I became an Anglican eight years ago and have seen marvellous shifts in my life and outlook as a result of having faith. My daughter was 4 years old then and enjoyed the introduction to Sunday School and being part of the children's procession which followed the serving clergy out at the end of each service. It has been an absolute pleasure to have watched her faith grow over the last 8 years and to listen to her defending her faith against other young people who call her a 'geek' for going to church.
I originally come from a part of the world where Christians are persecuted for their faith and I never cease to feel deeply grateful for the freedom I have in Britain to worship freely and to have my daughter openly proclaim her faith. The privilleges we have must make us all the more acutely aware of the persecutions that others suffer. I specifically refer to the bombings in Nigeria that took place yesterady (25/12/11). Children were caught up in it and at the time of writing this I am unable to find out whether any died. The thought of those children waking up early in eager anticipation of Christmas day stretching ahead of them and then being subjected to such horror is heart wrenching.
Globalisation was meant to, apart from other things, spread the message of tolerance and international acceptance of each other. This includes religious tolerance. If anything, extremists who fear the spread of a Western style of democracy are holding fast to their beliefs by inflicting terror as a weapon to do so. China is clamping down on Churches. The value of sharing is never purely based on economics or the monetary system. If that were to be so then international cooperation need not extend beyond trade agreements and tariffs. Now, that would be foolish wouldn't it?
Please pray for the tolerance of Christianity in 2012.