Hate laws target UK Christians
From Mission Network News:
United Kingdom (MNN) ― It appears that Christians in the United Kingdom are being targeted with laws to prevent religious hate crimes, according to a recent news report from Civitas.
Though the Blasphemy Law that previously raised concerns was abolished in 2008, former head of the Department of Religious Studies, John Davies, said Christians are once again in the crosshairs from these hate laws. Because the term "hate crime" is not clearly defined, Christians' actions and words are under attack.
Evangelist Sammy Tippit believes the manipulation of these laws is part of an alarming trend throughout the secular world. He said, "There's a spirit (and it's very difficult to understand) that has come with secularism that has really been against Christianity. It's a darkness that has been growing, and it's been very antagonistic towards Christianity. But the interesting thing and the thing that makes it so difficult to understand is that this does specifically target Christianity and not other religious groups."
This spirit is spreading throughout the U.S. and throughout Europe, as Christians can say less and less without offending someone. It has become more prevalent.
In the last decade, Tippit said Western Christians have grown accustomed to not having to face opposition or persecution. However, "The truth is: if you're going to live for Christ, there's going to be some form of persecution."
So what can be done? Since this attitude toward Christians only seems to be worsening, how can Western Christians respond?
Tippit said our first and most important step should be prayer. As he works with numerous Christians throughout persecuted lands, Tippit said he has seen people derive amazing power and strength from their dedication to prayer.
However, "When I talk about praying, I'm not talking about praying that God would smack our enemies. I'm talking about drawing close to God. I'm talking about walking in His spirit and the nearness and intimacy with Him. When you do that, you'll be able to respond as Jesus said to 'love those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you,'" Tippit said.
After prayer, Tippit said our second response should be "to make sure that we don't give people a reason to target us. In other words, if they are targeting us for righteousness, that's one thing. But if they are targeting us because of attitudes--things that we are doing that are not right, then that's another thing."
Finally, Tippit said our response should be to continue to reach out, even to those opposing us. Just because we are facing persecution does not mean we should stop shining the love Christ wherever we go.