Religious Freedom Expert  Nina Shea 

(Nina Shea is a Board Member of TAS)

 War On Christians Is Intensifying

Notre Dame fire was a warning bell. But will Europe listen?

By Raf Casert

PARIS - It’s a thin line where the patina of age on Europe’s countless monuments gives way to the onset of neglect. Like with so many loved ones, all is assumed to be fine, until suddenly it’s not.   In the wake of the fire last week that gutted Notre Dame, questions are being raised about the state of thousands of other cathedrals, palaces and village spires that have turned France - as well as Italy, Britain and Spain - into open air museums of Western civilization.   If even an iconic building like Notre Dame could not be protected from devastation, if such a potent symbol of France had to scramble for maintenance funds, that lays bare a culture of apathy that can undermine a shared history as well as the multibillion-dollar tourism industry upon which much of Europe depends.   Read More Here

Notre Dame isn’t the only French church imperiled this year

By Alessandra Nucci

On March 17, a month almost to the day before the great fire devastated Notre Dame Cathedral, another fire broke out in Paris’ second biggest church, Saint Sulpice, two subway stops away from Notre Dame, causing no injuries but resulting in damage that some sources estimate at €1 million. While investigators believe that the Notre Dame fire was caused by an electrical short-circuit, the blaze at Saint Sulpice was set deliberately, and it was not the first; as Catholic News Service reported on March 28, “more than 10 churches have been hit since the beginning of February, with some set on fire while others were severely desecrated or damaged.” But few news outlets, in Europe or the Americas, picked up the story, and the papers that did report it kept it low-key. Read More Here

European Churches: Vandalized, Defecated On, and Torched "Every Day"

By Raymond Ibrahim

Countless churches throughout Western Europe are being vandalized, defecated on, and torched.

In France, two churches are desecrated every day on average. According to PI-News, a German news site, 1,063 attacks on Christian churches or symbols (crucifixes, icons, statues) were registered in France in 2018. This represents a 17% increase compared to the previous year (2017), when 878 attacks were registered — meaning that such attacks are only going from bad to worse.

Among some of the recent desecrations in France, the following took place in just February and March:... 
Read More Here

Christians abandoned by the liberal West

By Kathy Gyngell 

WE ARE a morally and intellectually changed society. We no longer care. And our silence is action when it comes to the appalling persecution of Christians across the world, from the Middle East to Nigeria to China. One reason is the ‘Christophobia’ that plagues the secular liberal West.

Yesterday at a central London conference entitled ‘Invisible Victims: Persecuted Believers and Western Governments’ this was the crux of Lord Alton’s argument. His detailed account of the worldwide extent of Christian torture and annihilation, not least that taking place in Nigeria, was a devastating indictment of the Government’s careless attitude, as well as of our society generally. He ended with that famous Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotation: ‘Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.’    
Read More Here

147 dead as Islamist gunmen target Christian students

By Mike Pflanz, Nairobi and Aislinn Laing

At least 147 people have been killed after Islamist terrorists attacked a Kenyan university, singling out Christian students to murder.  A five-man cell of the Somali-based al-Shabaab group stormed into halls of residence at Garissa University College, 200 miles east of the capital Nairobi, Thursday morning, shooting at students before taking others hostage.  
Kenya’s National Disaster Operation Centre declared the siege over by nightfall, with four terrorists killed and one arrested. 
Read More Here

'Pure Genocide': Over 6,000 Nigerian Christians Slaughtered, Mostly Women and Children  

By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post 

Church leaders in Nigeria have said that Christians are experiencing “pure genocide” as 6,000 people, mostly women and children, have been murdered by Fulani radicals since January.   “What is happening in Plateau state and other select states in Nigeria is pure genocide and must be stopped immediately,” said the Christian Association of Nigeria and church denominational heads in Plateau State in a press release last week.  The church leaders said that “over 6,000 persons, mostly children, women and the aged have been maimed and killed in night raids by armed Fulani herdsmen,” which is prompting their cry to the government of Nigeria “to stop this senseless and blood shedding in the land and avoid a state of complete anarchy where the people are forced to defend themselves.”   Read More Here

The Burning of Notre Dame and the Destruction of Christian Europe

By Guy Millière

The fire that destroyed much of the Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris is a tragedy that is irreparable. Even if the cathedral is rebuilt, it will never be what it was before. Stained glass windows and major architectural elements have been severely damaged and the oak frame totally destroyed. The spire that rose from the cathedral was a unique piece of art. It was drawn by the architect who restored the edifice in the nineteenth century, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who had based his work on 12th century documents.

In addition to the fire, the water needed to extinguish the flames penetrated the limestone of the walls and façade, and weakened them, making them brittle. The roof is non-existent: the nave, the transept and the choir now lie in open air, vulnerable to bad weather. They cannot even be protected until the structure has been examined thoroughly, a task that will take weeks. Three major elements of the structure (the north transept pinion, the pinion located between the two towers and the vault) are also on the verge of collapse. 

Notre Dame is more than 800 years old. It survived the turbulence of the Middle Ages, the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, two World Wars and the Nazi occupation of Paris. It did not survive what France is becoming in the 21stcentury.  Read More Here

The persecution trap: vulnerable Christians are running out of allies

By John O'Sullivan 

The worldwide persecution of Christians is likely to intensify in the coming decades. Can anything be done to stop it?

Christianity is the largest faith in a world of thriving religions. It’s hard sometimes to feel that since the mental picture that grips most Westerners, including many Christians, is one of a dying faith in a disenchanted secular universe in which God is not so much dead as retired on a modest pension. Reality is very different. In 2015 the four largest (conventional) world religions were in descending order Christianity (31.2 per cent of the global population), Islam (24.1 per cent), Hinduism (16 per cent), and Buddhism (7 per cent). If we admit “without religion” as a category, that comes in third today with 16 per cent, a shade ahead of “without religion”. 
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Strengthening the ties between the United States, United Kingdom, and the English speaking world.

Christian Persecution and Genocide Is Worse Now Than “Any Time In History,” Report Says

By Cristina Maza

The persecution and genocide of Christians across the world is worse today “than at any time in history,” and Western governments are failing to stop it, a report from a Catholic organization said.

The study by Aid to the Church in Need said the treatment of Christians has worsened substantially in the past two years compared with the two years prior, and has grown more violent than any other period in modern times.  

“Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution,” the report said.

The report examined the plight of Christians in China, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Turkey over the period lasting from 2015 until 2017. The research showed that in that time, Christians suffered crimes against humanity, and some were hanged or crucified. The report found that Saudi Arabia was the only country where the situation for Christians did not get worse, and that was only because the situation couldn’t get any worse than it already was. 
Read More Here