Practice your faith — while you still can
by Nelson Price
May 04, 2014 04:00 AM | 2446 views | 5 5 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The global persecution of Christians has reached a crisis stage. The prime ministers of both England and Israel have spoken about the seriousness of the situation. Most of the pressure on Christians is being precipitated by Muslims.

The slaughter of large numbers of believers in African and Middle East has dramatically reduced the number of Christians in the region. Driving the efforts is a concern in predominantly Muslim countries where significant numbers of young people have converted to Christianity. Thus, Christianity is considered by radical Muslims as a threat to Muslim control.

An attracting feature drawing young people to Christianity is the music. They love the tunes and are buying into the doctrine. The freedom of religion in America is an appealing influence also.

Christians in America enjoy such freedom; most are unaware of the global persecution being suffered by an estimated 100 million believers in 60 countries.

Reported attacks on Christians in Europe are on the increase, especially in the Muslim-dominated areas of England and France.

Not all of the persecution is physical. Having visited Bethlehem in the Palestinian Territory many times, I have developed many friends there. Several years ago, the Christian population in Bethlehem was about 26 percent. Today, it is less than 10 percent. There it is economic pressure causing Christians to leave. Arab money has flooded into the area and they are buying out Christians and imposing other forms of economic pressure.

One successful Christian businessman told me he had been offered 10 times the value of his business if he would sell. He said that were he willing to bargain he could get much more.

The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, said he fears Christians are being subjected to persecution as Jews were under Hitler. He noted Israel is the only country in the region where Jews, Muslims and Christians are free to engage in public worship.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said, “our faith” is the most persecuted in the world and that “I hope we can do more to raise the profile of the persecution of Christians.”

The only expression from our president regarding religion in the region has been for him to say we are not at war with Islam. His attitude appears to be if we will be nice-nice to them they will be nice-nice to us. It is not working.

Here in America, Christianity is under a different kind of attack. The entertainment media is a primary source discrediting Christianity. Unfortunately, a minority of Christian ministers have indulged in immoral behavior that tends to discredit the faith. It is such characters as these that are represented in the media. There is a legion of persons who live their faith as consistent advocates of morality and virtue while serving others. These are the untold stories.

In America, special interest groups have pushed and abused the First Amendment to our Constitution to mean separation of God from the universe. Christianity has virtually been forced from the public square and out of our institutions. This is contrary to what the founders intended. They conducted regular worship services in the nation’s capital and the Supreme Court building. The Constitution provides freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

We have freedom of religion for which Christians globally long. To have a freedom and do not respect and use it is little better than not having the freedom. Practice your faith, express your convictions, and engage in public worship ... while you can.

The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.
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May 08, 2014
Where was Rev Price when tens of thousands of Muslims were being killed, maimed and displaced for ten years of the Iraq War? He and his fellow right wingers were busy cheerleading Cheney/Bush in their war for Oil!
May 08, 2014
It should be obvious that Christians are being persecuted. There are only four Christian Churches within walking distance of my house!
Al Kaffir
May 07, 2014
Rev Price is correct about the global persecution of Christians - it is an international disgrace. But the Quran commands Muslims to wage jihad or holy war against non-believers (all non-Muslims), using violence if necessary, until Islam is supreme, (Quran 2:191; 2:216; 8:39; 9:5; 9:29; 9:38-39; 9:73; 9:123; etc; etc).

However, I disagree with Rev Price about freedom of religion. I have no religious beliefs, and while I support 'freedom of religion' as a basic human right, I also believe in 'freedom from religion'. You cannot have one without the other, because given half a chance, one religion will always try to dominate. Religion should be a private matter, not a public one - that's simply proselytising. The founding fathers of your Constitution understood that very well, given the strife and turmoil caused by centuries of religious conflict in Europe.

Nevertheless, if the Muslims ever gain control, all that protection will be lost. Under Islam, there is no separation of religion and state. Islam will become the state religion, and its barbaric Sharia law will be the law of the land.
Lib in Cobb
May 07, 2014
@Price: People are being slaughtered by the thousands, hundreds of girls have been kidnapped in Nigeria and you are worried about christian persecution. It seems your christian values need a tune up. Two faced at best, hypocritical at best. I am very happy that christianity plays no part in my life.
May 05, 2014
The musings of "Dr." Nelson Price are always good for a laugh. Like many other right-wing religious wackaloons, he's always scornful about anyone pointing out the gross inequities and racism of our culture, but breathe the least shadow of skepticism about his ludicrous "faith" and listen to him whine about "persecution."
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