundreds. And many are not from their own governments. A story following up both the New York attacks and the West Freeway attack tells of warnings made within the last two weeks, according to an MSN news story.
(Wrongly, the story places the responsibility for protecting churches on the federal government – an obvious opening for demanding more gun control and more surveillance and the like. However, it is the responsibility of the religious people to be prepared and able to defend themselves. Indeed, that is one of the big differences between the machete attacks and the Texas attack. No one was armed to defend that rabbi and his fellow synagogue members against the thug with the big knife. But the followers of The Rabbi in Texas were armed and prepared – and did.)
In the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Panic, we find the trend continuing. Here are just a few examples – of official government action. We have all seen many more.
From Northern California (real North, Mendocino County, not the Bay Area): people are not allowed to sing in church meeting houses.
From Montana: Preachers are appealing to the governor to allow churches to assemble and worship, pointing out the dangers and asking why it is okay for pot shops and liquor stores to have people congregate, but not places of worship. (I wish more brethren had the courage of these men.) So far, the governor has ignored them, extending the lockdown for more weeks.
From New Jersey: The governor admitted to Tucker Carlson on a recorded interview that he did NOT think about the Bill of Rights when he ordered churches and synagogues closed. In fact, he claimed that was “above his pay grade.”
Again, it is okay for pot shops (“dispensaries”), liquor stores, abortion clinics, and such to be open for business, but people who try to assemble to worship God – even doing the social distancing and more – are condemned, arrested, ticketed, and treated like dogs. In New York City, the mayor has flat-out threatened to close churches and synagogues permanently if they fail to close now.
If that isn’t religious persecution, then apparently neither was feeding people to the lions. After all, everybody know they were involved in cannibalism, incest, and were atheists who were disloyal to the emperor.