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Ask the Experts
One Big Thing: Do you think religious freedom is under attack around the world and in the United States?
In America there has been a resurgence of anti-Semitism, and some anti-Catholic, along with anti-Muslim sentiments. I had a high school friend who is evangelical tell me, a Catholic, that she doesn't recognize many people who call themselves Christian to be real Christians. There is a new 'militarization' of religion in America, brought on by the same fear of some white people that they lose of power because the population is darkening. As traditional Christianity feels a loss of power to secularism, and other religions, many are feeling dis-empowered and seeing enemies everywhere. They take insult at sharing December with other religions, and saying "Happy Holidays," or other symbols in city squares besides nativity scenes. It is too difficult for some to bear when others have differing beliefs validated, especially legally. It insults them, and their beliefs, because they are zealots, fanatics, or dogmatics. As a Catholic school educator I taught that it was wrong to force conversion through fear and punishment, but only through good example and love. These Christians are not being discriminated against, they often are the ones discriminating when others do not live according to their beliefs. Intolerance is on the rise around the globe in India, China, and Myanmar against Muslims, and a distressing leadership by a Buddhist monk, who says the Dalai Lama should mind his own business. Christians are in danger in areas of the Middle East and Africa. Tribalism even affected the appointment of a Catholic archbishop in Kenya. It seems that religion is just like sports teams, some people are obsessed with their favorites, hate the opposition, and like fighting over it. The inhumane part is that they use their beliefs as a god-given right to deny the human rights of others. We must act as counter to their power plays.