Independent Christian Voice

Thursday

Real persecution of Christians

For the last 20 years or so, the Religious Right has been decrying persecution and discrimination of Christians. In the last five years, it's been more perception than reality with a White House and Congress that actively pursued that demographic. Perhaps a little perspective, provided by a story in the New York Sun, might make these "persecuted" American Christians a little less whiny:
A woman in her 20s executed by a firing squad after being caught with a Bible. Five Christian church leaders punished by being run over by a steamroller before a crowd of spectators who "cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed."

These and other "horrifying" violations of human rights and religious freedom in North Korea are reported in a new study by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, titled "'Thank You, Father Kim Il Sung': Eyewitness Accounts of Severe Violations of Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion in North Korea."

The report, released yesterday, comes as President Bush is touring Asia, calling for increased political freedom. In remarks prepared for delivery early this morning in Japan, the president called on Red China to extend more freedom to its population of 1.3 billion. In an advance text of the speech, President Bush also extolled Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province, as "a free and democratic Chinese society." And the president noted North Korean human rights abuses while reassuring the Hermit Kingdom's people.

"Satellite maps of North Korea show prison camps the size of whole cities," Mr. Bush said. "We will not forget the people of North Korea."

Yesterday on Capitol Hill the chairman of the Commission on International Religious Freedom, Michael Cromartie, and two members of Congress who helped establish the commission, Reps. Frank Wolf of Virginia and Chris Smith of New Jersey, called on Mr. Bush to include the specific findings of the North Korean report in his diplomatic discussions with Chinese and South Korean officials this week, and to urge leaders of both Asian nations to take a firmer stand against their communist neighbor. [more]

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