The new form of anti-Christian persecution in the West | 22Fev2014 19:14:58


Scientists discriminated by their membership, Bishops denounced because they are against abortion, books and radio station censored: here's a map of attacks on religious freedom.  

What seemed simply inconceivable is happening. In the Western world, there are emerging clashes against Christians - particularly Catholics and the less "secular" Protestants - with new forms of discrimination, if not even of persecution. Just read some recent news to find clear signs in this direction.

An example . Margaret Somerville, a famous and experienced academic from Canada, who  wrote an editorial on "The Globe and Mail", which criticizes the fact that, increasingly, in public debate, her ideas are put aside simply because she is Catholic. Margaret Somerville is the founder and director of "McGill Centre for Medicine , Ethics and Law" and teaches at McGill, a leading American university. "I was present in the public debate for over thirty years and  I presented ethical and legal analysis of the problems that I deal with and in no time I was attacked for my religious affiliation. So why now, is there this hurried need to label me as a Catholic?" According to the scholar, "defining a person as religious is now highly derogatory. This strategy allows the elimination of  the arguments of the opponent without going into the substance of the matter." Related to this, is the fact that it became recurrent  in some important global medical journals, to ask the authors of the articles to declare their "religious affiliation" in a "surprising and incomprehensible way.”

In a similar direction, in the United States, there is the enactment of ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ed), a law that wanted, in theory, to prevent discrimination in the work places in general. But it is actually one of the greatest ways to disseminate the ideology of gender, as well as to limit the freedom of those who oppose it. And, say the American Bishops, it also limits religious freedom. Those Bishops who were denounced before the Courts by an association that claims to defend individual freedom with the argument that "the anti-abortion positions endangers the lives of pregnant women."

We could continue to site examples like these. No less important is the case of Constanza Miriano. In Spain, the publication of her book "Sposati e sii sottomessa" gave rise to the first request for editorial censorship since the time of the Franco regime (this book, wrapped in controversy, both in Italy and in Spain, by its title - inspired  by the phrase of St. Paul, "Wives, submit to their husbands as to the Lord," Eph 5, 22 – has yet not been edited in Portugal).

Some days ago at the Urban University of Rome, Paul Marshall, the  leader of the Center for Religious Freedom of the Hudson Institute, said: "Western secularization has been growing in recent decades. Let me stress that the models we are talking about here are not similar to those of the still existing communist world, or the Middle East. This is not a persecution in that sense, but it is becoming very worrying."

"These are very thorough trends - Marshall continued - and I think we have to become more aware of the attacks and discrimination in the work places, of the ability to express what we think, or of the possibility to live our faith. Things are really getting worse in the West.”

Marshall quoted some already known examples, such as the Englishwoman who was fired for wearing a cord with a crucifix. He also referred to a study by the Pew Forum - an entity of great prestige in statistics - where it considers that "the degree of religious hostility in Western Europe is as high as in the Middle East."

Still a few weeks ago, an English court banned a Christian radio station for  publishing  a notice inviting Christians who are discriminated in their work places to come and  tell their story. The accusation of the Court was that it was a political ad propaganda.

Instead of an open society, where the laity are free, the Christians are free, and  the Hindus are free, the latest version of secularized society, according to Marshall, is one "where the State embodies a particular ideology, and it  asks each person to adapt to it." This is a change from a "pluralistic society to an ideologically secular society. And this is worrying."

Marco Tosati in Vatican Insider.


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