29 April 2017

The Plight of Christians in Laos

This is a heartbreaking story but one that we need to hear and follow. There is perhaps another story here... a growing nationalist/Sacralist tendency within Theravada Buddhism. We've already seen it in Sri Lanka but it's definitely on the rise in places like Burma, Thailand and indeed Laos.

It is not good to live in a Monistic society that eschews all pluralism. While many Western Christians view this Monism as ideal, the reality is even other Christians will suffer under their rule.
Cromwell who I do not praise attempted to have an Establishment Church while maintaining a degree of plurality. For some it constituted a brief golden age. For others it was tyrannical. And yet many, Anglicans and Presbyterians looked on with horror. Sacralists to the core they did not believe in tolerance or any form of plurality and they all but cursed his name.
Given the history of Laos, it is not too surprising that a waning and compromised communism is giving way to reactionary politics and sociology, not to mention a revitalised and resurgent state religion.
Sadly though ideologies associated with the 'outside' are immediately suspect and viewed as subversive. For good or ill, and usually it is the latter, Christianity is associated with the West. Over the past century or more that force, the West and with it Christianity are associated with imperialism, industrialisation and a culture that destroys everything in its path.

Rather than labour to identify with the West and its various nationalisms, we as Christians need to divorce ourselves from the deceptive and dishonest (not to mention heretical) Western/Christian narrative. It might go a long ways in helping our brethren in places like Laos.

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to offer a comment on your Luddite post on the other site. Forgive me if you don't like me cross-referencing on irrelevant, but equally dated, posts:

    Now, you come off a bit as an old fogey, but I completely understand your point. I'm in the millenial bracket, and had a smartphone for a couple years, but returned to a flip-phone when I realized it was negatively impacting my ability to wait. When there'd be any span of time between things, I'd find myself looking up things to read on my phone. Lost was the virtue of being present in the moment, even if no one was talking to you and nothing was going on. More generally, besides the social awkwardness and incapacity of many, it's, as you said, the inability to pay attention. My focus and attention span is fundamentally wrecked, and it has felt like a Herculean task to begin the process of repair.

    Whatever people do, I wish they, as you say, would see the severe damage that modern tech can wreak on the Human psyche and impact our character. I'm certainly a wounded member of our toy society of boy-men.