Reading through the headlines this weekend, my eyes were fixed on one in particular. The headline “Arab Spring Run Amok: ‘Brotherhood’ Starts Crucifixions” conjures all kinds of images for the 21st century believer.
To be sure, the targets of crucifixion in Egypt are not, at least at the start, Christian believers. Radical Muslims crucified those opposing newly installed President Muhammad Morsi “naked on trees in front of the presidential palace.” It was a clear signal to political opponents: get in line or face the consequences.
Political violence in the Arab world is not news to anyone. But this headline caught my attention because crucifixion has special meaning for Christians.
The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, with their advocacy of Shari’ah and radical Islam is a concern for us all. Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow Clare Lopez believes these crucifixions are a clear warning for Egypt’s Christians. She compares the coming treatment of these believers with imagery as charged as that brought up by the crucifixions themselves: the harsh treatment of Jews in Hitler’s Germany.
The Copts must get out of Egypt as soon as possible – for the many millions who will not be able to get out, I expect things will continue to deteriorate – just as they did for Germany’s and Europe’s Jews from the 1930s onward.
She goes on to cite several passages from the Qur’an that explain what’s happening in Egypt, including Surahs 9:29 and 5:33. The latter of these reads:
The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides.
Clearly, the expectation is more of the same for the minority Christian Copts.
Bat Ye’or’s The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam was required reading in a graduate school Middle East politics course. Her painful history paints a complicated picture of a dominant Muslim majority subjugating second-class minority citizens to lesser roles and varying degrees of persecution and ridicule. This remains the plight of most Christians and Jews in Islamic nations, and the degree of subjugation and official tolerance varies greatly from one nation to another. Is it about to get worse for Egyptian Christians?
And how should we respond to hatred, persecution and the prospect of death for Christian brothers and sisters around the world?
Here’s the standard laid out for us by Jesus Christ. He speaks to us with foreknowledge of his own crucifixion, and yet he persists in counseling love in the face of hate:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” – Matthew 5:43-44 (NIV)
That’s what I intend to do. I will pray for my enemies, who need Christ as much as anyone else. And I will pray for those they persecute. I will pray for Christian brothers and sisters across the Arab world and I will pray for God’s protection upon their families.
Most of all, I will pray that Clare Lopez’s worst fears do not come true.
Read the full article: “Arab Spring Run Amok: ‘Brotherhood’ Starts Crucifixions” by Michael Carl on WND.com.