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Letter From Hank

Hank HanegraaffSeptember 2016

Dear CRI Partner:

I wrote to you last month about how increasingly dangerous it is to be a believer in the United States. And how “soft” persecution is growing for Christians throughout the West.

But for Christian brothers and sisters in countries around the world, there’s absolutely nothing soft about persecution. In fact, the number of Christians being tortured and savagely butchered by Muslim supremacists is growing daily.

My reason for writing to you is a cry for help. Because our ignorance and silence in the West are aiding and abetting the continuing brutal persecution.

It’s time that we wake up. And time that we act.

Which is why I’ve inserted a sheet with two key resources. One is Raymond Ibrahim’s book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians. The other is The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution, by John Allen, Jr.

But before I connect some important dots, here are some chilling statistics from Crucified Again:

  • A January 2012 Reuters report cited an estimated “100 million Christians persecuted worldwide.” A few years earlier, the British Secret Service, MI6, had put the number of Christians being persecuted around the world at twice as high, 200 million.
  • A human rights representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation on Europe estimates that a Christian is killed for his faith “every five minutes.”

“Is there a pattern to the persecution?” you might ask? Yes.

Of the top fifty countries documented for their persecution of Christians, forty-two either are Muslim-majority nations or have a sizeable Muslim population that is attempting to subjugate or eliminate surrounding Christians.  As Ibrahim puts it,

From one end of the Muslim world to the other, Christians are suffering under the return of Sharia. Often translated as “Islamic law,” Sharia simply means the “Islamic way” of doing things. Accordingly, wherever and whenever Muslims are in power or getting more power, churches are outlawed, burned, and bombed, while Bibles and crucifixes are confiscated and destroyed. Freedom of speech—to speak positively of Christianity or critically of Islam—is denied, often on pain of death. Born Muslims who wish to convert to Christianity out of sincere religious conviction are denied this basic freedom, also on pain of death.

While Crucified Again details literally hundreds of cases of horrendous persecution (along with disturbing color photos) in country after country, the numbers tell a revealing truth. When Muslims gain power, Christians are at risk. (Ibrahim notes the telling tale of Saudi Arabia. It nipped the problem in the bud by banning Christianity altogether. When there are no Christians, there are no churches to bomb or burn.)

I mentioned earlier I would connect some dots. And one of the most important is the ignorance of most American Christians regarding this persecution.

While you can read more about the problem in Crucified Again, here, not surprisingly, are the usual suspects:

  • Academic whitewashing – From the highest echelons of academia down, “Those who get scholarships, grants and positions (many of them funded by Saudi petro dollars)…employ intellectual acrobatics to portray the Islamic world as tolerant, victimized, wonderful to its religious minorities.”
  • The Media – In Kingdom of Heaven, a purportedly “historical” movie, intolerant, fanatical, and greedy Christians are contrasted with noble and magnanimous Muslims. As Ibrahim notes, “At a time when Egypt’s Christians are being persecuted, Hollywood’s response is to produce a movie portraying Egyptian Christians as the persecutors.”
  • Government Policy – Ibrahim details how the Obama administration has not only ignored Muslim persecution of Christians but also enabled it. Anything that contradicts the politically correct and rigorously enforced narrative that Islam is a “religion of peace” is simply not tolerated.

And in face of such misinformation and disinformation, we cannot be silent. Because when lies are mistaken for truth, we often find that lives are at stake.

That’s why CRI is fully committed to
equipping Christians to think and live Christianly.
And when Christians are bombarded relentlessly with the outrageous
deceptions and distortions of reality dispensed daily by the secular progressive elites
in the academy, the media, and government, it’s time to sound the alarm.

But more than merely sounding an alarm, it’s time for Christians of all stripes and persuasions to rise as one and say, “Enough is enough!”

Moreover, it’s time to call out the politically correct death wish that slowly is strangling biblical truth while perilously obscuring perceptions of these growing threats. You and I must passionately stand together against these relentless onslaughts or pay a terrible price.

As Ibrahim poignantly states,

There is one urgent reason that the West in its entirety—Christians and non-     Christians, liberals and conservatives, deists and atheists—should take note of and respond   to Muslim persecution of Christians: it is a reflection of what Islam has in store for them.

Because CRI is not only sounding the alarm but also equipping Christians here and abroad to recognize and respond to these threats, here’s what I’ll unashamedly ask you to do.

  • Pray. As one persuaded that “prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscles of Omnipotence,” we need to pray fervently. Yet here’s our challenge, captured poignantly by Dr. Carl Moeller:

    “We would think of the American church as a napping church and that we would elbow it and it would wake up and rouse itself and do something [about the persecution of Christians]…In my mind today, the picture I have is a church in a diabetic coma that has gorged itself on the sweets of affluence, materialism, and the idolatry of worshipping the materialistic world. That diabetic coma is now life threatening. We as a church are at a point of death—not the church in the Middle East. We are the ones who can no longer rouse ourselves to even pray for an hour on behalf of things that God would have us pray for.”

  • Give. Continue to stand firm in supporting the work of CRI. And as resources allow, please consider going above and beyond the call of duty, perhaps even making a sacrificial gift today. And please remember I’m not asking you to give to CRI but through CRI to help awaken, equip, and encourage fellow believers to stand resolutely against the growing persecution—soft and hard—of Christians at home and abroad.
  • Tell. Tell others about the mounting threats to Christians and our freedoms, whether by militant secularists, academic and media elites, or Islamic jihadists fanatically committed to an “infidel-free” world. Better yet, give them a copy of Crucified Again or The Global War on Christians.

I encourage you to take just a moment to glance at the enclosed sheet and reply card.

I don’t believe that anyone could read these books and not be shaken, sobered, heart-broken, and ultimately moved to stand courageously for the liberties we are losing.

Then, let me remind you of what I hope by now is obvious: that all that CRI does is made possible only because friends and partners like you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us in our 24/7 outreaches.

My deepest thanks for the critical difference you continue to make in so many lives.

…because Life and Truth matter,


P.S. Ibrahim closes Crucified Again with a thought we all should ponder:

The West ignores those being crucified again at its own peril—bringing to memory the words of German pastor Martin Niemoller, who came to understand—but only after being sent to a concentration camp during World War II—what it meant to face a totalitarian ideology hostile to all who reject it:

First they [the Nazis] came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.


More Questions and Answers with Hank

Best of BAM: Politicians Reflect the Culture and Q&A

What the Size of the Cosmos Doesn’t Say about Mankind and Q&A

A Matter of the Heart, not Color and Q&A

Q&A: Assurance of Salvation, Suicide, and Mental Illness

Crucified Again with Raymond Ibrahim – Part 3

What’s Bad About The Good Place and Q&A

Best of BAM: Crucified Again with Raymond Ibrahim – Part 2

Politicians Reflect the Culture and Q&A

How Could God Command Genocide? and Q&A

Q&A: Unlearning False Teaching, Tongues, and Reconciliation

Q&A: Eternal Family, Faith, and the Lord’s Supper

Christians Must Wake Up and Q&A

Best of BAM: Crucified Again with Raymond Ibrahim – Part 1

Q&A: Isaiah 66, John the Baptist, and Intelligent Design

Crucified Again with Raymond Ibrahim – Part 2