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From aleteia.org:



After Charlie Hebdo, Could European Churches Be Next?
It doesn't take a prophet to foresee the threat to Christian Europe.

Philip Jenkins
January 10, 2015


Yet again, a hideous terror attack forces Europeans to confront basic political and cultural realities. The massacre at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo raises fundamental and troubling questions about free speech, and the delicate balance between civil rights and effective policing. But for Christians, and for Catholics specifically, current terrorist dangers should be forcing a very serious consideration of quite different issues. Looking at contemporary Europe, we should take account of one grim event that has not occurred yet, but that almost certainly will within the next few years. Unless political circumstances change radically, there will soon be a major attack on an iconic symbol of European Christianity.

To assert this demands no gifts of prophecy. For years, the most extreme segments of radical Islamism have uttered direct threats against Christian belief and practice, and it is immaterial whether their actions are in conflict with tolerant interpretations of Islamic tradition. Radical groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS condemn modern Christians as idolaters who fall outside the Qur’an’s promises of protection. To strike at Christian churches is to fight idolatry and infidels.

Vox Wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jl-OJJVAEg

Terrorist groups have already targeted Christian individuals and institutions, with a view to achieving the maximum shock effect. In 1995, an Arab group based in the Philippines planned to assassinate Pope John Paul II on his visit to that nation, as a means of distracting attention from a related plot against U.S. airliners. (Though a Turk actually did shoot the same pope in 1981, he was not acting on behalf of Islamist causes.) When Pope Benedict made his controversial Regensburg speech in 2006, extremist Muslim groups organized protests outside Westminster Cathedral, England’s pre-eminent Catholic church, while a spokesman warned that execution awaited anyone who insulted Islam.

Cathedrals and great churches have featured among the aborted list of targets planned by Islamist cells. Such thwarted attacks were directed at Strasburg and Cremona cathedrals, and al-Qaeda made threats against the great cathedral of Bologna. A medieval fresco of the Last Judgment in that last building depicts the Prophet Muhammad being thrown into Hell, naked, with a snake wrapped around his body, and attended by a demon. Italian Muslim activists have frequently protested against this work. Scarcely less sensitive is the pilgrim shrine of Santiago of Compostela, given its dedication to Saint James the Moor-Slayer, Santiago Matamoros. Although they do not specifically offend Islamic sentiment, other high-profile Christian buildings would attract terrorist violence because of their enormous symbolic value.

Vox Wrote:
Strasbourg Cathedral... Can you imagine those animals destroying this?:


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Recent events in the Middle East make attacks on churches far more likely. Over the past decade, extremists across the region have deliberately targeted Christian buildings and communities for destruction, particularly in Syria and Iraq. Mob attacks against churches in Egypt in 2013 were the worst and most widespread in that country since 1321. Iraq has repeatedly been the scene of massacres of Christian clergy and worshipers, commonly during major celebrations like Christmas. Around the world, in fact, Christmas is a uniquely dangerous time for churches in lands like Nigeria or Kenya, when suicide attacks are most feared. Al-Qaeda and ISIS, the main perpetrators of such tactics, both have a potent presence on European soil.

European security officials are of course acutely aware of these dangers. Witness the security checks for anyone seeking to enter Rome’s St. Peter’s Square. But by definition, churches and church services have to be open to the public. For terrorist planners, they represent low-hanging fruit.

As an intellectual exercise, we should think through the consequences of such acts. What would be the cultural or political effect of an attack that devastated a cherished building such as Westminster Abbey or Notre Dame, Santiago de Compostela or the Duomo of Florence, or St. Peter’s in Rome itself? Or what about simultaneous Baghdad-style attacks on Midnight Mass services in two or more European cities?

The immediate response, undoubtedly, would be grief and fury, and Muslim leaders would be among the first to condemn the hypothetical attack, and with utter sincerity. They would declare that the terrorists represented an extreme fringe of the faith, who violated its basic precepts. Church authorities in turn would undoubtedly respond with words of forgiveness and reconciliation, and we would expect mass interfaith gatherings.

Vox Wrote:
"Muslim leaders would be among the first to condemn the hypothetical attack, and with utter sincerity"? Chyeah.

But yeah, I'm sure most of our hierarchs would be all 'We need more dialogue" about it. As Ke$ha would say, "blah blah blah."

It is difficult though to avoid the likelihood of increased religious tension and confrontation. As an attack would result in dramatically increased and militarized security around other churches, it would promote a sense of siege, and encourage a rhetoric of crusade and jihad. The Vatican initially described the London subway attacks of 2005 as “anti-Christian,” but withdrew the comment when it was attacked as inflammatory. In other circumstances though, blatant anti-Christian motives might be impossible to conceal.

Vox Wrote:Interesting, that. He says that certain types of attacks might be "impossible to conceal," intimating that the motive for the London subway attacks was being concealed. So the Vatican was right in the first place, but had to shut up out of political correctness, according to what this guy seems to be saying.

Conceivably, we might even imagine old-stock European Christians being galvanized to a new awareness of their culture and heritage, to a newly discovered sense of the Christian history they had always taken for granted. In England, for instance, the old crusader flag of St. George was virtually unknown forty years ago, but is now a standard symbol of national identity. We might also expect enhanced militancy from the Global South immigrants living in Europe, millions of whom are Christian, and whose home countries are the scene of interfaith violence. Might we expect retaliatory violence? Far-right nationalists might themselves adopt Crusader rhetoric and imagery, as they struck at mosques and Islamic centers.

Vox Wrote:
If, God forbid, Muslims were to do something outrageous, like blow up Notre Dame de Paris, Christians being galvanized, and rallying, would be such a great thing to see. One'd think, though, that folks would have enough imagination to, well, imagine what's likely to come soon enough, and start galvanizing and rallying now.

I don’t pretend to predict consequences in any detail. It would, though, be valuable to think through such potential atrocities before they actually occur.


Philip Jenkins is a Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor Universityand author ofThe Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade.
(01-19-2015, 05:36 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jl-OJJVAEg

Those Jewish dogs are the very reason for this lack of morals and faith in Europe, with this talk of "multiculturalism" they are destroying Europe and the Church and are also responsible for the mass immigration of infidels who in turn threaten us.
It's more like a threat to the beautiful yet vacant rotting remains of once Christian Europe but nonetheless the scenario is a real one that I fear is probably prophetic. Unless there is a far right backlash and enough anti muslim sentiment that makes them feel unwelcome and or drives them out this is probably the future for the remains of our cultural heritage,to be destroyed like the tomb of Jonah or the Bamiyan Buddhas by the iconoclastic and satanic sons and daughters of the false prophet.

If a single great cathedral is destroyed and there's not a violent backlash againist the muslim community in Europe than Europeans, for lack of a better way of putting it, have no balls,no pride, and no love or respect for their land, their heritage or the Faith of their fathers.
There are two scenarios I can eventually see unfolding.
1. Muslim attacks jolt Europe and reinvigorates the dormant Catholicism in the continent.
2. Muslims overwhelm Europe.

Europe isn't spared without unifying under the banner of the Church.
While some pockets of Europe, such as Poland, are holding on to the Faith, Europe has almost completely abandoned it- and has been in the process of doing so for 500 years.  These magnificent churches are little more than empty shells- like dead bodies.  They are medieval artifacts- things to satisfy tourists, architects, the tourism industry, and pigeons.  Part of me wants to say, let them be destroyed.  Europe should quit pretending to have and to cherish something that they have forgotten now for at least a few generations- and in some places, for hundreds of years.  If the external presentation of the Church in Europe looked like what it did internally, it would look very different.  Europe would have practically no churches, and most of the churches it had would be grotesque "modern" ones.  I say, let the world see how things really are a little more clearly.

As for this "Jewish" activist.  Her Jewishness is nothing more than a card to pull when it becomes convenient- an ethnicity to identify herself with when 'U.S. Expat" just isn't interesting enough.  I'm guessing she's actually one of the better ones.  There are plenty of atheists who are 2nd+ Generation U.S. citizens, who pull the Jewish card whenever they find it a useful tool to push a liberal agenda.  I don't know about anyone else here, but I just can't take them seriously.  Unfortunately, there are people who do take them seriously- quite a few of them, in fact.
(01-19-2015, 03:36 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]While some pockets of Europe, such as Poland, are holding on to the Faith, Europe has almost completely abandoned it- and has been in the process of doing so for 500 years.  These magnificent churches are little more than empty shells- like dead bodies.  They are medieval artifacts- things to satisfy tourists, architects, the tourism industry, and pigeons.  Part of me wants to say, let them be destroyed.  Europe should quit pretending to have and to cherish something that they have forgotten now for at least a few generations- and in some places, for hundreds of years.  If the external presentation of the Church in Europe looked like what it did internally, it would look very different.  Europe would have practically no churches, and most of the churches it had would be grotesque "modern" ones.  I say, let the world see how things really are a little more clearly.

As for this "Jewish" activist.  Her Jewishness is nothing more than a card to pull when it becomes convenient- an ethnicity to identify herself with when 'U.S. Expat" just isn't interesting enough.  I'm guessing she's actually one of the better ones.  There are plenty of atheists who are 2nd+ Generation U.S. citizens, who pull the Jewish card whenever they find it a useful tool to push a liberal agenda.  I don't know about anyone else here, but I just can't take them seriously.  Unfortunately, there are people who do take them seriously- quite a few of them, in fact.


It's sad that the glorious monuments to Western Christendom and a culture filled with supernatural Faith no longer inspire. Maybe living amongst them made Europeans take them for granted, who knows? At any rate it's sad and tragic. Part of me agrees, let them burn down, it serves apostate Europe right, but then I look at the beautiful rose windows, statuary and the glory of it all and hesitate. If anything those monuments are for those of us who still have that Faith and they still do inspire some of us.

I do agree that it's either a massive militant Catholic revival or islam and  sharia, there are no other options. Europeans need to realize Muslims are their enemies, there is nothing good,friendly or wholesome about them as long as they carry within themselves the malignant religion of Mohammed within themselves. They are dangerous, they follow a dangerous creed, a creed that is totally and utterly at odds with either the modern secularist democratic or the traditional Catholic or Protestant worldview. They do not belong in Europe unless they renounce their islam.
I can imagine Strasbourg being under siege by Moslems, but that would only happen if the Christians would not find a way in keeping them out like rats out of a kitchen.

N.
(01-19-2015, 03:36 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]While some pockets of Europe, such as Poland, are holding on to the Faith, Europe has almost completely abandoned it- and has been in the process of doing so for 500 years.  These magnificent churches are little more than empty shells- like dead bodies.  They are medieval artifacts- things to satisfy tourists, architects, the tourism industry, and pigeons.  Part of me wants to say, let them be destroyed.  Europe should quit pretending to have and to cherish something that they have forgotten now for at least a few generations- and in some places, for hundreds of years.  If the external presentation of the Church in Europe looked like what it did internally, it would look very different.  Europe would have practically no churches, and most of the churches it had would be grotesque "modern" ones.  I say, let the world see how things really are a little more clearly.

As for this "Jewish" activist.  Her Jewishness is nothing more than a card to pull when it becomes convenient- an ethnicity to identify herself with when 'U.S. Expat" just isn't interesting enough.  I'm guessing she's actually one of the better ones.  There are plenty of atheists who are 2nd+ Generation U.S. citizens, who pull the Jewish card whenever they find it a useful tool to push a liberal agenda.  I don't know about anyone else here, but I just can't take them seriously.  Unfortunately, there are people who do take them seriously- quite a few of them, in fact.

I read where the original Poche was in Paris in 1869 and he was disappointed at the turnout for mass at the cathedral of Notre Dame. He said that the e were only around 300 in a building that could hold thousands. 
The churches in the article are magnificent--truly seem like a foretaste of paradise.