Only Christianity can save Europe from radical extremists, not secularism, Bishop says

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Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.

Originally published in The Gospel Herald

While state leaders and ordinary citizens scramble and struggle to know how to keep Europe safe from radical Islamists threatening it, a retired Anglican bishop believes he has the answer. As many start to claim that promoting secular values is the key to avoid another occurence of the deadly Paris attacks, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali says only Christianity can save Europe.

Originally from Pakistan, Bishop Nazir-Ali penned a long piece for the Catholic Herald as to why only Christianity can save Europe from the radical Islamics wrecking havoc around. According to him, several factors lead to the conclusion that the secular states of Europe are similar to the fractured Roman Empire of the fifth century, when it was stormed and attacked by barbarians. 

For the bishop, historians who blamed Christianity for the fall of Rome because secularism was challenged, could not be more in the wrong. Nazir-Ali claimed that secularism cannot be the unifying force at the time for Rome because it was never secular. Rather, it had “religions of the family, tribe, city or empire.” Moreover, these systems adhere to varying ideas and values. 

More importantly, the bishop claimed that invasions from barbarians were actually taking place at a time where Christianity was starting to solidify and unify the empire around common ideals on life and faith. It could therefore be said that it was Christianity, and not secularism, that rescued western civilization in the Dark Ages. 

“It is quite astonishing that some, instead of seeing Christianity as part of the answer to Europe’s predicament, are taking this opportunity to smear all religion by association, whatever the facts of history,” Nazir-Ali writes. Moreover, he asserted that as radical as the extremists may be, it is observable that they are fully committed to their ideology and religion. Their values and world perceptions are all mainly shaped by their religion. The problem is that Europe may not have a counterpart. “It is quite astonishing that some, instead of seeing Christianity as part of the answer to Europe’s predicament, are taking this opportunity to smear all religion by association, whatever the facts of history,” Nazir-Ali asks.

Nazir-Ali, is the first non-white bishop of the Church of England in Britain. When he retired, he dedicated his efforts to help persecuted Christians around the world, particularly Muslims who left Islam for Christianity. He is currently the head of the Oxford Center for Training, Research, Advocacy, and Dialogue. 

In related news, Washington Post reported that American evangelical leaders are uncertain of what can be the best response to Paris attacks, choosing between staging a war against terrorism and militant Islamic ideology or Christian reconciliation. 

 

2 Comments

  1. Very true. If only Christians would be as committed to the Truth as Islam is committed to a lie!
    One cannot kill an ideology. Islam needs to be presented with a different ideology that can appeal to them – a God of love and peace instead of the false god Allah who preaches murder and hate. Most Muslims are educated by their mullahs and imams and are brainwashed. They see no alternative.
    There are missionaries who have gone to Syria, where God has performed miracles by keeping them safe from bombings, which in turn has attracted Muslims who are themselves victims of ISIS.
    Christians need to pray fervently, because God is always in control.

  2. It is true that Christianity has had a positive influence on Europe as the old Roman Empire crumbled. Secularism is a comparatively new (Godless) Religion, and its most notable political expression has been Communism. That track-record under Stalin was not beneficial to Europe. There is no quick-fix for the current extremist conflict, only strategies to minimise the damage. Certainly imposing a ‘Christian Government’ will not work (cf Constantine, Verwoerd). The Kingdom of God works like leaven (Matt 13:33), Jesus taught that “only a few” will ever find the road to life (Matt 7:14). He warned us to expect false prophets/religions, and that “in this world we will have trouble, but we must take heart because He has overcome the world” (John 16:33). Meanwhile we must live holy lives, obeying His new commandment of sacrificial love, pray for our enemies and be kind to them, and using the influence we have to work for “Kindness, Justice and Righteousness” in our societies, for “these are the things God delights in” (Jeremiah 9:23,24)