On June 16, North Korean Christian Ri Hyon-ok was publicly executed for the crime of distributing Bibles. As her parents, husband and children were forced to look on, the 33-year-old mother was shot in front of a crowd in the northwestern city of Ryongchon. Her grieving and distraught family were then packed off to a prison camp.
Curiously, the United Church of Canada (UCC) -- a nominally Christian organization -- failed even to mention the Pyongyang regime's systematic persecution of its co-religionists, including the murder of Ms. Ri, during its national conference last week. Instead, the UCC devoted hours to discussing of alleged crimes by the Jewish state of Israel against Palestinians.
Last month, a Muslim mob in the northeastern Pakistan town of Gorja heard rumours that a Koran had been defaced during a Christian wedding ceremony. Officials investigating that subsequent riots could find no evidence of such a blasphemy, but that did not stop a mob of thousands of Muslims from burning more than 50 homes and a church in the Christian section of Gorja. At least 14 Christians were killed in the rampage, including one woman and three children who were burned alive in their homes.
Did the UCC pass a resolution (or even just introduce one) condemning such medieval attitudes and behaviours? After all, the Gorja riot amounted to an angry crowd branding a woman a witch and burning her at the stake in pre-Renaissance Europe -- 14 times over. If Christians or Jews were alleged to have carried out such barbarism, the social justice councils of the United Church would undoubtedly have condemned them. Why then so silent when the victims are fellow Christians and their murderers Muslims?
The short answer, of course, is that the UCC is more concerned with fashionably left-wing causes such as multiculturalism than it is about ending persecution per se. It is far more concerned for advancing political correctness than spreading or even defending its own faith.
Lefty intellectual fashion is always one-sided to the point of being blind...
(Lorne Gunter, National Post, August 19)