Flat White

The cancer of Christianophobia

Simon Tonkin

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Simon Tonkin

30 October 2022

10:00 AM

Mulling over the recent Andrew Thorburn injustice, I reflected on a photo on my computer. Say ‘Hello’ to a boy named Danjuma Shakuru. Christian agency Voice of the Martyrs reports that he is famous for his ever-ready smile of joy. It’s a somewhat angelic beam don’t you think? At 13, he was critically wounded in an attack on his village in Northern Nigeria. He was so badly injured that his fellow villagers thought him dead and dug his grave, but before he could be buried, he regained consciousness and started crying and shouting.

Today, his message to his attackers is: ‘I forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing. If they had love, they wouldn’t behave that way.’

As he utters these words, it is noticeable that one eye doesn’t seem to open. It was carved out with a machete. The other one is blind. His arm is visibly scarred from a brutal hacking. And what you cannot miss, but will not want to stare at, is the urine-filled colostomy bag that he carries wherever he goes. They cut off his genitals. His graciousness is an inspiration the world over – to those who have heard of him, that is. But, of course, far too few have. After all, international Christian abuse stories don’t make the nightly news. And even the Christians soon moved him from their headlines – another church was bombed. It was full of worshippers.

Truth be told, there are just too many of these stories for any one agency to document and report. And there are so many agencies. The Open Doors organisation is another one. They report that last year alone there were over 360 million Christians living in places where they experienced high levels of persecution; 5,898 Christians were killed for their faith; 5,110 churches and other Christian buildings were attacked; and 4,765 believers were detained without trial and arrested, sentenced or imprisoned.

Today, eleven Christians are killed for their beliefs every day. That is nearly one every two hours. What were you doing two hours ago? This is the highest number in modern history.

Christianity is the world’s most persecuted faith. Last century, more Christians were martyred than in the previous eighteen centuries combined. There were in excess of 26 million documented cases, whereas for the previous eighteen centuries combined, there were only 14 million. ‘Only’ 14 million? I forget myself. However, these are merely the documented cases. The estimate for the actual number of Christian missionaries that were martyred last century is 80-100 million.

So, what is Christianophobia?

Like any non-specialist term, it can be defined by simply looking up a dictionary. Or, can it? It can be difficult to find one that includes it. But then again, the Apple iPhone spell check won’t give you God with a capital ‘G’, and Google’s search algorithms seem to be endlessly biased against Christian hits. I digress. Yes, to answer your next question, Christianophobia is a real thing. The Macmillan Dictionary defines it as, ‘An irrational animosity or hatred of Christians, or Christianity in general. It is also used to describe the phenomenon of discrimination and intolerance against Christians.’ There you go, you learned a new word. Now go use it to gazump a Woke person. They will never have heard of it. After all, it is not supposed to exist – it was (apparently) cancelled years ago.

But, here is my question: Will this abuse ever reach the apparently untouchable sanctity of Western nations?

Is it here already? From time to time, parents in Australia’s Family Court are denied access to their children because they parent in a Christian fashion. And yes, Christian kids at school are bullied so badly that they are driven to suicide because they are Christians. We also know that Christian workers have lost cherished jobs and businesses because they are Christians.

Indeed, untold numbers never got that treasured job at all. I know of a Christian documentary filmmaker who had a pearler of a movie idea: ‘Two billion of the most innocent, vulnerable and defenceless human beings have died from all forms of abortion since 1980.’ Moreover, that figure of two billion (two thousand million) is a recognised underestimate. Is two billion an unacceptably high number? The 2004 Asian Tsunami killed less than a quarter of a million. And this practice is usually most ardently backed by the very political parties who preach compassion.

Pretty good pitch, eh? But, her life’s dream was over before it began, because such a film could never be funded and distributed in the Woke West. Rather, she must listen to her mate talk about the funding she got for a diversity documentary as she scans her mate’s groceries at the supermarket checkout, doing the only job she can get. I know of two outstanding Christian HSC scholars whose lifelong dream to become a doctor was crushed on the day they came to realise that, by the time they graduate, they will almost certainly be required to refer abortions. No sackings for them; they never got that far. One works at Subway.

But, even this doesn’t equate to the kind of sheer brutality that is practised overseas. Will we ever see that particular brand of Christianophobic horror in Australia?

My mind is cast back to a Sunday afternoon session at my church that I recently attended to hear an overseas missionary speak about the Christian work she had done. It would have been a pretty run-of-the-mill kind of information session but for one little chilling detail. In the advertisement for the session, we the congregation were told by our pastor not to share any news of it on social media, because this could result in the missionary being killed. Then he told us again in church on the morning of the talk. Then again at the start of the session. Then again at the end of the session. Our pastor’s fear was palpable. You could cut it with a knife.

Hmm. ‘Getting closer to home?’ I wondered. Trust the good old Internet to transfer the world’s ailments across to Australia! But, surely one hardly needs the Internet to bring trouble to our shores when one has China… The influences and ways of the Middle (Meddle) Kingdom invade our nearby land with virtually every ‘soft’ war cut and thrust, as we move irrevocably towards the revolutionary leftist ‘Great Reset’ of their partners and new ‘best friends’, Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum, whilst we ‘bask’ in the shadows of the Great Covid Reset that has already happened abroad and here. It promises to be the most metamorphic leftist revolution the world has seen since the French Revolution of 1789.

Ah yes, the French Revolution, that watershed in history that began the modern age in which we currently live. Literary critic George Steiner said, ‘The French Revolution is the pivotal historical social date after that of the foundation of Christianity… Time itself was deemed to have begun a second time.’ Historian David Andress described the French Revolution as, ‘The fount and origin of our modern world.’ Whereas political commentator William F Buckley Jr. condemned it as, ‘The central cause of the malformation of modern ideological thought.’ Political theorist Hannah Arendt opined that, ‘It was the French Revolution and not the American Revolution that set the world on fire.’ But, what else happened in France in 1789, as both a result and a partner of the French Revolution? I’ll give you a clue: it is nowhere near as well-known as the French Revolution.

Tick-tick. Thinking time, everyone… Ding! Time’s up. It was the De-Christianisation of France. The what? It sounds like some kind of brutal amputation. And it was – of a nation’s whole Church – a Church that has never recovered to this day. So, what happened?

Between 1789 and 1794, this campaign became the single most deadly anti-clerical campaign since before the accession of Constantine in 313 AD. It saw virtually all of France turn against its Christians in open displays of hatred, as huge feverish mobs persecuted Christians wherever they stood. It represented a whole new kind of all-in anti-Christian violence never seen before. Even the de-Christianisation of Russian culture, which began in 1666 and was exacerbated under Tsar Peter the Great, could not be said to have achieved acceleration and traction with the whole population until the Romantic Era, after the year 1800.

In 1789, tithes and various other privileges of the French clergy were abolished, including the taxing power of the Church. Also, the properties and land of the Catholic Church were sold by the government at public auction. In 1790, the Church was formerly subordinated to the government by law. Then, in 1793, a law was created condemning any priest to death on sight who did not swear an oath of loyalty to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, a document giving the government complete authority over the Church. This reform permitted only state-controlled pseudo-churches with all of the most uniquely and powerfully Christian doctrines and practices removed – the prototype religious persecution method used by countless regimes since. All iconography, crosses, bells, and other church objects were destroyed, most being burned by revolutionary armies. The number of bishoprics was reduced.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, as a result of the enforcement of this law, 27,000 Christians perished.

In 1792, the government legalised divorce, contrary to Church doctrine. The State also took the control of birth, death, and marriage registers away from the church. Then, in 1792, the government dissolved into chaos, and angry mobs took to the streets. Thousands of priests and nuns were massacred by these mobs, executed for treason, or imprisoned in horrific conditions in the port of Rochefort. In 1793, the word ‘Sunday’ was cancelled. Also, the Pope-decreed Gregorian calendar was replaced by the French Republican Calendar, such that the Sabbath, saints’ days, and any reference to the Church were abolished.

In 1794, another decisive break that occurred was something that accompanied the de-Christianisation of France in 1789 – the Cult of Reason. This was a new atheistic state-sponsored replacement Church for Christianity which was the world’s very first state-sponsored atheistic religion. It was a religion of mankind, a universal appeal to ‘wisdom’ of man, cast in the mould of the French Enlightenment philosophers, where the people were gods, and where the abstract qualities of reason, liberty, nature, and victory of the Revolution were celebrated. Having prevented Christians from gathering, pagans then gathered in a cult that directly opposed all of the precepts of Christianity. Anti-clerical parades were held, and many churches were converted into ‘temples of reason’ where atheistic services were held for the new Cult of Reason. This Cult of Reason was the world’s first state-sponsored atheistic religion. After this, persecution significantly toned down. However, even in 1799 priests were still being imprisoned or deported to penal colonies.

During this whole period, under threat of death, imprisonment or military conscription, about 20,000 priests were forced to abdicate. Those who fled were hunted down, and 6,000 to 9,000 agreed to or were forced to marry. By the end of the decade, 30,000 priests had been forced to leave France, and those who didn’t were executed. Catholic priests were drowned, imprisoned in horrendous jail cells, or deported to penal colonies. All in all, around 30,000 died, manifestly wiping out the Church in a decade. Indeed, clergy numbers went from 60,000 in 1790 to 25,000 in 1815. Many of these victims were later treated by the Church as Christian martyrs. In a region called Vendee, a mixture of volatile religious grievances became a rebellion that took over 100,000 lives.

As a campaign designed to de-Christianise France it was successful, but more so after 1794. It laid the foundation for all future secularist thought in France to reach the people. Catholicism was analysed and refuted. Most towns had no priest, and learned to live without one with respect to the countless community services that the ordinary priest regularly rendered.

By 1794, few of France’s 40,000 churches remained open; they had been closed, sold, destroyed, or converted for other uses. Most of the priests never served in that capacity again, and many of the parishioners never came back to the Church. On the entrance to every cemetery was inscribed the words ‘Death is an eternal sleep’ in order to deny the afterlife and assault the religious convictions of an entire nation. Christianity was disconnected from the routines of the people, weakened in the lives of the people, and ultimately destroyed in the minds of the people. As historian Mona Ozouf said, ‘…the transfer of sacrality onto social and political values has been accomplished.’ The Church in France never recovered. Today, France is one of the most secular nations in the world.

This is what happened the last time a massive, truly world-changing left-wing revolution occurred. These days, right-wing commentators delight in pointing out the many comparisons between Cancel Culture and the endless eating of their own that characterised the Jacobins during the Great Terror in France. Not me. Every time I hear a further modern parallel with The Great Terror, another chill goes up my spine. Today’s revolution is set to be far more widespread in scope. Could it reach Australia?

Did you notice that I emphasised that this violence was a decisive break from the millennium or so of history that preceded it? Why did I emphasis this? Because, the Christian Bible prophesies a period when the world will unite against Christians and persecute them in progressive stages, tightening the noose around their necks over multiple centuries. Many Christian academics believe that this period began in 1789. Today, many Christians see the new post-1789 world as one in which they are not as physically safe from Christianophobic persecution as they were in earlier times. Open Doors’ list of the top 50 nations of Christian persecution includes not just and handful of Middle Eastern countries and North Korea, but ones that up until recently were considered safe, such as Malaysia, Maldives, India, Mexico, Colombia, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. Christians are starting to feel somewhat surrounded by persecutors. Moreover, this persecution is growing and destroying like an aggressive cancer, one that ebbs and flows for sure, but a cancer – make no mistake. And, like any malignant cancer, all of its growth is a strategic build-up to the final deadly battle against Christians. And, this battle is something that Christians all over the world have in view today.

Danjuma’s atrocity was reported in a magazine called Voice of the Martyrs. This is a beautiful colour publication posted right to your mailbox absolutely free of charge. All you have to do is subscribe online. Yet, most Western Christians can’t even bring themselves to read it. Nor can they read that timeless classic Foxe’s Book of Martyrs or the excellent modern expose book called Christianophobia by the astute Rupert Shortt that mentions the beheading of three Indonesian school girls as they walked to school on October 29, 2005, and who were targeted only because they were Christians. And, I might add that Christians shrink from reading these publications with good reason. For, somewhere in the core of their being, they reason that if Christianophobia behaves like a cancer, well … doesn’t cancer spread?

Of course, such widespread sadistic and deadly attacks on Christians have not yet occurred in Australia. But, between the precedents of the past and the promises of the future, even reports of ‘lesser’ abuse in this country make Christians nervous. So that, whether it comes sooner or later, it seems only to be a matter of time before Australian Christians suffer the fate of so many of their faith. In 1789, the French were a highly civilised people with a strong church and a strong culture that was just beginning to widely and bitterly criticise Christians. One by one, the customary honours and positions of dignity and protection that Christianity had been given in society were cut away and, as each Christian stronghold was broken, a larger and larger leftist mob could be perceived to subliminally bay for blood, as it became bolder and bolder.

Sound familiar? Recall Dan Andrews’ vitriolic tone when referring to Margaret Court as ‘that person’. Add the choice that Thorburn was forced make between his church and the CEO job at Essendon, and the persecution of George Pell. All of which were applauded by the left-wing mob. And prognosticate that the fabled Religious Discrimination Bill looks like failing to materialise in any effective form. It’s a slippery slope. If the example of France is anything to go by, Christians here are right to fear. And pray.

Simon Tonkin is a Christian Futurist. This article contains come excerpts from his book to be released on 1.3.2023: ‘The Meaning Of These Strange Times, And Beyond’.

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Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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