Anti-Christian sentiment: Wikis

  
  

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Anti-Christian sentiment is found in opposition to some or all Christians, the Christian religion, or the practice of Christianity. Christophobia or Christianophobia are also according to Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) names for "every form of discrimination and intolerance against Christians".[1]

Contents

Anti-Christian expressions

Vandalism

The vandalism or defacement of Christian symbols or property is one form of the expression of anti-Christian sentiment. If the defaced or vandalized object is considered holy by Christians, such as the Bible, the Cross, or an image of Christ or a saint, the case becomes that of desecration. Such destruction may also be illegal if it violates property rights or hate crime laws. Arson directed at Christian meeting places or churches is often considered a hate crime.[2] However, churches may also be targeted for reasons unrelated to anti-Christian sentiment, especially racism.[3] An aggravating factor in the burning of a church in Minnedosa, Manitoba was that two of the arsonists were fans of National Socialist black metal music with anti-Christian themes, according to the Crown.[4]

Music

Marilyn Manson Performing "Antichrist Superstar" at the Electric Factory

Some elements of the black metal and death metal (although, more focused on gore than anti-Christianity) scene declare open hatred of Christianity. Headliners of the black metal scene have claimed responsibility for inspiring (if not necessarily perpetrating) over fifty arsons directed at Christian churches in Norway from 1992 to 1996.[5] The most notable church was Norway's Fantoft stave church, which the police believed was destroyed by the one-man band Burzum, Varg Vikernes, aka "Count Grishnackh".[5]. Long term goth/metal band Christian Death, had an album called Born Again Anti-Christian.

Examples of anti-Christian sentiment in politics and culture

United States

Christian activist groups like the American Family Association have spoken out against the perceived increasingly secular nature of American society, and what they have seen as the minimizing of formerly dominant Christian traditions, for example, the "War on Christmas".[6]

United Kingdom

Mark Pritchard, the Member of Parliament representing the English constituency of The Wrekin, instigated a debate in the House of Commons on 5 December 2007 on the issue of Anti-Christian sentiment, describing the phenomenon as 'Christianophobia'.[7] Introducing the debate, he said it was about "how anti-Christian sentiment is increasing, not decreasing; why many Christians feel they are not getting a fair hearing when it comes to Christianity in the public square; and what many people of all faiths and no faith see as the increasing marginalisation of Britain’s Christian history, heritage and traditions through the actions of Whitehall Departments, Government agencies, local authorities, the charity commissioners, or other sectors of society."[8] One example where anti-christian sentiment was evident was when a church building was wrecked by squatters which included the adding of anti-christian graffiti to the walls.[9]

Norway

6 June 1992. The Fantoft stave church, a wooden structure originally built in 1150 in Fortun, when the Vikings converted to Christianity, and moved to Bergen in 1883, burned down.[10] At first the fire was attributed to lightning and electrical failure. In January 1993 Varg Vikernes, aka Count Grishnackh, was interviewed by a local journalist in his apartment decorated with 'Nazi paraphernalia, weapons and Satanic symbols'. Vikernes claimed that the Black Metal scene had declared war on Christianity and Norwegian society and was responsible for eight church burnings as part of an ongoing terror campaign. He used a photo of the charred remnants of the church taken soon after the fire on his band Burzum's album entitled Aske (Norwegian for ashes). Following his statement the Norwegian authorities began to clamp down on the Black Metal scene.[11]

In 1994 Vikernes was found guilty of murder, arson and possession of illegal weapons (including explosives) and given the maximum sentence under Norwegian law of 21 years in prison, where he renounced Black Metal and embraced neo-Nazism.[11] On May 22, 2009 Vikernes confirmed that he has been released.[12]

Partial list of Christian church arsons in Norway by anti-Christian groups reported by English-language media sources:

1992:

Sweden

1993:

Germany

Following a visit to Germany, in 1998 the United Nations Special Rapporteur issued a report in which he found that a climate of intolerance affected several Christian groups, among them Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Charismatic Christians have also been targeted.[18]

The stigma attached to formalized discrimination of this type has created a climate of religious intolerance that breeds daily incidents of discrimination.[19]

Israel

In May 2008, several hundred New Testaments were burned in Or Yehuda, Israel. The books were found in a number of local Jewish homes, and in order to stop distribution of Messianic literature in the city, the Deputy Mayor had them collected. He later reported that during his absence, 3 Israeli students started a fire and incinerated at least 200, when he returned he put a stop to the book burning.[20]

See also

References

Further reading

  • Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind. Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground, ISBN 0922915482

External links








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