A well known dictator once said, “Repeat a lie often enough and it will become truth.
With this statement in mind, have you ever heard, More people have died by the hands of Christians than by anyone else. I’ve heard it often enough to know that it’s a conversation stopper that leaves the Christian speechless. However, it is also one of those oft repeated lies. To begin with, the speaker should have said by the hands of the church rather than Christians, for throughout the last 2000 years, the organized church has had and used it’s power in un-Christ like ways for whatever ends it desired. The Crusades are but one example of men, with the sanction of the church, who went forth to battle, killing ruthlessly and unmercifully. But when one considers the Spanish Inquisition or the
St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, we see they were atrocities waged upon Christians by a powerful, corrupted church that viewed any dissent as a rebellion that needed to be stopped. Even the Thirty Years War was as much political as religious. The number of people killed by these and other church actions isn’t known for certain, but some estimates put the total over the last twenty centuries as approximately two to four million. A shameful number to any Bible believing Christian. But let us look at the century just passed and see what it shows us.
In the Soviet Union beginning in the 1930s were the Great Purges brought about by Joseph Stalin. It is generally agreed that 40 million Russians perished during his rule. Add to that what was happening in Hitler’s Reich and we discover that 16 million Jews and Christians were eliminated by the Holocaust. Additionally we need to add the worst murderer of them all, Mao Tse-tung of China. Beginning with his take-over in 1948 until his death in 1976, through his collectivization and cultural revolution, the agreed on destruction totals over 72 million Chinese. That’s 128 million people killed by atheistic, anti- Christian governments in the last 100 years. To those numbers could be added the victims of Pd Pot, the Khmer Rouge, Amin of Uganda, Hussien of Iraq, and even now those perishing in the Sudan.
And what about those killed by the armies of Christian America? First of all we need to discern between Christendom and Christianity. There are millions who live in the Christian United States unto whom Christianity is anathema. Our government leads a Christian nation, but in reality it is as all other countries; a kingdom of this world. It leads and fights not in the name of Jesus but for it’s own glory. Jesus said, I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) Can a Christian wield a sword in the name of someone who is the embodiment of love and life? Selah.