Remembering Christians who face persecution this Easter

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

The mainstream Christian churches today agree on the moral imperative to help destitute people.

Hence, when the sudden wave of migrants spread across Europe in 2015, there was a very strong desire to help people including families who were fleeing civil war or extreme poverty in Africa.

That charitable response was felt among a wide range of Europeans, from the devout to the irreligious. Governments quarrelled as to how many people they should take, but almost all agreed to take thousands of incomers.

But this generous response, particularly generous in the case of Germany, threw up its own moral dilemmas.

First, that by showing such kindness, it would encourage more people to make the perilous journey – and it did.

Then there was the view that we have an over-riding duty to help those in our own society who cannot help themselves.

There was also the point that nations have the right to protect their own culture, which massive immigration changes.

And also there was the dilemma about whether or not to give extra special support to Christian refugees.

We reported yesterday, and recap on our churches pages today, on the important contribution to this debate from Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. He feels there is an institutional bias against Christian refugees.

Whether that is true is arguable, but there certainly is no preferential treatment for them. The UK still has a strong Christian heritage and a recent BBC survey found widespread traditional beliefs on matters such as the resurrection.

Some Muslim nations such as Saudi Arabia would not accept a non Muslim influx, and have not even taken Muslim refugees. There is an argument that the Christian neutral treatment of refugees has shown our superior values. But there is at least another view, that we have a duty to give extra help to Christian refugees, when many face persecution.

As we wish our readers a Happy Easter, we remember those Christians who live in fear of violence but have no options for escape.