Opposition lawmakers and human rights groups are criticizing German Chancellor Angela Merkel for claiming that Christianity is ‘‘the most persecuted religion worldwide.’’
Lawmaker Jerzy Montag of the opposition Greens party on Tuesday described Merkel’s comments as ‘‘mistaken’’ and ‘‘not very helpful’’.
Rights campaigners said ranking faiths according to how persecuted they are is pointless.
I have recently been prompted by the Holy Spirit to speak out about the “perfect storm” that is about break out on the Christian Church in Britain and Europe. Opposition to the Christian faith is definitely intensifying. Different influences seem to be coming together that could soon combine to produce a perfect storm of difficulty for followers of Christ in our region of the world.
Militant atheism, secularism and false religion seem to be working together in an unprecedented way with one ultimate aim – to weaken the influence of Christian churches and push the Christian faith to the margins of our society. The aim of militant Islam is to become the dominant religious force in the nation and it will not rest until Britain becomes an Islamic state.
We love the Muslims, and it is wonderful to see so many of them finding the joy and freedom of salvation in Christ through our ministry in London and further afield. But we must never forget that the Quran teaches the supremacy of Islam. To be a good Muslim you must believe that there is only one true religion – Islam. All others must be overthrown or subjugated. This is the clear teaching of the founder of Islam and of all its major religious texts.
On the positive side, the historic decline of church attendance in the mainline Christian denominations has bottomed out. Pentecostal churches continue to grow, even faster than in the past 30 years. According to a 2011 survey, 68.5% of people living in Britain still claim to be Christian. The situation is patchy but, by and large, Christianity is still an important force in our nation.
However, we cannot be complacent and, if God is warning us about a coming storm, we must get ready. The spiritual dimension cannot be overlooked. We have an adversary who roams about as a roaring lion, seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan’s one aim is to oppose God and his followers. That makes Christians a prime target for his evil scheming.
My motive in sharing these things at this stage is not merely to make prophetic proclamations but to minister pastorally to God’s people. I want to help you face the storms in your personal life so that, when the time comes, we can face the bigger storm together and come through it all triumphantly.
The book of Hebrews is written to a group of believers who had passed through extremely difficult times. As yet, no one had been killed for their faith, but they had experienced persecution to the point of confiscation of their property. What God said to these struggling believers, many of whom were at the point of giving up, is exactly what he is saying to us today.