Patrick Saldanha, 82, passes away on 18 February 2016

February 24, 2016 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

Off to a Better Place – Called by the Lord

Last week, Patrick, passed away. He was the brother of Justice Michael Saldanha and Mark Saldanha… Below here is an obituary as a tribute to his departed soul.

Rest in PeacePatrick Joachim Lawrence Saldanha, s/o Enid and John Saldanha, would have celebrated his 82nd Birthday on the 4th of March 2016.The three brothers, Patrick, Michael and Mark had met over the weekend of the 13th February which was Michael’s birthday at Mumbai. He was very well and cheerful and had insisted that they meet again on the 4th of March which was agreed upon. Patrick was a man of outstanding brilliance, drive and talent, who despite his lifelong disability with Polio, acquired more Degrees and Academic distinction than any other CA in this sub-continent, not to mention a career record that was hard to surpass. He was a man of low profile with that warm smile, never an unkind word, absolutely unruffled at all times but gifted with an irrepressible sense of humour.

Patrick was a low profile person who lived like an Indian Sadhu surrounded by his devoted staff Jagdamba and Sangeeta at his beautiful apartment on the 27th Floor of Venus Apts. at Cuffe Parade in South Mumbai. Because of his movement disability he attended Mass on Saturdays at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Colaba which was wheel-chair compatible, the last time being on 13th Feb. Over the last few months he had been troubled by recurrent abdominal discomfort which he passed off with minimal treatment. As a compensation for his Polio disability God had gifted him with abnormally good health which he inherited from his mother Enid, and had no old age ailments of any sort his humorous boast being that he had stayed far from Doctors and Hospitals for 45 years!

At 5 a.m. on Wednesday 18th Feb. Jagdamba rang up to Michael in Bangalore that Patrick was throwing-up blood. Immediately arrangements were made to rush him in an ambulance to the Hinduja Super Speciality Hospital. He had recovered quickly and was insisting in the Ambulance that there was no need for hospitalization. On reaching the Medical Centre he was rushed to the ICU as his pulse was failing. The Doctors found that he had suffered a major heammorage and a massive heart attack. Despite all efforts for 1 ½ hours he passed away at 8.15 a.m. on the morning of 18th February 2016.

A touching Funeral Service was held at the heritage Bascilica of the Sacred Heart at Santa Cruz in Mumbai attended by family, friends, associates and admirers. Touching tributes were paid to his outstanding qualities of head and heart but the highlight of the morning was the address by his globally famous brother Justice Michael Saldanha who highlighted the unusual and extra-special angles of Patrick as a man, as a professional and as a brother. His mortal remains were then cremated so that he could merge with the elements. His Atma has gone back to his creator to whom he will have, an accountant, a favourable balance sheet to present.

Michael Francis Saldanha

Brother of Justice Michael Saldanha and Mark Saldanha

Christian sentiments hurt with blasphemous Savarkar’s book claiming Christ was Hindu Tamilian Brahmin

February 24, 2016 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Savarkar's book claiming Christ was HinduThe CSF, the Mumbai based activist NGO takes strong exception to a book “Christ Parichay” (introduction to Christ) proposed to be released towards this month end. It has been reported that the 70-year-old book (1946) by Ganesh Savarkar, elder brother of Veer Savarkar one of the five founders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is being reprinted. This is being done by Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak (Savarkar National Memorial), a trust that propagates the Savarkar brothers’ literature and ideology, in Marathi on 26th February 2016.

Joseph Dias, the CSF general secretary said that the religious sentiments of the Christian community were hurt and said it was not surprising at the timing of the reprint, when the political dispensation in the country had changed. If the intentions of the publishers were genuine, why did they wait for 70 years to reprint the book? he asked. He called upon the government to act and investigate the claims made in the book as it amounted to sacrilege. He also called upon the Church hierarchy and other Christian denominations to condemn such a publication. Further, it was even more saddening that such provocation comes during the holy season of lent, when most are in a state of fast, prayer and abstinence.

Joseph Dias gave the following 10 highly objectionable claims made in the book:

1. Jesus Christ was born Keshao Krishna in a Tamil Hindu Brahmin family and Christianity was a Hindu cult/sect.

2. A cult called Essenes rescued the crucified Christ and revived him with medicinal plants and herbs from the Himalayas.

3. Jesus was a dark complexioned Vishwakarma Brahmin, who attained ‘Samadhi’ in Kashmir after running escaping from Israel

4. Palestinian and Arab territories were Hindu land and that Christ traveled to India where he learnt yoga and ran a cult teaching Hinduism.

5. Christ’s sacred thread ceremony (janeyu) was held when he was 12, as per Brahmin tradition, and that he wore the sacred thread like any other Hindu.

6. Christ prayed to Lord Shiva and Jesus’ family dressed in a typical Indian way. Jesus came to India to study the Vedas, and returned to Israel when he became an expert.

7. The Bible is not Jesus’s preaching. Arabia was a Hindu land and Jews were Hindus. Arabic has many Sanskrit and Tamil words. Palestine’s Arabic language was a version of the Tamil language.

8. Jesus while preaching, got involved in a political storm and was crucified, but miraculously escaped alive, came to Kashmir with a certain Chetan Nath, became healthy, and with Nath’s help, established a ‘math’ (monastery) at the foothills of the Himalayas.

9. The family had Hindu signs on their bodies and Jesus’s father Joseph’s name comes from a common Tamil name – Sheshepa. Ishanath (Isa or Christ), terminated his incarnation by taking Samadhi. Natha-Namawali (Indian scripture) also quotes his name as Ishanatha.

10. Christ worshiped Lord Shiva for three years and achieved ‘darshan’ (vision) of Shiva. He gathered knowledge and energy and placed the trishoola (trident), a seed of the world. He worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of a Linga (phallus). Sadhus (ascetics) and people arrived from all directions to stay with him and accepted him as Guru, the spiritual teacher.

11. Savarkar also said the book was written to remind the Christian world that they have snatched away Christ’s Hinduness and to repay the debt of Christ to us that he gave by hurling the flag of Hinduism beyond India. “I have done this work and I am satisfied with it. Let this literary worship of Christ or Keshao, the Krishna reach his divine feet,” he concluded.

The CSF general secretary, Joseph Dias said that the Hindutva brigade would not dare publish such fiction on other religions and made Christians soft targets. The right wing extremists and fringe elements were confident that Christians would not retaliate as the community was commanded by their faith to be non-violent and turn the other cheek, even when provoked or innocent.

For more info, contact:

Joseph Dias, CSF General Secretary +91 9769555657
Ex-Special Executive Magistrate, Govt of Maharashtra

Joblessness highest among Christians, Muslims next

February 22, 2016 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

joblessNew Delhi, February 21, 2016: Joblessness is highest among Christians in comparison with other religious groups, reveals a government survey.

The unemployment rate in the community stood at 4.5% in villages and 5.9% in cities and towns in 2011-12. Muslims come next with an unemployment rate of 3.9% in rural and 2.6% in urban areas.

Joblessness increased in villages across all religious communities, with the unemployment rate increasing from 1.6% in 2004-05 to 1.7% in 2011-12, according to the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO).

Many view the high unemployment rate among Christians as also a reflection of the higher education levels of community members who are in job market. Christians have the highest percentage of graduates.

Though the unemployment rate in urban areas came down across all religions from 4.5% in 2004-05 to 3.4% in 2011-12, it remained higher than in rural areas. Unemployment rates were lowest for Sikhs in villages (1.3%) and Hindus in urban areas (3.3%).

The survey has raised serious questions regarding the former UPA government’s policies for inclusiveness, with some analysts arguing that the measures failed to generate enough jobs in villages. Majority of workers in rural areas were self-employed.

The proportion of self-employment among males was the highest for Christians (56.6%); among females the share of self-employment was the highest among Sikhs (79%).

In rural areas, a significant proportion of workers (about 35%) — both males and females were engaged as casual labour. Among males, share of casual labour was the highest for Muslims (37.3%) and lowest among Christians (27.4%) while among females, share of casual labour was the highest among Hindus (36.6%) and lowest among Sikhs (14.8%).

Among rural males and females, proportion of regular wage or salaried employment was the highest for Christians (16.1% for males and 14% for females).

In urban India, the share of self-employed and salaried employees were almost the same. In cities, highest selfemployment was among Muslims and Sikhs male (52.8%) and for females it was the highest for Muslims (61.3%).

The proportion of salaried employment was highest for Christians (49.4%for males and 64.7% for females).

- times of india

To join or not to join Hindu group

February 22, 2016 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

RSS meet in BangaloreKochi, February 21, 2016: Last week should have been significant for India’s Christian leaders fighting a right-wing Hindu group’s march toward creating a Hindu-only India. But their prospect of success seems more complicated now, with cracks developing within the community.

When some 200 of them met in New Delhi Feb. 13 there were no two opinions about the need to resist advances by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, to appropriate the Christian community. Our leaders emphatically renounced an RSS proposal to form a separate forum for Christians within their Hindu group.

The RSS proposal was seen as an attempt to reach out to the Christian community amid accusations that the RSS, along with its political wing, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are stoking a climate of intolerance against minority religions in India and the spirit behind all anti-Christian activities in the country.

The RSS, the engine room that runs the government, is also seen as the reason for the state’s silence and apathy toward the ongoing Christian bashing.

But unfortunately, both the Catholic and Protestant churches were not part of the meeting and a good enough reason to divide Christians who have more than two opinions about teaming up with RSS for political relevance.

The official church was evidently unhappy that a group of Christian leaders on their own initiative planned a meeting, without the church’s consult and sanction. Officials of the national Catholic and Protestant conferences, although invited to the meeting, did not attend it. They told media that they have nothing to do with it!

Most Christians who support the idea of collaboration with the RSS and BJP live in south and southwestern India where traditional Christianity has its roots in the upper classes. Christians are socially and politically influential here, unlike in the rest of India, where they are mostly indigenous people and those from the so-called lower-caste origin.

In Goa, a former Portuguese colony, Catholic politicians are part of the BJP government that runs the state. The BJP and RSS have also made inroads into another traditional Christian stronghold state of Kerala.

Some church leaders in Kerala for example are cut off from the realities faced by Christians elsewhere. Kerala-based Mar Thoma Church’s Metropolitan Joseph Mar Thoma addressed a gathering for the newly elected BJP state president in January and said he found similarities between his church and the BJP. “We too have the lotus and the oil lamp” the political symbols of the BJP “as symbols placed on our church logo,” he said. Media interpreted this as a softening of the Christian stand against hard-line Hindu groups.

Some Christians believe collaboration, not confrontation, is the way ahead. They argue that having more moderates and Christians within these groups may neutralize the hard-line and anti-Christian views.

Besides, and more importantly, the RSS runs the government and joining forces with them would be a sure way to influence government polices in favor of Christian interest, they argue.

These arguments are fine as arguments, but the history of India and its religious minorities would prove that such premises stand on shaky ground.

The RSS no doubt is a cultural organization, but they have a fanatic view about things. They accept only Hindu culture and despise all other cultures and cultural habits. They make demands on the lifestyles of people including food habits and dress. The culture they stress also denies gender equality and accepts the caste system that sees poor caste people as sub-human. The seeming logic of collaboration could work only if Christians accept these cultural basics of the RSS.

The genesis and growth of the RSS is based on hate. The 90-year-old organization’s second chief, M.S. Golwalker (1906–1973) lists Muslims, Christians and Communists as a prime “threat to the nation” in his book, Bunch of Thoughts. The book gave the RSS its underpinning philosophy that saw it grow to a 6-million strong member organization having some 51,400 branches across India.

More essentially, the existential concept of Christianity such as evangelization and conversion are totally unacceptable to them. Christians “should subordinate their exclusive claims for final and sole revelation vis-a-vis the national society,” asserts Glwalker in his book. God saves the Christian who believes collaboration with the RSS is possible for him.

The hope that working with the RSS would help influence government policies are too ambitious. For one, Christians — a numerical minority in vast parts of India — would not get any influential positions or ministerial berths. They will be sidelined to nominal positions, if they win a parliamentary seat or two, and will be forced to toe the official line. Nothing will change that ideology.

What is most depressing is to say: “They run the government, and so let us be with them.” It legitimizes a right-wing group. But more than that, the attitude betrays cowardice, the rush to protect institutional interests and the sickness that seeks power, wealth and limelight. That rush is not only un-Christian, but also inhuman as it could jeopardize the lives of poor tribal and dalit people, just because they happen to be Christians.

Indian Christians have better choices as they live in a country following the principles of secularism and democratic institutions. A constitution and court systems that guarantee equality and religious freedom to all citizens surely offers recourse to their woes.

The challenge before Indian Christians is to come to the mainstream of Indian social and political life and work with other minorities and civil groups. With long-term planning and vision, their leaders could strengthen laymen and women for political action.

Christopher Joseph, ucan

Muslim policeman at duty beaten up and paraded in Maharashtra

February 22, 2016 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

Muslim policeman at duty beaten upMaharahstra, February 21, 2016: In an apparent display of anarchy, a Muslim policeman is beaten up badly and paraded in the streets by a mob in Pangaon town of Latur District in Maharashtra.

On Friday morning at around 9 am ASI Shaikh Yunus Pashamiya, 56, was surrounded by 200 men and beaten up by sticks after he was asked to hold saffron flag, parade and dance.

Maharashtra was celebrating Maratha warrior Shivaji’s birth anniversary on Friday due to which people were tying saffron flags in different areas.

As per sources, on Friday Pashamiya had restricted some men from tying saffron flags in certain sensitive areas sighting orders from superiors but people got angry due to such opposition and warned him of consequences.

Reportedly, Pashamiya was singled out from policemen and was beaten up brutally by the mob. Reports suggest that mob also tried to shave his beard off and was asked to make parade with saffron flag in his hands.

Name of one local ‘Chavan’ is making round on social media for being responsible of instigating the mob against Pashamiya.

One local told TwoCircles.net on condition of anonymity that mob targeted Pashamiya even though he was standing with his colleague ASI K Awaskar.

He is now recuperating at civil hospital in Latur. Family of Pashamiya could not be contacted for comment on the incident.

Meanwhile, Imtiaz Jaleel, MIM MLA from Aurangabad of Maharashtra twitted “Shocking: Muslim policeman beaten up/paraded on street with saffron flag in Latur village for doing his duty/ shame”.

- tcn

Pakistani police ordered to probe kidnap of Christian woman

February 22, 2016 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Pakistani police ordered to probe kidnap of Christian womanPattoki, February 21, 2016: Pakistani police were given a court order on Feb. 18 to investigate the kidnapping and forced conversion of a young Christian woman, the victim’s lawyer said.

“After four months of inquiry, the court has accepted our plea,” Sardar Mushtaq Gill, a Christian lawyer and rights activist told ucanews. The hearing was held at a lower court in the town of Pattoki, Punjab province.

Gill filed a writ petition on behalf of 22-year-old Nabila Bibi’s family last October after police refused to lodge a complaint against her kidnappers.

Four armed men abducted Bibi when she was in the company of her mother and sister in Pattoki last September.

The men later told police that Bibi had converted to Islam and married one of the kidnappers on her own will.

Bibi’s father Bashir Masih said that his daughter was threatened with death and forcibly converted. The threat of death continues, he said.

“My daughter has been told that if she renounces Islam and reconverts to Christianity, she will be declared a murtad (apostate), an act which deserves nothing but death,” Masih told ucannews.com.

After police refused to lodge the complaint against the kidnappers the family approached the courts.

“In most such cases, kidnappers use conversion as legal cover to escape punishment for kidnapping and raping the victims,” said Gill.

“Even if the girl is returned to her family, her life stands ruined,” he said.

“Yesterday when I argued my case and raised the main issue of forced conversion, there was a lot of tension in the court room,” he added.

Forced conversion has emerged as a major issue for Christian and Hindu communities in Pakistan.

Around 1,000 girls are forcibly converted to Islam in the south Asian country every year, said a June report by the Aurat Foundation.

- ucan

The survival of Western countries depends on embracing their Judaeo-Christian heritage

February 22, 2016 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-world

Judeo-Christian heritageWorld, Febuary 16, 2016: One of the buzz-words of the last 30 years among academics and writers was the phrase “cultural imperialism”. It was argued that after the end of the Second World War, although Western countries no longer had political empires, they nonetheless imposed their cultural values on the rest of the world. There was of course some truth in this; there had too often been an unfounded assumption that Western ways of thinking and doing were best.

However, what happened next was equally problematic. Among many Western academics, journalists and politicians there was  first, a rejection of the West, including its values, many of which had been derived from its Judaeo-Christian heritage. Secondly, this was coupled with a relativism that claimed that all religions and cultures were good and equally valid. The next step was a decision by governments to actively promote a form of multiculturalism that went well beyond the externals of culture i.e. the type of clothes we wear and food we eat, but one that actively promoted a diversity of different values.

The trouble was that by promoting the values of different cultures not only did we downgrade or even reject the importance of the historic values of Western countries, many, though by no means all of which were Judaeo-Christian ones, we also imported the value structures of other countries. Christians from countries such as Pakistan would often end up at best ignored by the government as ministers engaged with self-appointed community leaders who were invariably Muslims. There were issues that for years were regarded as taboo subjects that governments refused to talk about, such as how women and girls were treated in some communities. These included honour killings, female genital mutilation and crucially as far as Barnabas Fund is concerned, the issue of forced reconversion: violence against Christians from a Muslim family background seeking to intimidate them to revert to Islam.

Consequently, as the 21st century dawned, and when the West began to experience significant levels of Islamist terrorism, the West was woefully ill equipped. Most Western countries had lost confidence in their own cultural identity and values and were in the process of replacing values derived over many centuries from their Judaeo-Christian heritage with vague notions such as the promotion of “diversity”. Too often the Western journalists and politicians were unable to recognise that some of the “diversity” that they were actively promoting, such as sharia (Islamic law), fundamentally undermined the freedoms and values on which Western society was built.

The present vulnerability of the West

As a result, when the current wave of Islamist terrorism began to hit the West there was a refusal to accept that concepts such as jihad has any religious basis. Public figures, with little or no personal understanding of the range of beliefs within Islam, repeatedly told the public that there was no connection between Islam and terrorism. Such statements were profoundly dangerous for a whole variety of reasons. First, because they significantly handicapped the fight against terrorism, as governments claimed that Islamist terrorism was due to socio-economic disadvantage, rather than being driven by religious ideology; secondly, such statements enabled too many Muslim leaders in the West to similarly claim that violence had nothing to do with Islam, instead of urgently thinking through what they should do about Islamic texts that advocated jihad against non-Muslims; and thirdly, as the number of Islamist terrorist attacks increased many ordinary people simply stopped believing the politicians claims that “this has nothing to do with Islam”.

This in turn created an opportunity for racist extremists to incite anti-Muslim hatred by falsely claiming that all Muslims were terrorists; fourthly, governments struggled to define what “extremism” actually was. Instead of defining extremism as “extreme” in relation to British or Canadian, or German values, it was often defined in terms of some Muslims being more extreme than others. Sometimes this resulted in governments listening to, or even funding Islamist groups such as those linked to the Muslim Brotherhood because one could always find another Islamic group somewhere in the world that was even more extreme.

We still see this happening today. During President Obama’s presidential visit to a mosque at the beginning of February he claimed that, “For more than a thousand years, people have been drawn to Islam’s message of peace.” and referred to violent jihad as“a perverted interpretation of Islam”.

In fact, of course concepts such as jihad to impose sharia and Islamic government on non-Muslims have been part of classical Islam for its entire existence, even if they have not always been fully implemented.

The West’s denial of Islam’s persecution of Christians

Accompanying this denial that there is any problem with Islam has been another denial that the suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters in countries such as Nigeria, Syria and Iraq has got anything to do with Islam.

Yet our brothers and sisters who are suffering because of the actions of Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq are in many cases the descendants of those who have suffered in previous jihads, attempts to impose dhimmitude or slavery or were subject to massacres. In fact, for centuries Christians in this region have lived under the oppression of sharia. This has involved them suffering dhimmi status – second class status for non-Muslims – with, in practice, almost no legal rights, and on occasions being the objects of jihad, enslavement and arbitrary execution. In fact, there have been at least seven genocides among Christians in this region over the last 225 years. All of these were justified at the time as a jihad against non-Muslims, and significantly , all but one happened before the emergence of rise of modern Islamism.

It is a terrible thing to suffer persecution, it is far worse though when other people refuse to accept that you have been persecuted or even blame you for what has happened. Yet that happened in Nigeria, where until November 2013 the US State Department refused to recognise that the actions of Boko Haram were in any way motivated by Islam. Instead they claimed that the attacks on churches, murder and kidnapping of thousands of Christians and Boko Haram’s violent enforcement of sharia were due to socio-economic tensions between Christians and Muslims. In fact, it was a full six months after Boko Haram reintroduced the aspects of sharia allowing the enslavement of non-Muslims, a move shortly afterwards followed by IS, that the US government finally recognised Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation.

What President Obama and other like-minded public figures are actually doing is more than simply acting like the ostrich that puts its head in the sand to avoid seeing danger. In fact they are engaging in a new form of “cultural imperialism” as they seek to impose on the non-Western world their own relativist belief that all religions and cultures are equally good and valid. In practice what they are also actually doing, whether they realise it or not, is often empowering the value structures that have for centuries oppressed Christians and other non-Muslim minorities in countries such as Nigeria, Iraq and Syria.

The West must reassert its confidence in its Judaeo-Christian values

There are however, signs of progress in countries such as Australia and the UK, where there is now a recognition that the terrorist ideology is religious. In December last year former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, recognising that there is a problem within some historic interpretations of Islam, said:

“There needs to be as President al-Sisi of Egypt has said a religious revolution inside Islam. The other thing that is needed is a restoration of cultural self-belief in those who are supporters of Western civilisation. All cultures are not equal and frankly a culture that believes in decency and tolerance is much to be preferred to one which thinks you can kill in the name of God.” The UK has been on something of a journey in this respect. The years immediately following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 saw repeated claims by politicians, police chiefs and other public officials that Islam has nothing to do with violence. Even the official report into the 7/7 2005 bus and underground train bombings in London concluded that it was not clear what the bombers’ motivation was. Now the UK government’s counter terrorism strategy clearly identifies the issue as ideological with a strategy that recognises the need for government institutions to work towards the integration of those vulnerable to radicalisation into wider society, rather than simply promoting “diversity” as it has done in the past. Even more significantly, extremism is now defined as being “extreme” in relation to values that have historically evolved in the UK and become embedded in its national institutions.

But this still leaves a vitally important question, if as at least some Western governments are now increasingly recognising that the battle against Islamism is, apart from anything else, ideological, how does one deconstruct an ideology?

We have actually been here before.

First, in 1857 a number of Islamic leaders declared a jihad against British rule in India. The military defeat of the subsequent uprising led to a number Indian Islamic leaders concluding that God had punished them with an “infidel” government as a result of their own unfaithfulness. They therefore decided to abandon any attempt at military jihad and instead focus on inward spiritual purity. The result was that the Indian subcontinent produced several generations of Muslims who in the main followed a primarily devotional, peaceful, form of Islam, a form which they brought to Western countries where many migrated in the second half of the 20th century. However, it was not simply military defeat that caused the collapse of the jihadi ideology, something else was needed to take its place. For many Muslims from the Indian subcontinent, that “something else” was that they imbibed at least something of those Judaeo-Christian values that had become embedded in British institutions such as democracy and freedom of religion. Now, however, we have a situation where Western countries are increasingly abandoning those very values derived from their Judaeo-Christian heritage that have been so important in the past. At the same time globalisation and the internet has meant that many young Muslims are influenced by other streams of Islam such as those from Saudi Arabia, which are far less tolerant. There the only law is sharia and Muslims are taught that Muslims should rule non-Muslims, that sharia and Islamic government should be extended across the globe and apostasy – leaving Islam for another faith – should be met with an automatic death sentence.

Secondly, during the Second World War the Western world faced an ideological threat of a similar magnitude to radical Islamism from Nazi ideology. In the UK the government of Winston Churchill recognised that it was not enough to defeat Nazism militarily, it must also provide a counter narrative. Churchill in fact, spoke of it as a battle for the survival of those Judaeo-Christian values which he termed “Christian civilisation”, famously declaring in 1940 on the eve of the battle of Britain “Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation.” One small, but significant step his government took was to pass an Education Act in 1944 requiring all children to be taught Christianity in order to prevent any ideology similar Nazism ever taking root in the UK. Similarly, Konrad Andenauer, Germany’s first post-war chancellor, facing an even greater challenge of rebuilding a destroyed country while de-Nazifying an entire generation, consciously sought to rebuild Germany on the basis of Christian values.

The West is slowly waking up to what the Islamist agenda really is, but on the whole is failing to construct a counter narrative. It must reassert its Judaeo-Christian values if it is to do so. At the moment its failure to do so is not only leaving it vulnerable to Islamism, but as we have seen in the case of Nigeria, is also making it difficult for Western governments to fully recognise the suffering that the enforcement of sharia and other aspects of classical Islam such as jihad and dhimmi ­ status create for Christians in many Muslim-majority contexts.

- barnabas team