Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year

The International Society of Human Rights reports that acts of religious discrimination are escalating worldwide and that eight out of 10 of these are directed against Christians.
Throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Christians face imprisonment, torture, forced labor, economic and other discrimination. ‘Religious cleansing’ is very real and over the past decade 100,000 Christians have been killed for their faith each year. That’s 11 Christians killed every hour of every day of every week of every year.
And there can be ‘softer’ forms of discrimination against believers, even in countries like our own. The fact is: not everyone welcomes Jesus.
The King of the Universe came as a baby not to conquer by fire or force but to win hearts and minds. We must be thankful for the freedom we have to celebrate Christmas and never forget those who are suffering.
I pray that the Prince of Peace will bless you and your loved ones this year and always.

Bishop Daniel J. Rea
Archbishop of the Christian Church of Japan

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