America was founded in large part because of the desire for religious freedom. But it’s been 225 years since ratification of the United States Constitution, and now, with the passage of centuries, Americans sometimes take the freedoms they’ve enjoyed for granted.
Most of the world, however, can only dream of being able to take such a right for granted. Communism, for example, has never been friendly to religion, especially Christianity.
The communist purge of Christianity began almost immediately with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1918. The once thriving Catholic church in Russia was all but annihilated after the communist takeover, and atheism became the official state religion. Catholic institutions were dissolved, and its property confiscated under Lenin. Things got worse under Stalin, with millions of people carted away to the dreaded gulag camps. Between the Soviet Union and the Communist Revolution in China, Christianity was all but wiped off the Asian continent.
It may surprise some that, from the beginning of their movement, German Nazis planned to eliminate Christianity, just as they did Jews and Judaism. The Nazi leader of the German Youth Corps, which would literally be known as the Hitler Youth, said, “The destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the national socialist movement from the beginning.”
Many people don’t think that type of persecution exists today, except perhaps in the Middle East. However, in communist North Korea, a nation of 26 million people, there are only 300,000 Christians. Some 50,000 to 70,000 North Korean Christians are now suffering torture and horrific living conditions every day in North Korean labor camps.
Right now, the biggest threat to Christianity comes from ISIS. In Iraq, where in 2003 there were some 2 million Christians, there are now only an estimated 180,000. Over 90 percent of the entire Christian population gone. In the city of Mosul, 100,000 Christians fled their homes in one night.
With so much going wrong that needs to be righted, with Christians being displaced by the millions, murdered by the thousands, abused, crucified and used as sex slaves, what has the president of the United States said?
“Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ,” Obama chastised at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2015.
Clearly, based on the president’s comments, the war on Christianity is alive and well in the United States.