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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Slaughter of the Innocents

Today is also the day in the Christian Church calendar on which we especially remember those who were massacred by king Herod, as he endeavoured to dispose of this new-born 'King of the Jews', of Whom he had been informed by the Magi who had travelled to Jerusalem, from the east. (see Matt.2).

I found myself thinking of two particular groups, of much greater relevance than those infants who were so cruelly, and wantonly, murdered almost 2,000 years ago.

I thought of the victims of abortion.  Surely, if there is one place above all where a human child, at its earliest stages of development, should be safe, it is in its mother's womb.  Yet the official statistics show that, in the year ended Dec.31st, 2010 (the latest date for which figures are publicly available), some 12,000 abortions took place - in Scotland alone!  That's 1,000 per month; 250 per week; 50 every day from Mon.-Fri.!  (all figures approximate).  If we look at England and Wales, then the latest figure I can find (2009) shows more than 189,000 abortions in a twelve-month period!  That equates to almost 16,000 per month - or 4,000 per week; 800 per day. 

And, contrary to popular belief (carefully fostered by the pro-abortion lobby), this is not the removal of some tissue from the mother's body.  This is the deliberate killing of a sentient human being!  The child may be, in physical terms, totally dependant upon its mother.  But it is a separate person, not a part of her body to be disposed of as an inconvenience!  The human foetus is not an appendix!

The other group of which I thought today, is those children who die because their parents are disciples of Jesus.  I thought, again, of the village of  Kurum, in Nigeria's Bauchi State where, in May of this year, Muslim extremists killed 16 Christians. Bauchi police reported that the dead were one man, three women  - and 12 children, the youngest of whom was just omne year old!

Another of those children was 13-year-old daughter, Sum James Rike, daughter of pastor James Musa Rike.  The pastor reported: “I rushed to my daughter, only to discover that she too was cut with a machete on her stomach, and her intestines were all around her,” he said. “I held her hand and began to pray, knowing she too was about to die. She told me that the Muslim militants told her they would kill her and “see how your Jesus will save you.”

The girl told her father that she responded by telling them that Jesus had already saved her, and that by killing her they would only be making it possible for her to be with Him. Pastor Rike prayed for her as she died.

Such instances can, sadly, be multiplied many times.  Of course, not all die, physically.  Many are abducted to be 'boy soldiers', and 'sex slaves', for militant groups.  They may be breathing, and their hearts may be beating, but their captors and abusers make sure that their spirits are broken.

The Slaughter of the Innocents.  Let us do whatever we can to alleviate the suffering of children, today - anywhere in the world.  Jesus said: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of My Father Who is in heaven. ... So it is not the will of My Father Who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." (Matt 18:10-14; RSV).

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