Religious leaders fear elimination of Christians

 On Christmas Day Christian and Jewish leaders have finally plucked up the courage to condemn the persecution of religious minorities by those who ‘hate difference’. Let us remind them that the first ethnic minority to be expelled from the Arab Middle East were the Jews.

 Sky News reports: 

Christianity is facing “elimination” in the
Middle East at the hands of an Islamic State “apocalypse”, the
Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby used his Christmas Day sermon
at Canterbury Cathedral to say IS is “igniting a trail of fear,
violence, hatred and determined oppression”.

He branded the Islamist extremists as “a Herod of today” – a
reference to the Biblical despotic king of Judea at the time of Jesus’s
birth.

“Confident that these are the last days, using force and
indescribable cruelty, they (IS) seem to welcome all opposition, certain
that the warfare unleashed confirms that these are indeed the end
times,” he said.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

 Justin Welby

“They hate difference, whether it is Muslims who think
differently, Yazidis or Christians, and because of them the Christians
face elimination in the very region in which Christian faith began.

“This apocalypse is defined by themselves and heralded only by the angel of death.

“To all who have been or are being dehumanised by the
tyranny and cruelty of a Herod or an ISIS, a Herod of today, God’s
judgement comes as good news, because it promises justice.”

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis used his own festive message to
urge all faiths to unite in the face of attacks on their freedom to
worship.

He said: “It has been reported that persecution of
Christians persists in over a hundred countries, more than for any other
religion.

The Pope delivers his sermon at the Vatican

“Faith communities have a responsibility to stand together
to oppose discrimination and attacks on freedom of religious expression
wherever they are to be found.

“Most recently, the shocking ban on public celebrations of
Christmas in Brunei is reflective of an intolerance that as Jews, we
simply cannot countenance.”

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