Throughout the world Christians are being persecuted and very little is reported in the mainstream media, unless it is where there is a current newsworthy situation, such as Iraq. The persecution of Christians in many countries is supported and actually enacted by the state, it is not just different groups acting under their own initiative and taking the law into their own hands.
Of course there are groups such as the Tibetan Buddhists being oppressed too, and they deserve support in their fight against Chinese oppression. But you might see a 'Free Tibet' car sticker in the UK, you will never see one denouncing the oppression and torture of Christians anywhere in the world. Sadly, many Christians seem unaware of what is happening or if they are, seem to regard it as somebody else's problem.
What got me on this train of thought was this story yesterday about a British boy being bullied at school by Muslim pupils for posting a favourable message about British troops on Facebook. The production of slaughtering of animals to produce Halal meat has also been in the news recently. Halal butchers are exempt from our animal cruelty laws. It must be noted that Kosher meat is accorded similar exemption and is equally cruel.
Then on Remembrance Day there were protests by Muslim extremists when sick abuse was hurled at participants in parades. Admittedly the extremists seem to be a minority, but all majorities begin as minorities. The big question for us in the UK is when does tolerance of others become a danger to ourselves?
Then we recently witnessed extreme atheism around the time of the Papal visit. It seemed pretty clear to most of us that the likes of Richard Dawkins, and other humanists, were using the Papal visit to rant against all religion, but Catholicism is the easy target and the other religions don't seem to understand that they are also included in Dawkins' obsessive attacks. After all, if Dawkins, Tatchell and company ranted and demonstrated against Islam in a similar way, they may not find things as comfortable for themselves as they do attacking Christians.
Now as a consequence of the threat of terrorism from Islamic extremism, again a tiny minority, or at least we hope it is, we find ourselves living under increasingly oppressive anti-terror legislation, so oppressive that even an obvious joke or throwaway remark on Twitter can find you facing the full force of the law.
There is actually no conclusion to this ramble. It is a sign of a civilised society to be tolerant of others, after all we are all unique and therefore different. But I can't help thinking that tolerance has a limit, and that limit is when tolerance actually puts you in danger. Put another way it is about our survival instinct, and I can't help wondering sometimes if our obsession with being open and liberal may not put us in danger. In the meantime I await a copy of the Koran that a Muslim friend has bought me so I can find out more for myself about the real Islam.
Below are links to a few reports about Christian oppression in other parts of the world.