Christians persecuted and also ignored

After the recent attack in Nigeria, in which 50 people were killed, it is worth asking what we can do for persecuted Christians.

June 7, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

Photo: wounded from the attack in Nigeria. © CNS photo/Temilade Adelaja, Reuters

In a church in Nigeria 50 Christians have been massacred while celebrating Pentecost. Radicals shot at them and planted a bomb during the ceremony. The president of the country and the Pope have condemned the attacks and expressed their condolences. We, the citizens of the West, have seen the news, published in almost every newspaper. 

However, persecution against Christians is not a good headline for the partisan interests of some groups. That Christians can be presented as an unjustly targeted victim does not fit the usual clichés. Believers are rather the scapegoat to be blamed for the West's greatest evils, from patriarchy to the lack of freedom of speech. Would the international reaction have been greater if it had been a crime of homophobia? Although it is obviously not a question of comparing one injustice with another, we can ask ourselves if the perception of reality is not reaching us a little distorted. 

The data show that, for the past decade, the number of Christians killed annually for their faith has far exceeded 3,500 victims. How is it possible that this massacre is not on everyone's lips? We could look for explanations in the process of secularization of our societies, religious indifference or Machiavellian discrimination against believers. And there will be some of that.

However, I would like to put aside the victimist feelings and be self-critical. Are we believers concerned about this issue? Do we often pray for this intention? Do we share our concern naturally with our friends, colleagues or family members? In a word, is it on our minds? My general impression is that not very much.

We are in the month of June and big companies are tuning their logos in the West showing the rainbow flag. Maybe one can also make a small gesture and start talking more about this reality, see the latest religious freedom report of Aid to the Church in Need or start using the sign of persecuted Christians: ن. In short, go beyond sterile lamentations. 

The authorJavier Garcia

Editor of Omnes. Previously, he has collaborated in media such as Aceprensa and several cultural websites. He has been a high school philosophy teacher for 17 years.

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