Artist's Illustration: Discouraging Christian Persecution
Updated: Jan 29, 2021
In history, there have been many conflicts that resulted in widespread human suffering and death. Major disputes, such as the Battle of Karbala between the Sunnis and Shia, or more recently, the world wars, increase religious persecution. The Holocaust in World War II is a well-known and prominent example of religious persecution in history that demonstrated just how cruel humanity can be. After the second world war, the United Nations established the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) in hopes of preventing such tragedies from ever happening again.
(UN General Assembly ratifies the Universal Declaration of Human Rights December 10, 1948) http://www.scientologyreligion.org/blog/sleeping-giant-awakening-the-universal-declaration-of-human-rights.html
Though the structure and morals of our society have changed drastically in the past century, enabling more toleration of different backgrounds, cultures, and religions, religious persecution is still prevalent today. Religious groups face oppression and are persecuted in all parts of the world. Places such as Nigeria, China, Pakistan, and Iran have become increasingly intolerant of certain religions, failing to meet basic human rights standards. One of these persecuted religions today is Christianity.
Despite being greatly persecuted ever since their beginning, during the Roman Empire under Emperor Nero’s rule (64 A.D.), Christianity was able to spread nonetheless, expanding gradually to all corners of the world. Its considerable influence in the development of the western world and its many global believers makes it difficult to believe that Christianity is currently a persecuted religion. Yet, instances of violence and abuse of Christians in Iran, China, and other countries remind us that its persecution is very real and that religious intolerance is still widespread in the modern world.
(2020 Christian Persecution Rates)http://latestfromeurope.com/2020/03/26/2020-alarming-christian-persecution-260-million-suffer-severe-persecution/
Iran’s recent action of passing amendments regarding the country’s Islamic Penal Code intensifies the punishments already faced by Christians there, by allowing long imprisonments, floggings, and the possibility of the death penalty.
In India, it was documented by International Christian Concern (ICC) that there has been a sudden spike of violence towards Christians across the country. There were at least eight incidents that involved physical assault, damage of Christian property, and threats within two weeks of the country's lockdown lift. A pastor named Pastor Suresh Rao was attacked on June 21st and told the ICC:
“They dragged me into the street and pushed me to the ground. There, they started to trample on me. They tore my clothes, kicked me all over my body, and punched my left eye. I have sustained a serious eye injury as a result of a blood clot.”
To acknowledge the injustices faced by Christians around the world, I interpreted this information and created an art piece out of it.
Using digital art, I illustrated an old broken church, representing the struggles of Christians throughout history. Within the tarnished church, there is a standing cross that is anchored in water. I drew the anchored cross to convey that, even though Christians have gone through a lot, their faith is still strong regardless of the difficulties they face. Whereas, the rising water symbolizes the cleansing by God of soiled grounds and the rising up again of Christians from continual attacks.
This is a piece that expresses and praises the perseverance of Christianity, giving more faith to those in need. Though this piece is mainly to support and encourage Christians to not give up hope. A similar message can be sent to all people that are being persecuted for their religion: despite the hardships that they face, they will always have support from those that fight against injustices.