Why Isn’t There A Hashtag #Christians?

Laughing from down below – my little boy entertaining the crowd as only a three year old can. It’s Easter, we like so many are in family today; as it should be – a good thing. Food, drink, pie – so much pie. Joy.

We are lucky. So many suffer, we forget that for many people celebrating Easter is dangerous – a clandestine activity full of risk and subterfuge. Secret meeting places, multiple knocks on a wooden door – a code that conveys membership in a secret society of believers. Dark halls under imposing buildings. Secret clearings in forbidden woods; hushed voices reading the story.

It shouldn’t be like that – but it is definitely a condition that Christians are accustomed to. Since the days of the believers hiding in underground vaults in Rome to escape Nero’s insanity; to Chinese communist prison camps for those who dared to remember the day Jesus rose from the dead; down through the ages it’s been dangerous to be a Christian.

It still is.

Today, a group of Pakistani Christians meeting in a park to celebrate were blown up by terrorists. Another in a long line of attacks. #Brussels; #Paris; #Bamako; #SanBernadino; #IvoryCoast; #Ouagadougou; and now #Lahore. Why isn’t there ever a hashtag that says #Christians?

I lived in Pakistan for a time – before the mayhem. Not before the advance of Salafism; but before it became political, violent. A charming country; old as time – the Indus civilization is second only to perhaps the Mesopotamian in antiquity. I have been to Lahore. Zamzama; the city of Rudyard Kipling; the great northern jewel of British India – the waterways that extend out feeding the old city. The changing of the guard at the Wagah border. The Mogul Temple – few people know that the Taj Mahal was actually modeled on a smaller, older temple in Lahore’s walled district. An ancient place – predating Islam, Christianity, even Judaism; old rituals full of meaning. Color, vibrancy and power of an epic civilization.

Civilization – that’s what we’re lacking these days; where did it go?

Christians have at no time suffered greater persecution than today – at least as far as numbers go. In too many countries it’s a crime to hold our faith; and in too many others it’s a crime to share it, even if you are ‘allowed’ to keep it. But those of us who are Christians know that we cannot hold it without sharing it – because even in the breaths of true believers the power of our God radiates. This does not mean that Christians are intimidated – far from it, most true believers know that religious persecution is a part of our history; the story written in martyr’s blood. But that doesn’t make the sadness less profound – the terror less real – the pain less consuming.

I pray for the Pakistani Christians today – like so many targeted in this new wave of persecution. The Lord will give them peace – He always has. But their lives are hard; and it’s not fair.

Especially when those of us who should be speaking out are silent; content in our houses in the suburbs behind the safety of our liberties – at least for a season.    

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
This entry was posted in International Affairs, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why Isn’t There A Hashtag #Christians?

  1. surrender884 says:

    Reblogged this on surrender884 and commented:
    When it happens here in the US then those who have no care in the world will know persecution.


  2. Pingback: 2017 – And Life More Abundant | Joel D. Hirst's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s