In a message last month, Pope Francis told how Christians suffered and died in Nazi concentration camps and under communism during many of our lifetimes. The belief that persecutions no longer exist today is not true, he said, and there are actually more people martyred today than during the early period of the church.
We hoped that his words would have inspired more world leaders to put political correctness aside at least for Easter and publicly proclaim their faith by at least denouncing Christian persecution.
One leader who did stand tall against this evil was British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is a member of the national Church in England. In his Easter message last week, Cameron told of his inspirational visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
"Today, 2,000 years on, Easter is not just a time for Christians across our country to reflect, but a time for our whole country to reflect on what Christianity brings to Britain," he said. The heart of Christianity is to love thy neighbor, and millions do really live that out."
He then echoed the pope's concerns about Christians being persecuted for their faith.
"And as we celebrate Easter, let's also think of those who are unable to do so, the Christians around the world who are ostracized, abused even murdered simply for the faith they follow," Cameron said.
Closer to home, Rep. Kathy Rapp, a state legislator who represents Warren, Forest and McKean counties, authored a measure condemning the global persecution of Christians that won unanimous approval in the state House.
"Christians are currently being persecuted in well over 50 countries," Rapp said in a statement, pointing out that no fewer than 100 million Christians were persecuted in 2012 alone. She said her House resolution not only condemns the multitude of global persecutions being committed against Christians but more importantly, encourages world leaders to implement policies that protect the religious liberties for people of all other faiths within their borders.
In a separate measure, Rapp and her legislative colleagues unanimously adopted House Resolution 627, which condemns the American Studies Association's academic boycott against Israel. It calls upon the State Department of Education, the State System of Higher Education, each of the state-related universities, and all of Pennsylvania's independent colleges and universities to reject anti-Semitism and not participate in the academic boycott.
Elected leaders like Prime Minister Cameron and state Rep. Rapp, who stand up to the anti-Christians and secularists, appear to be motivated by their personal faith and principles and less concerned about which way the politically correct winds are blowing.
By Jim Zbick