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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

August 12, 2014

Religious Freedom a Big Deal

Harry M. Covert

No matter how ruthless local political fights may be, they are nothing in league with the genocide from radical Muslims in Iraq. Merely look at the television pictures from the mountainous Sinjar area.


Even the harshest partisans will be moved by the desperation of the Chaldean Christians and Yazidis running from the murderers called Islamic terrorists.


When the video news casts showed the words, “Convert or die,” it was heartbreaking. Despite all of the religious disagreements in the nation and even here in Frederick, no pulpiteers of any sort has ever resorted to such lyrics. No evangelists have needed such threats to preach the Gospel. Even those who purport to be atheists or agnostics don’t resort to such evil conduct.


In Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and other states, people can attend any religious church or synagogue meeting they desire without fear of retribution or threats, even at mosques.


Were any ecclesiastic to dare utter “convert or die” in these parts, he or she would probably be slapped silly and dragged from the platform. In my view, that would be the proper action and throw in a little tar and feathers. There would be no collection plates on that occasion.


It’s probably more fun to talk Maryland politics, to verbally beat up on popular candidates, either in office or out. But the idea is simply being alert as to what goes on around the world because, sooner or later, the canaille, the foreign riffraff that is, will be sneaking in to the Atlantic and Pacific shores. Yes, that includes the southern borders now at crisis proportions and even the northern climes of Canada.


I know personally an Oklahoma evangelist who attempted to distribute humanitarian goods in Mexico some years ago. When a warlord had not given permission in Juarez, the preacher barely escaped with his life and staff. The goods were stolen by the warlord’s armed henchmen. El Paso, Texas, was nearby.


On another occasion, the same type of effort was under way in Zaire, now The Congo. The 10,000-plus crowd in Kinshasa erupted into chaos when they didn’t see miracles. Fortunately, the missionary had armed soldiers come to his rescue in the nick of time.


These are not pleasant incidents to recall. They are real.


With changing mores and traditions, don’t think for a moment the radicals will be challenging our society because that’s their design and plan.


While debate rages in Frederick city and county on various and sundry matters, they may well be important and even vital, but our life is pretty good. This is a reminder that this comfortable and happy existence can change in the blink of an eye.


Since days of infancy, I have heard a zillion sermons, lessons and all sorts of evangelists of every breed, from beginners to the practiced and, frankly, the solid and smart ones.


The fact remains, religious freedom is being seriously and fatally attacked these days. The church, as we know it, is a bit side-tracked from the “soul-winning” procedures and with a few exceptions, church-going suffers.


It’s difficult to ignore the tragedies in Iraq and other world hot spots. Such events really affect every resident of Frederick in one way or another believe it or not.


Be alert.


Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
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