Global Christian Persecution Rising
Southern Evangelical Seminary Points to Relationship Between Attacks on Christians and the Need for Apologetics; ‘Why Evil?’ Debate Set for Feb. 23
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—It’s easy for Christians to get caught up in disturbing instances in their own communities, but Evangelical leader and President of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) Dr. Richard Land says those who follow Christ must also advocate for their brothers and sisters worldwide.
Land explored the topic of Christian persecution in a recent installment of his two-minute daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive.”
“While we should be concerned about the harassment of Christians in America by the ‘Progressive Mafia,’ as typified by the hit job on the teenage boys from Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School who were Marching for Life, we should also be concerned about the tens of millions of our Christian brothers and sisters who are undergoing terrible persecution around the world,” Land said. “According to Open Doors USA, Christians suffering high to extremely high persecution went up by 14 percent in 2018 alone. The biggest increases in persecution are in India, and Russia entered the lists of the top 50 persecutors for the first time since 2011. As Pope John Paul II reminded us, religious freedom is the ‘first freedom.’ Without freedom of religion all the other freedoms pale in insignificance.”
In releasing its 2019 World Watch List, Open Doors President and CEO David Curry said, according to the Baptist Press, “Islamic radicalism continues to dominate and influence all spheres of life for Christians, and we were watching China and India very closely. The distressing impact of billions of people living in an environment in which the government oppresses freedom of religion is unraveling day by day as millions of Christians are being attacked in prison or killed.”
Land continued, “Four centuries ago, Roger Williams, undergoing religious persecution in colonial New England, put it well when he said that for any man to coercively interfere with another man’s relationship with his or her God is ‘soul rape.’ Amen. Williams went on to say that unless the persecutor is willing to stand before the judgment seat and answer for the man before God, he has no right to interfere with that man’s relationship with God. Makes a lot of sense. Let’s listen to Roger Williams. Let’s defend our brothers and sisters worldwide, and let’s defend our own freedom at home.”
Discussions about Christian persecution and how it relates to apologetics and the defense of the Christian faith often make their way into SES’s on-campus and online curriculum. For 27 years, SES has existed to equip students and ministry leaders to share the Gospel from an intelligent, informed and rational biblical worldview. Courses, conferences, seminars, guest speakers and more seek to accomplish this longstanding mission. Central to this purpose is the provision of a biblical basis and an academic understanding of believers’ commitment to Christ. Therefore, SES seeks to provide an educational opportunity where the Christian worldview is both a framework for thinking and a dynamic for living.
To this end, SES is planning a debate on the subject of “If God, Why Evil?” between SES faculty member Dr. Brian Huffling and Dr. Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine. The debate culminates after several breakout sessions on Saturday, Feb. 23, and the event is planned for 12:30 to 6 p.m. SES co-founder Dr. Norman Geisler will also present a talk during the daylong event. An open house and prospective student dinner from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. are also on the schedule. Learn more about tickets and the event schedule at www.ses.edu/debate.
Read more about Southern Evangelical Seminary and SES President Dr. Richard Land and his radio feature here. For more information on SES, visit its website at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH.