The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

September 24, 2013

Readers' Forum 9-23 | Despite torment, Christians will persevere

JOHNSTOWN — The most persecuted religion in the world today is Christianity. Surprised? More than 200 million people are denied basic human rights solely due to their Christian faith. In fact, more Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in all the previous centuries combined.

The most extreme persecuting nations are North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Maldives, Mali, Iran, Yemen, Eritrea and Syria.

In addition, severe persecution is taking place in Nigeria, Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Libya, Laos, Turkmenistan, Qatar, Vietnam, Oman, Mauritania, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Brunei, Bhutan, Algeria, Tunisia, India, Kashmir, Burma (Myanmar), Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain and by the Palestinian terrorists.

Moderate persecution is happening in China, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Kenya, Comoros, Malaysia, Djibouti, Tajikistan, Indonesia and Colombia.

Nations with sparse Christian persecution include Uganda, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Niger and the Central African Republic.

This list comes from Open Doors, USA, but persecution of Christians is confirmed by the United Nations Commission for Human Rights in Geneva, by independent global news sources as well as by Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant groups.

Some have labeled these actions as ethnic cleansing, whether by Muslims, Buddhists or Hindus.

Among Muslin nations, in the past year, Nigeria topped the list with more Christians killed there than in all other Muslim nations combined. The number of Christians in the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity, has declined from 20 percent in 1900 to a mere 2 percent this year.

Nevertheless, Tertullian of the second century said, “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.” The church will survive.

Roger C. Knepper

Johnstown

Legislators are just ripping us off

Thank you for all the information you give us on the elected officials. They are voted in on platforms that sound good, but the promises never get done.

The barb on Sept. 14 about the legislators’ unvouched expenses is old news. It’s been going on for years. More than $1 million dollars has been claimed so far this year. Think of that, all you people who are trying to make ends meet; who must decide if their incomes goes for food for their family, medical bills or taxes.

Our elected officials live a great life off of us. They have  the best insurance, cars to use and so many other perks I cannot name. They are elected to do a job for us. We are their employers, but they do not (most of them) look at it that way.

Call your legislator to complain. We have a right to know where our money is going. We must keep track of them and boot them out of office on election day. But then they get that nice retirement we have to pay for. What a rip-off.

Jacqueline Beltz

Johnstown

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