USA (MNN) — In early October, the FBI thwarted a plot to kidnap and possibly murder the Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer. The several men arrested all had ties to militias and white supremacy groups in the state and beyond.
This incident visibly demonstrated a growing trend: far-right terrorism in Western countries. These numbers include neo-Nazis, ultra-nationalists, and white supremacist groups. According to the 2020 Global Terrorism Index, far-right terrorist violence has increased by 250% over the past 5 years. Read the full report here.
How can Christians respond to this trend?
Bruce Allen of FMI says, “We need to pray for clear vision, as we examine our own hearts. Do we hold on to values that are antithetical to true gospel ministry? Are we people who bully other people and say, ‘My way or the highway?’ Are we people who thrive on division rather than unity?”
Jesus said those outside the Church would recognize Christians because of their love for each other. Allen points out that in divisive political times, Christians have a chance to show what love between people with different political leanings looks like. “Do we know how to operate in harmony with each other, and, and rely on each other’s strengths, and then also share our strengths with them?”
In the United States, 2020 has been filled with pain and divisiveness. This year has seen the spread of COVID-19, lockdown controversies, and a bitter presidential election.
This tension has strained many relationships even within Christian communities. Allen says, “There might be some reconciliation we need to do with other members of the body of Christ, in order to show compassion to one another. And we can model that for our children, and for our communities. We can hold up the stories of hope, of reconciliation, as models for our community.”
Allen encourages Christians to pray this way: may the Church share God’s compassion and love for the multitudes of people outside it. And may the Church astound the world with the love of Jesus.
The header photo shows a neo-Nazi rally in Washington D.C. from 2008. (Photo by Utilisateur bootbeardbc de flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/), CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons