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Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas to all those Christians who are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ today.

One of the fundamental good ideas of Christianity is summed up in the most famous of New Testament passages: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) That is, despite all appearances to the contrary, God really does love the world. This love of God for the world, in the mystery of things, is expressed through the suffering of the cross, which is then followed by the resurrection. The Christians who are suffering persecution for their faith today in Nigeria, and Pakistan, and Iraq, and Egypt, and Iran, and other Muslim countries are walking the way of the cross, confident that God does indeed love the world and so will not leave them to carry the cross without eventually bringing them to the resurrection.

Neither they nor we, however, can afford to be quietist and simply to hope that one day their suffering will all be redeemed. It is up to us to call attention to their suffering, and to try to move the conscience of the world to act to relieve their suffering now and prevent it from recurring in the future. This is an uphill battle, because even as Islamic jihadists attack Christians with unremitting fury, we see the world, including Christian authorities in the West, yawning and remaining indifferent. Weak and cowardly Christian leaders say we must not talk about all this, for fear of “provoking” Muslims and harming a chimerical and fruitless (at best) Muslim/Christian “dialogue.” Those who dare anyway to speak out about the persecution of Christians that the persecutors justify by invoking the Qur’an and Sunnah are vilified, demonized, and silenced as “bigots” and “Islamophobes.” Even some Christians do this to their fellow Christians who speak unwelcome truths on these matters.

So here is something to remember this Christmas: if you are a free human being, whether or not you are Christian, those Christians who are being persecuted in the Islamic world are standing in your place. The jihadis would just as soon attack you as well, and will eventually if they get the chance. Remember that the Islamic jihadis have you on their list. You may not be a Christian. You may not be a Jew. You may not be a Hindu. You may not be a Buddhist. You may not wish to pay attention to the jihad at all. But the jihad is universal, and relentless. And you are on its list.

So this Christmas, may all of us whose conversion, subjugation, or death is envisioned by the adherents of Sharia stand together. Let us stand together as Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, secularists, what have you, and stand up against those who would kill us or subject us to institutionalized discrimination and harassment (at best) because they find our beliefs offensive.

For be assured: if we do not stand together, they will prevail. And if they prevail, then all the richest manifestations of the unfettered human spirit, from Hagia Sophia to the temple of mausoleums of Timbuktu, from the works of Socrates and Aristotle to those of Confucius and Moses Maimonides and Dante Alighieri and Winston Churchill and Oriana Fallaci, will be trampled into the mud, destroyed, exploded, ruined, effaced. We will all be the poorer. Our children will be the poorer.

It is time, more than ever, to fight for our freedom, and for our very lives.

Merry Christmas.

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