Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Episcopal Church’s Website’s Deafening Silence on the Persecuted Church

By Ryan Hunter
August 27, 2014

The Episcopal Church maintains a beautifully designed website which, as one might expect from the liberal denomination, devotes a whole section to “LGBT in the Church”. This page reads like a Democratic Party presidential candidate’s website; it is complete with links to affiliated LGBT political activist groups, lay and clergy LGBT lobbying organizations within the denomination, and a detailed history of the church’s support for “radical inclusion” of LGBT people since 1976. The LGBT page is, in fact, considerably longer than the page “Women in the Church”, while the page “Men in the Church” , with only four links and a short video, reads like an afterthought.

Given the amount of attention and space devoted to the particular issue of all non-heterosexual people in the shrinking mainline denomination, what comes as something of a surprise is the website’s total silence on the subject of the persecuted church. Considering that pages and pages are devoted to the evidently crucial topics of transgender rights and same-sex wedding blessings, the website’s silence on the global reality of Christians facing persecution for their faith is deafening.

The LGBT section appears under the front-and-center headline “Who We Are”, while the subject of Christians facing persecution is absent from that headline as well as from the “Ministries” and “What We Do” headlines. Commendably, there is a “Pray for Sudan section under “What We Do”, and numerous other charitable endeavors listed throughout the website under easily-accessible sub-sections and pages. Yet, evidently, the issue of Christians being persecuted for their faith is not one of The Episcopal Church’s priorities, although the independent and non-partisan Pew Research Center found in January that Christians are the world’s most persecuted faith group. the rest image
What a denomination chooses to put on its official website says a lot about what its priorities are and what its vision is. Despite that the liberal mainline denomination is overwhelmingly white, it evidently sees outreach to Navajo Native Americans in the name of the “Divine Creator” and “Earth Mother” as a greater priority than giving voice to the ongoing suffering and martyrdoms of thousands of Christians in the Middle East and Africa. This is a rather strange set of priorities for the shrinking, cash-strapped denomination...


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