March 22, 2013 Length: 6:11
The western world has entered a period of decadence and decline, departing far from her Christian roots. With the European Union denying the historical and cultural Christian heritage of her member states, a secular based world view reigns dominant. This, together with the mass immigration of peoples from Islamic countries at a time when the birth rates of indigenous peoples are at an all time record low, threatens the very existence of Western civilization.
The naive would have us believe that we are living in an age of enlightenment, with borders falling, people uniting. They ignore the plight of the Coptic Christians of Egypt whose churches are being burned down in record numbers, young Coptic women being kidnapped and raped, and priests, bishops and anyone identified as Christian being fair game for assaults and murders. They ignore the growing persecution of Christians throughout the Middle East.
The government of Saudi Arabia has been building Islamic centers near university communities throughout the United States and Western Europe. While allegedly pushing for “Islamic rights”, they are wooing young westerners into Islam. While demanding Muslims be allowed their five times a day worship periods in the work place and on campuses, they forbid Jew and Christians the right to build synagogues and churches in Muslim countries.
Political figures throughout Western Europe and the United States have taken to calling anyone who raises a word of alarm as bigoted Islamaphobes, while ignoring the outright persecution of Christians throughout the Muslim world. It has become commonplace for attacks against Christians in Muslim countries to be written off as the acts of a few extremists, yet we hear no condemnation from imams of the growing discrimination experienced by Christians. If attacks against Christians are simply perpetrated by a few Islamic extremists, why don’t the imams raise their collective voices in decrying the violence of their co-religionists against their Christian neighbors?
Perhaps it is time to demand a church or synagogue be constructed in every Muslim country before any new mosques can be constructed in our cities. If Saudi Arabia wants to continue funding the construction of new mosques in the United States, perhaps we should demand the right to build churches in Saudi Arabia.
It is important to remember that Islam cannot be separated from politics. Sharia law, which is constituting the political and social frame of Islamic teaching, is incompatible with Democracy. The Arab Spring is proving this fact with the Islamic unwillingness to allow Coptic Christians the freedom they deserve to practice their faith openly. To compare Islam with Fascism is not too far fetched. Remember, Afghanistan was once a Buddhist nation, and Turkey and the Sudan were Christian nations. Islam makes no room for any form of religion other than Islam. The Western secular view of religion can not survive the growth of a faith that is both a political ideology and a religion. Nor can we as Christians refuse to share our faith by being complacent. Ministry is not about tickling ears, but tapping souls into awakening to the truth.
Christianity’s decline must be reversed and the only way this can happen is if those who are still practicing Christians become missionaries and give witness to Jesus Christ. Muslim immigrants who’ve moved to this country should not be shunned, or asked to leave our shores. They do, however, deserve the chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Muslim understanding of Christianity has been tainted by false teachings masquerading as Christian. This false image of Christianity, together with the climate of decadence embraced by a secularized western world, offers nothing to a follower of Islam. Only a loving witness to the truth, that in Christ we have a direct link to a personal God Who loves us and offers something that is life changing and eternal, has the draw that will bring Muslims to Christ.
Love in Christ,
The Very Rev. Fr. Tryphon is the abbot of All-Merciful Saviour Orthodox Christian Monastery on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound near Seattle, Washington.
In common with many monastics, he likes cats.