The global rise of human rights and individual freedoms may be a historic wave. But religious persecution remains a formidable challenge in our time. Millions suffer only because they wish to adopt a certain religious identity and practice their religious convictions.
It is the reality of many in the Middle East and North Africa, where the painful history of sedition haunts.
Islam is a victim of religious persecution!
From a certain point of view, it may be difficult for Christians to imagine that Islam is the victim of religious persecution.
There is a belief that Islam is a force that tends to direct rather than tolerate religious persecution. The truth is that many in our world suffer terrible injustice because they are Muslims.
Their misery is invisible to many Christians, even those deeply interested in the issue of religious persecution.
State of Assam in eastern India
Legislation enacted in the eastern Indian state of Assam by the dominant Hindu government harshly threatens to expel Muslims from the national community.
In an effort to crackdown on illegal immigration (primarily from neighboring Bangladesh), a National Register of citizens has been issued with the names of all individuals who are legally considered Indian citizens.
Any person not included in the record is in danger of becoming stateless and threatens expulsion from India, this law infuses concern among human rights monitors. An enormous number of those deprived of civil rights, four million, out of a total population of 32 million, are off the register. Which leaves many believing that Muslims are targeted for exclusion.
The policies of the ruling right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which discriminates against Indian Muslims, have raised these concerns. Millions of Muslims in Assam at risk of being excluded from their long-time homes with nowhere else to go, they may be completely outside our global system.
Uighurs, Xinjiang in Western China
In China’s far-western Xinjiang region, the Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim group of more than 11 million people, face oppression by the communist government in Beijing. There are many stories of deeply torn families, and tens of thousands held in concentration camps. Because of what the government calls “political re-education” programs.
This is part of a widespread violation of religious freedoms in Xinjiang that includes destroying religious buildings, banning long beards, and forcing Muslims to eat pork meat and drink alcohol.
The level of this campaign is remarkably high as infrastructure expands to intensify the oppression of Muslims. While there is significant attention on Muslims in China, the current situation in Xinjiang at least persecuted, religious extremist.
Rohingya in Myanmar
The Rohingya in Myanmar are currently the victims of the greatest human rights disaster of our time. As being repressed Muslim minorities in a Buddhist state, there is a complete rejection of the Rohingya despite their long-standing historical presence on the land.
The exclusion has been manifested in an ethnic cleansing, where the Myanmar military engaged in a campaign to terrorize the Rohingya in their Rakhine state and drive crowds beyond the border into Bangladesh. The Rohingya Muslims – who endure documented genocide- suffering is widespread as they endure wave after wave of human rights violations.
What should the world do?
To be clear, any of these positions can be fully attributed to the religious essence. But I wonder if any issue of religious persecution is centered completely around religion. However, it is undeniable that the above are examples of enormous human rights tragedies.
Millions of innocent Muslims suffer simply since they are Muslims. Where Islam is absent from being a majority and they are widely targeted. These problems call for the attention of the entire world community. But many believe that the Christian community should take into particular account the persecuted Muslims. In this article, I propose to take into account the following points:
Bodily grievances require responding with great empathy
The Bible insists that the injustice in all its forms is intolerable regardless of who his victim.
Christianity has a rich heritage that devotes many reasons to raising human dignity and defending rights; the church must derive from this tradition in its efforts to serve the oppressed today. What testimony do we give to Islam (and the world) if the loud voices calling for fair and humane treatment of Muslim individuals and groups are Christian voices!
Christians & Muslims are part of a single conflict
Persecuted Christians and persecuted Muslims suffer together at the hands of oppressive forces. All grievances are linked within a common humanitarian context. You should care about Christians persecuted by Muslims because they have to care about the persecution of Christians.
The reality of the persecuted Muslims tells us accurate stories about Islam.
How we understand Islam will affect how we treat Muslims and with whom we share our world. So our models must be honest.