Darrow Miller and Friends

Why Are Western Christians Silent While Their Brethren Suffer?

Jihadists have a slogan: “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People.” That is, “First we will kill the Jews, then we will kill the Christians.”

Middle Eastern Christians persecuted

Today, Christians are being persecuted from Nigeria through North Africa and the Middle East into Asia. Their places of worship are being destroyed, their girls and women are being raped, their homes and villages are being savaged and shattered. Christians are being targeted for mass killings as well as individual assassinations.

And all the time, the world seems to care very little. Influenced by cultural relativism, the West too often denies Islamist evil, pretends there is no clash of civilizations. “We must not critique another culture,” they say.

Because of the West’s dependency on oil, governments are loathe to condemn Saudi Arabia’s promotion of their own militant form of Islam known as Wahhabism. The Saudis have spent $2-3B a year since 1975 to build mosques, Wahhabi schools (madrassas) for children, and Islamic institutes at major Western universities. All of this is funded by oil money. Money spent by the West to buy oil is seeding the West’s own destruction.

But it is not just the cultural relativists and Western governments that are silent. The church in the West is virtually silent about the persecution and decimation of our brothers and sisters in Christ in much of the 10/40 window. (See Kirsten Powers’ condemning article in The Daily Beast titled A Global Slaughter of Christians, but America’s Churches Stay Silent.)

The Jihadist vision is one of externally imposed law, legalism, and tyranny. They hate the Judeo-Christian worldview and the civilization of freedom it produced. I understand why Jihadists are opposed to Christians and Jews. What I do not understand is why the church is so silent. Why doesn’t the church in the West stand with her suffering brothers and sisters in Muslim countries? Indeed, we should side with Jews and moderate Moslems—our fellow sons and daughters of Abraham—who are being slaughtered by the Islamists. Even more, we should uphold and defend our fellow Christians. If we cannot stand with them in their hour of need, against what injustice will we ever stand?

Maybe Western Christians are silent because we are too comfortable.  Francis Schaeffer said that the two primary values of modern life are personal peace and affluence. Perhaps the church has been discipled by the culture. Perhaps personal peace and affluence have become the culture of the church. To challenge injustice and oppression might disrupt our comfort. Perhaps the church is silent because we want to be comfortable.

May God raise up a new generation of Christians whose god is not comfort.  May it be a generation concerned about injustice and oppression, a generation that will stand in word and deed with the suffering church.

–          Darrow Miller


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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. Yashim, Stephen

    October 24, 2013 - 7:51 am

    Christians in the West are silent because they have been discipled by the culture of affluence, what else? Cant you see? To get access to medicare it has been proposed one would need a secret number implanted in one’s fore head or hand. All serious Christians should not look up to the West to stand up against violence. Be ever committed to working harder to spread the gospel and disciple societies for Christ where one gets access.

    • Darrow

      October 24, 2013 - 2:19 pm

      Thanks Stephen
      The culture of affluence can be quite numbing a pull the church from her task.


  2. Mike Bell

    October 24, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    Certainly comfort is lulling church masses into apathy, but there are other factors…unless you’re paying attention, the scope and size of the persecution alludes many believers. Is isn’t discussed on Sundays. Many who are aware of the situation feel helpless to do anything, aside from praying and maybe sending a donation to Voice Of The Martyrs, if they’ve even heard of that organization. It would be helpful to have a tick list of ways the average Christian could respond or help their persecuted brethren.

    When it becomes personal, it is much harder to ignore. I have direct access to a Christian brother in Karachi, Pakistan who stands with the impoverished, persecuted believers in the slums there. No aid ministries are present. His appeals for help come directly to my cell phone. The situation in the west might change if more Christians were getting calls and emails from the persecuted themselves.

    • admin

      October 28, 2013 - 7:13 pm


      Thanks for responding. A number of readers asked for ideas of what could be done. Our response will be out in a future blog.


  3. Tom

    October 24, 2013 - 5:01 pm

    Yes the church is gasping for breath and guilty of turning a blind eye to many issues. What are the solutions? What church or group of churches is doing well in supporting the suffering and persecuted? Diagnosing an illness is necessary but offering a path to healing is a more critical need.

    • admin

      October 28, 2013 - 7:10 pm


      Thanks for your suggestion for possible response. A number of readers have suggested the same. Please look for our ideas of places to begin in an upcoming blog.


  4. kay west

    October 24, 2013 - 11:55 pm


  5. Nigel Mohammed

    November 13, 2013 - 1:24 am

    The spirit of the age marked by many different ‘isms’ has been so deeply assimilated by institutional church culture that most believers are enemies of the Cross without realising it. No Cross, no genuine power, no discipleship. The result is a nauseating kind of practical atheism where there is no desperate dependence on God, so western believers who have not been discipled and deeply affected by consumerism amongst other isms are for the most part nominal and moral. Too much comfort numbs the heart from wholehearted devotion to God, so of course the west is not prepared to count the cost and pray sacrificially. It’s been a Laodicean spirit in the church arguably since the Enlightenment. Western leaders need to spend a season in deep repentance….

    • admin

      November 13, 2013 - 6:25 pm


      Thank you for your reflections. I agree with the need for the leadership of the Western church to repent. But would add that individual Christians need to repent, regardless of what their leadership does.

      Yes we need to pray, but we also need to put feet to our prayers. Too often, in our generation, we are quick to pray, as if God has all of the responsibility to act and we have none. Until the Western church prays AND acts sacrificially, the enslavement to modern society and lack of relevance will continue.