The new episode of Holy Smoke is about the persecution of Christians. That’s a familiar concept, even if we don’t read much about it in the media. But here’s what it means in 2019:
- The rape, murder and dismemberment of pregnant Christian women in Nigeria by Islamist thugs.
- The use of face-recognition technology by the Chinese government to monitor, control and, where it deems necessary, eradicate Christian worship by demolishing thousands of churches
- The evisceration of ancient Christian communities in the lands of the Bible.
- The relentless torture of Christians in North Korea.
- The burning of Christian villages by Hindu nationalists in India, and vicious attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka and Burma by Buddhists, egged on by bloodthirsty monks. It’s hard to overestimate the threat to religious freedom posed by the spread of Asian religious nationalism.
Meanwhile the Church of England builds helter-skelters and crazy golf courses in its cathedrals, while the Vatican is manoeuvred by Beijing into signing a concordat that legitimises China’s government-run parody of the Catholic Church.
It’s a scandalous situation – though, to be fair to the Church of England, the new Bishop of Truro, Philip Mountstephen, has just published an impressive report for the Foreign Office into the global persecution of Christians. He notes that Islam is far from the only culprit – and also blames political correctness for encouraging the British authorities, and Western governments generally, to avert their eyes.
Tellingly, he begins by quoting what William Wilberforce said to the House of Commons about the slave trade in 1791: ‘You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know’.
I’m joined on the podcast by a fearless campaigner on behalf of the suffering Church, Fr Benedict Kiely, founder of the charity Nasrean.Org – and by fearless I mean that he goes to places from where he’s lucky to return alive.
In future he’ll be bringing us regular short dispatches on the grotesque suffering not just of Christians – Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox – but also of other religious minorities whose human dignity is trampled on.
Listen to what he has to say about the Vatican’s cynical deal with China – and Britain’s wretched Department for International Development, which unlike the Foreign Office couldn’t care less what happens to Christians. We know that because it cheerfully lines the pockets of their murderous enemies.
Boris Johnson has promised that the Bishop of Truro’s report will be implemented in full. But that can’t happen without tackling the colonisation of DfID by the secular multiculturalist left, something no Tory government has ever attempted.