Christians Are The Most Persecuted People of All


A long article, but very well researched and excellently written. It’s a piece on how although Christianity may seem to be the lead player among religions, what with America the EU and whatnot… In reality it is the most persecuted of all belief systems. (See also this WSJ piece.)

Anthony Browne is the rather well known correspondent for the TIMES. He also happens to be an atheist, which lends weight and objectivity to his piece.

Read on and learn that among other discriminations:

– Saudi Arabia bans churches, public Christian worship, the Bible and the sale of Christmas cards. Christians are regularly imprisoned and tortured on trumped-up charges of drinking, blaspheming or Bible-bashing.

– Egypt law states that Coptic Christians must get permission from the president to build or repair churches, but he usually refuses. Christian girls and even the wives of Christian priests are abducted and have their religion forcibly converted.

– In Indonesia, some 10,000 Christians have been killed in the last few years.

– In Pakistan, dozens of Christians have been killed in bomb and gun attacks on churches and Christian schools in the last few years.

– In Nigeria, thousands of Christians have been killed in the last few years.

– In Sri Lanka, religious tension led to 44 churches being attacked in a four month period, with 140 churches being forced to close because of intimidation.

– In India, there have been hundreds of attacks against the Christian community. The government’s affirmative action programme for untouchables guarantees jobs and loans for poor Hindus and Buddhists, but not for Christians.

– In China,  more than 100 ‘house churches’ were closed down and dozens of priests imprisoned. If you join the Communist party you get special privileges, but you can only join if you are atheist.

– Dr Paul Marshall, senior fellow at the Centre for Religious Freedom in Washington, estimates that there are 200 million Christians who face violence because of their faith, and 350 million who face legally sanctioned discrimination in terms of access to jobs and housing.

– The World Evangelical Alliance wrote in a report to the UN Human Rights Commission last year that Christians are ‘the largest single group in the world which is being denied human rights on the basis of their faith’.

– The BBC, despite being mainly funded by Christians, is an organisation that promotes ridicule of the Bible, while banning criticism of the Koran.

– And in Malaysia… Well, I mustn’t get ahead of myself. You can read about it for yourself.

Let me end the list with a quote from 2nd-Century church leader, Tertullian: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.”

How true it is. From the very blood that Jesus shed on the cross for our sins, to the first martyr Stephen, to all the faithful Apostles but John, to Paul and the early church fathers… And to the end of days as Revelation prophecizes.

Also take a look at my related posts, BBC Execs: Okay to Throw Bible in Trash But Not Koran, Teachers Drop the Holocaust to Avoid Offending Muslims and Follow Christ Today Lucky Draw Contest! Article sourced from Sourced from Australian Prayer Network.

—————

CHRISTIANS – THE MOST PERSECUTED PEOPLE GROUP ON EARTH

By Anthony Browne, Europe correspondent of the Times.

Rising nationalism and fundamentalism around the world have meant that Christianity is going back to its roots as the religion of the persecuted. There are now more than 300 million Christians who are either threatened with violence or legally discriminated against simply because of their faith — more than any other religion. Christians are no longer, as far as I am aware, thrown to the lions. But from China, North Korea and Malaysia, through India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, they are subjected to legalised discrimination, violence, imprisonment, relocation and forced conversion. Even in supposedly Christian Europe, Christianity has become the most mocked religion, its followers treated with public suspicion and derision.

I am no Christian, but rather a godless atheist whose soul doesn’t want to be saved, thank you. I may not believe in the man with the white beard, but I do believe that all persecution is wrong. The trouble is that the trendies who normally champion human rights seem to think persecution is fine, so long as it’s only against Christians. While Muslims openly help other Muslims, Christians helping Christians has become as taboo as jingoistic nationalism.

On the face of it, the idea of Christians facing serious persecution seems as far-fetched as a carpenter saving humanity. Christianity is the world’s most followed religion, with two billion believers, and by far its most powerful. It is the most popular faith in six of the seven continents, and in both of the world’s two biggest economies, the US and Europe. Seven of the G8 richest industrial nations are majority Christian, as are four out of five permanent members of the UN Security Council. The cheek-turners control the vast majority of the world’s weapons of mass destruction.

When I bumped into George Bush in the breakfast room of the US embassy in Brussels, standing right behind me were two men in uniform carrying the little black ‘nuclear football’, containing the codes to enable the world’s most powerful Christian to unleash the world’s most powerful nuclear arsenal. Christians claiming persecution seem as credible as Bill Gates pleading poverty. But just as armies from Christian-majority countries control Iraq as it ethnically cleanses itself of its Christian community, so the power of Christian countries is of little help to the Christian persecuted where most Christians now live: the Third World.

Across the Islamic world, Christians are systematically discriminated against and persecuted. Saudi Arabia — the global fountain of religious bigotry — bans churches, public Christian worship, the Bible and the sale of Christmas cards, and stops non-Muslims from entering Mecca. Christians are regularly imprisoned and tortured on trumped-up charges of drinking, blaspheming or Bible-bashing, as some British citizens have found. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has announced that only Muslims can become citizens.

The Copts of Egypt make up half the Christians in the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity. They inhabited the land before the Islamic conquest, and still make up a fifth of the population. By law they are banned from being president of the Islamic Republic of Egypt or attending Al Azhar University, and severely restricted from joining the police and army. By practice they are banned from holding any high political or commercial position. Under the 19th-century Hamayouni decrees, Copts must get permission from the president to build or repair churches — but he usually refuses. Mosques face no such controls.

Government-controlled TV broadcasts anti-Copt propaganda, while giving no airtime to Copts. It is illegal for Muslims to convert to Christianity, but legal for Christians to convert to Islam. Christian girls — and even the wives of Christian priests — are abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. A report by Freedom House in Washington concludes: ‘The cumulative effect of these threats creates an atmosphere of persecution and raises fears that during the 21st century the Copts may have a vastly diminished presence in their homelands.’

Fr Drew Christiansen, an adviser to the US Conference of Bishops, recently conducted a study which stated that ‘all over the Middle East, Christians are under pressure. “The cradle of Christianity” is under enormous pressure from demographic decline, the growth of Islamic militancy, official and unofficial discrimination, the Iraq war, the Palestinian Intifada, failed peace policies and political manipulation.’

In the world’s most economically successful Muslim nation, Malaysia, the world’s only deliberate affirmative action programme for a majority population ensures that Muslims are given better access to jobs, housing and education. In the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia, some 10,000 Christians have been killed in the last few years by Muslims trying to Islamify the Moluccas.

In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, most of the five million Christians live as an underclass, doing work such as toilet-cleaning. Under the Hudood ordinances, a Muslim can testify against a non-Muslim in court, but a non-Muslim cannot testify against a Muslim. Blasphemy laws are abused to persecute Christians. In the last few years, dozens of Christians have been killed in bomb and gun attacks on churches and Christian schools.

In Nigeria, 12 states have introduced Sharia law, which affects Christians as much as Muslims. Christian girls are forced to wear the Islamic veil at school, and Christians are banned from drinking alcohol. Thousands of Christians have been killed in the last few years in the ensuing violence.

Although persecution of Christians is greatest in Muslim countries, it happens in countries of all religions and none. In Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, religious tension led to 44 churches being attacked in a four month period, with 140 churches being forced to close because of intimidation. In India, the rise of Hindu nationalism has lead to persecution not just of Muslims but of Christians. There have been hundreds of attacks against the Christian community, which has been in India since ad 100. The government’s affirmative action programme for untouchables guarantees jobs and loans for poor Hindus and Buddhists, but not for Christians.

Last year in China, which has about 70 million Christians, more than 100 ‘house churches’ were closed down, and dozens of priests imprisoned. If you join the Communist party, you get special privileges, but you can only join if you are atheist. In North Korea, Christians are persecuted as anti-communist elements, and dissidents claim they are not just imprisoned but used in chemical warfare experiments.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Barnabas Trust, which helps persecuted Christians, blames rising global religious tension. ‘More and more Christians are seen as the odd ones out — they are seen as transplants from the West, and not really trusted. It is getting very much worse.’ Even in what was, before multiculturalism, known as Christendom, Christians are persecuted. I have spoken to dozens of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity in Britain, and who are shunned by their community, subjected to mob violence, forced out of town, threatened with death and even kidnapped. The Barnabas Trust knows of 3,000 such Christians facing persecution in Britain, but the police and government do nothing.

You get the gist. Dr Paul Marshall, senior fellow at the Centre for Religious Freedom in Washington, estimates that there are 200 million Christians who face violence because of their faith, and 350 million who face legally sanctioned discrimination in terms of access to jobs and housing. The World Evangelical Alliance wrote in a report to the UN Human Rights Commission last year that Christians are ‘the largest single group in the world which is being denied human rights on the basis of their faith’.

Part of the problem is old-style racism against non-whites; part of it is new-style guilt. If all this were happening to the world’s Sikhs or Muslims simply because of their faith, you can be sure it would lead the 10 O’Clock News and the front page of the Guardian on a regular basis. But the BBC, despite being mainly funded by Christians, is an organisation that promotes ridicule of the Bible, while banning criticism of the Koran. Dr Marshall said: ‘Christians are seen as Europeans and Americans, which means you get a lack of sympathy which you would not get if they were Tibetan Buddhists.’

Christians themselves are partly to blame for all this. Some get a masochistic kick out of being persecuted, believing it brings them closer to Jesus, crucified for His beliefs. Christianity uniquely defines itself by its persecution, and its forgiveness of its persecutors: the Christian symbol is the method of execution of its founder. Christianity was a persecuted religion for its first three centuries, until Emperor Constantine decided that worshipping Jesus was better for winning battles than worshipping the sun. In contrast, Mohammed was a soldier and ruler who led his people into victorious battle against their enemies. In the hundred years after the death of Mohammed, Islam conquered and converted most of North Africa and the Middle East in the most remarkable religious expansion in history.

To this day, while Muslims stick up for their co-religionists, Christians — beyond a few charities — have given up such forms of discrimination. Dr Sookhdeo said: ‘The Muslims have an Ummah [the worldwide Muslim community] whereas Christians do not have Christendom. There is no Christian country that says, “We are Christian and we will help Christians.”’

As a liberal democrat atheist, I believe all persecuted people should be helped equally, irrespective of their religion. But the guilt-ridden West is ignoring people because of their religion. If non-Christians like me can sense the nonsense, how does it make Christians feel? And how are they going to react? The Christophobes worried about rising Christian fundamentalism in Britain should understand that it is a reaction to our double standards. And as long as our double standards exist, Christian fundamentalism will grow.


25 Responses to “Christians Are The Most Persecuted People of All”

  1. Courtney Register Says:

    We’re not to blame for the persecution…we can’t make everyone be a christian, although they should. It’s not our fault that we can speak out against other religions that are false, maybe if everyone followed one true religion then there wouldn’t be any persecution when it comes to that.

  2. Mon Says:

    Pray to Almighty God that He will do wonders and miracles. It’s already stated in the Words of God. He is the alfa and the omega. The beginning anf the end. Be faithful to Him though this things happens in our very eyes.

  3. Asim Says:

    Mr. Anthony Browne you show us the different side of the picture, why not look what happens to Moslims, in christian dominated countries, or any other religion dominated country.

  4. Scott Thong Says:

    This is what happens to Muslims in Christian dominated countries:

    Britain – Drive around town preaching death to Tony Blair and nonMuslims over loudspeakers, mob the police

    America – Halloween and Santa Claus are banned to appease Muslims

    France – Muslims youths riot, burn cars, shoot at policemen

    Holland – Muslims attack police station, burn cars nightly

    No comparison, man.

  5. jeff Says:

    rubbish! America ban halloween n santa claus… it is their cultural celebration…lol! Gangsters youth burn car n riot, not muslims …another rubbish!!

  6. Scott Thong Says:

    Rubbish is the attitude of dismissing anything that does not match one’s own viewpoint. Did you even click any of the links to check them? If you, so might have found that:

    Pork, jello, Halloween and Santa were banned in Chicago in order not to offend Muslim sensitivities.

    The ‘youths’ in Paris are primarily North African immigrants, and are Muslim.

    The rioters in Holland are specifically Muslim, rioting because a Muslim man attacked two policewomen in the police office with a knife and was shot dead.

    Do you want more examples? I have more than a dozen. But you might not even read them, of course.

    And by the way, ‘chow’…

    I know that you are also ‘jeff’ and ‘bow’. See here for more.

  7. jeff Says:

    Actually i am about a dozen, different time of day i am one of that dozen. Odd, you only mention three….multiple personality lah!!!nothing odd, it ‘s medical problem, scot.

  8. Asim Says:

    what happens to Muslims in India?
    altho they r greater in number, the Muslim women who r raped are not allowed to file a suit in india.
    In USA, the police would ask u soo many irrelevent questions if u have a MUSLIM identity.
    I do agree some Muslims are extremist and are the cause of trouble.
    but what makes them extremist?
    i have christians in my family, and they r SOO nice, we have soo many occassions together, and do have debates HOT debates, but nothing separats us, we all want peace.

  9. Asim Says:

    i was in uk a year ago, and when i used to come from the market to my room, british youngsters would call me SCUM, and BASTARD! use to throw burgers, or drinks on my and make my dress dirty.
    but i dont mind, we must tolerate and learn to tolerate.
    AN eye for an eye will make us all blind! right?
    so must learn to tolerate.
    try to understand each other, the different believers.
    no one is bad indeed!
    but politics, greediness etc make us all blind.
    christians, muslims, all are so loving and their message is one!
    LIVE AND LET LIVE! practice random acts of kindness.

  10. Asim Says:

    Mr. Scot have u studied waht made that MAN to attack two policemen in Police office?
    look, attack on afghanistan, iraq dont have positive consequences…
    simple, if u attack someone;s house for ur personal gane, obviously u expect to get attacked from the affected members of house.
    these wars are for a political reason, nothig in reason to do in particular wiht muslims. these for OIL ofcourse we know. but there could be other ways to get the oil or make ur economy strong.
    100000s of mothers lost their young kids! 100000s of sisters lost their brothers, 10000s of NEWLY-wed wifes lost their husbands. 10000s of old people lost their support of old age.
    the attacking countries’ mothers lost their sons, sisters lost their brothers.
    im talking abt people of both the countries.
    what was their fault?

  11. Scott Thong Says:

    So Asin, you are saying that next time, a Muslim can come into my house and kill me…

    Because GW Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan?

    WTF does that have to do with me? It wasn’t me who invaded Iraq! It wasn’t me who built bases in Saudi Arabia (at the Saudi’s request because of fear of Iran and Saddam)!

    So by your logic, it is okay for me to attack Muslims

    Because they refuse to let people convert to Christianity.

    Because they treat Christians and other nonMuslims likes second-class citizens in Muslim-majority nations.

    Because they bombed people in Bali and are beheading Thai villagers.

    Because they killed 4000 people in the 9/11 attacks, which led to this whole Afghanistan and Iraq mess, by the way.

    Because they invaded and occupied Christian Europe, the Holy Land, Turkey, and many others over hundreds of years – including the Holy Capital of Christianity in Rome!!!

    For all of these, I am justified in seeking vengeance against ALL MUSLIMS, even if they did not personally participate in the attacks. Just because they are slightly related to the extremists who perpetrated the attacks.

    This is according to your own words:

    simple, if u attack someone;s house for ur personal gane, obviously u expect to get attacked from the affected members of house.

    They have attacked the House of Christianity and the House of NonMuslims. Therefore, by your logic we are justified in attacking back.

    This is your idiotic logic and shallow justification for the man who attacked policewomen. The two policewomen had nothing to do with Iraq. In fact, they may even have protested against invading Iraq!

    The man who attacked the two policewomen, the Muslims driving around preachin death to nonMuslims… They are all from accepted and tolerated Muslim commnities.

    It is them who will not tolerate the Western lifestyle that they migrated to. It is them who refuse to live in peace with the culture of the nonMuslim country that they moved into.

  12. Asim Says:

    Xcuse me?
    can anyone see how polite i was and am!
    and can u notice Mr. SCOTT’s behaviour here?
    see this is the difference, people LIKE u are the cause of ruining up the image of whole nation!
    shame on u!
    u become so aggressive and take everything on the negative side!
    people here can surely see who is aggressive and loves killing and to be killed, who here likes to play with knives.
    the real terrorist is not any bush or bin laden, its u my brother scott!
    first learn the way to speak and politness, and open up ur eyes a bit, study and research and then come here and post ur stupid comments..
    TC

  13. Asim Says:

    im here ready for EVERY debate, to proof Quran is the best book!
    if u like to debate, most welcome!
    but plz dont show ur immaturity or illogical analogies.

  14. Scott Thong Says:

    Excue me? Who was it who started by justifying atatcking police personnel because you feel your people are under attack by a totally unrelated American politician?

    You cheapen the term ‘terrorism’. I define it as ‘Intentional targeting of civilians with violence or threats instead of targeting the military.’

    This is something Al Qaeda does much, MUCH more than the Americans.

    And if you didn’t notice, https://scottthong.wordpress.com (this blog you are reading) is the blog of… Scott Thong! Me! Myself! I! Where am I supposed to comment if not my own blog?

    I’m ready to debate your precious views on the Quran.
    In fact, I shall make a new post for you to comment your claims at:

    Asim Debates Scott: Is the Quran ‘The Best Book’?

    Ready? I shall allow you to make the first move. Go to the link above and start debating. The rules are laid out there.

    Remember, it’s at:

    Asim Debates Scott: Is the Quran ‘The Best Book’?

    Asim Debates Scott: Is the Quran ‘The Best Book’?

    Asim Debates Scott: Is the Quran ‘The Best Book’?

    Asim Debates Scott: Is the Quran ‘The Best Book’?

    Asim Debates Scott: Is the Quran ‘The Best Book’?

    Just in case you miss the link.

  15. sing lau Says:

    Asim, seriously, your logic is just pathetic… and so deserves the censures of Scott. All that Scott does is to expose the PERVERSITY of your twisted logic. Just because you can’t take his exposure of your irrationalism, you accuse him of impoliteness. Just concede your error.

  16. Elektra Says:

    Hello Scott I really proud of you that Jesus has a good servent like you.you are really brave and strong but don’t forget that even Jesus can’t change the mind of Ferishal.Cause God gives choice for everyone else in the world.So why won’t we let them do as they wish?But when the day comes,they will suffer because of their stony Heart.Just make yourself strong.May God bless you.Nowadays Muslims are becoming powerful ,yes,its just becoming to fulfill what was wrote in Revelation,so don’t mind .We will be saved in the God’s hand.

  17. osibisa Says:

    The delegation’s youngest member was Yasir Qadhi, 35, dean of academics at Al Maghrib Institute, in New Haven, Conn. He also reaches Muslims across the globe via lectures on the Internet. Qadhi was arguably the delegation’s most controversial member, owing to comments he made nearly a decade ago that disputed Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jews.

    Qadhi has since recanted, both vocally and in print, explaining that the spurious claims stemmed from ignorance. “The fact that I was in a certain environment and a certain culture [where] I was taught this doesn’t exonerate me,” Qadhi told me, adding that he had exposure to “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” while studying in Medina, the Muslim holy city in Saudi Arabia. “That’s why I was very happy to come on this trip, because I wanted to see for myself how wrong I was.

    “Anybody who is a Holocaust denier should deserve a free ticket to see Auschwitz and Birkenau, because seeing is just not the same as reading about it. And we met people who have seen and witnessed it,” he continued. Qadhi said that he couldn’t peer into the displays of children’s toys and shoes without thinking about his own four children.
    http://www.forward.com/articles/130013/

  18. Nasaei Ahmad Says:

    Nowadays Muslims are becoming powerful ,yes,its just becoming to fulfill what was wrote in Revelation,so don’t mind .We will be saved in the God’s hand.

    – Electra says.

    Nowadays China is becoming powerful…

    Nowadays Japanese are becoming powerful…

    Nowadays Jews are so powerful…etc…

    Why this boy did not say such statements instead… but “Muslims” ?

    I think because this boy, like many others, thought that Muslims are really their enemy.

    The real enemy is ignorance, misinformed, believe in media/ propaganda.. attitude, wrong idea. upbringing.. etc..etc.

    Might be I’m wrong..

  19. coaxen Says:

    What a pile of horsesh*t.

    Christianity is one of the more aggressive religions: otherwise it wouldn’t have spread so much. And when you’re all over the place and people remember you didn’t belong there… they tend to hate your guts.

    If you were a homosexual in an islamic country, you’d be either deep in the closet or dead.
    If you were an atheist in an islamic country, you’d be dead.

    The fact that christians can claim to be persecuted in by itself means they are still alive and have the freedom to complain.
    Whereas people killed for their beliefs do not.

    I don’t give a flying f*ck whether the author is an atheist or not. That fact doesn’t give him any credibility. And if you believe for a second that it does, then you are a moron.

  20. Scott Thong Says:

    Christianity is one of the more aggressive religions: otherwise it wouldn’t have spread so much

    Apparently, you know very little about the actual history of the Christians.

    Christianity only became an ‘accepted’ religion around 300 A.D. with Emperor Constantine’s conversion. The first 300 odd years were marked by constant discrimination, systematic persecution and state-sanctioned murder of Christians. Christianity spread for the simple reason that its followers were running for their lives every in every direction! It is not for no reason that Tertullian wrote in 197 A.D. that “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church”.

    After that, Christians outside of Europe and West Asia had to face mass slavery and murder for the specific reason of their beliefs by the Muslims and then the atheist Communists.

    Given that subsequently in history, nations and empires that were majority Christians engaged in war. But that’s like saying mercantilism is one of the more bloodthirsty economic policies just because the European colonial powers happened to follow that system while killing natives for their gold and spices.

    The pertinent question: Does the Bible anywhere teach that Christians should use force or violence to spread their beliefs, or wave threats to keep people within the church? The answer is no.

    And when you’re all over the place and people remember you didn’t belong there… they tend to hate your guts.

    Another weird misconception. The Soviet Union was Russian Orthodox long before it was atheist. The Arab Peninsula and surrounding regions was Christian hundreds of years before it was Muslim. And who exactly are the Christians in non-Western nations today? Natives who trace their ancestry back millenia to the exact same spot on the globe.

    The fact that christians can claim to be persecuted in by itself means they are still alive and have the freedom to complain.
    Whereas people killed for their beliefs do not.

    The article focuses on the present day, in which Christians are routinely killed. Just look at Nigeria this year where Muslim mobs killed Christians and scalped their infants, and where Christians in India were murdered by mobs of extremist Hindus.

    For comparison, find me ongoing cases of secret atheist discussion groups suddenly burst upon and arrested by the Roman Catholic Secret Police, or converts to Islam jailed and tortured into returning to the Southern Baptist churches.

    Or name some publications or organizations that deal solely with persecution of atheists, Muslims or Buddhists the way Barnabas Aid, Open Doors, Christian Persecution Magazine and Voice off the Martyrs do for persecuted Christians?

    Maybe you are right that Christians complaining of persecution means they are still alive, and therefore it could be worse. But the lack of complaints by other groups does not mean that they are all dead and can’t complain! It means that they are experiencing far less persecution for their beliefs.

  21. Simon Thong Says:

    coaxen Says:
    November 11, 10 at 5:09 pm

    You are everything you call others…what goes round comes round, and the horse**** has landed on YOU.

  22. OSEIGA Says:

    hello SCOTT.
    I THINK YOUR OWN VIEW OF EVERYTHING IS RIGHT.AND YOUR POINTS ARE OBVIOUSLY ACCURATE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THE WAY EXPLAINED IT MADE ME SEE SENSE IN EVERYTHING.

  23. OSEIGA Says:

    LET US PRAY THAT PERSECUTION WILL STOP SO THAT WE CAN ALL LIVE IN PEACE AND HARMONY.

  24. darel Says:

    Scot thong, I’m impressed. Keep soldiering on. Christians are the only ones told to turn the other cheek. People attribute the misgivings of America to Christians, not knowing the extent America officially goes to deny any affiliation to a particular religion. They should watch the many comedy and talk shows that are in open ridicule of Christianity before they call America Christian. Most reactions and advice to persecuted Christians are an encouragement to forgive the persecutors, and for other believers to pray for “divine” intervention. I won’t repeat the other stuff you said, since you nailed it head-on.

  25. Ron Says:

    Let me end the list with a quote from 2nd-Century church leader, Tertullian: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.”

    Props for the rhetorical flourish. Concluding a rant against persecution by appealing to an author who openly welcomed martyrdom takes irony to a whole new level.

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