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Alarmists, realists, non-realists and the ignorant PDF Afdruk E-pos
Geskryf deur Bennie Mostert   
Maandag, 12 Desember 2011 14:01

Some people are called alarmists when they warn against things they see as real dangers. One serious problem is that we do not know history and how history repeats itself over and over again. In 1993-1994, people in Rwanda began to warn against a possible genocide. They have seen genocides in the 1950s and early 1970s. They saw history repeating itself in the build-up to the 1994 genocide. There was a build-up of emotions over some years and then it just exploded. The Hutus were emotionally prepared and adequately indoctrinated to kill the Tutsis when the call was made. For years racial and ethnic tensions were escalating. The genocide in Rwanda is called the fastest genocide in history (not the biggest.) For just over 100 days 8 people were killed every minute. One million people.

During the reign of Idi Amin in Uganda 300 000 people were killed in a genocide. During the reign of his successor, Milton Obutu, 100 000 people were killed. These atrocities were caused by economic demands linked to racial and ethnic tension. Hitler killed 6 million Jews. The main reason was his philosophy of the inferiority of the Jews. In the end some 27 million people died because of Hitler. We can repeat these stories: 30 million people died under Stalin, 50-70 million under Mao Tse Tung and many millions because of the Japanese invasion of Korea, China and other nations in Asia. We can add the killing fields of Cambodia under Pol Pot.

Just across the border we have the situation in Zimbabwe. Tens of thousands died in ethnic classes and much damage has been done to the economy of the nation. Promises have been made about prosperity that will come, but the results were only poverty and hardship. Today just under 50% of the population of Zimbabwe lives outside Zimbabwe, mostly in neighbouring countries.

The story nearly always develops in the same way. Either economic unrest and dissatisfaction begins with the masses or racial tension (where one group see themselves as superior to another group or unforgiveness to a specific group) or both start to influence society. People are ridiculed, and marked as troublemakers, thieves and the cause of the problems in the country. Promises (unrealistic promises) are made to the masses and a culprit is needed. Destroy the culprit and everyone will prosper.

As Christians we are commanded not to judge, but to repent of our sins, to forgive our enemies, to pray and intercede for our government so that peace can prevail. Christians are to be peacemakers. Christians were never called to demonstrate in streets or to take up weapons, e.g. the history of the Crusades. But as Christians we are also to issue warnings when we see wickedness rise and to call people back to God.

The people that normally suffer are minority groups, Christians or anyone that tries to stop the violence. Most of these factors are present in South Africa. Anyone reading and listening can tell you that. We have seen and are seeing definite cases of xenophobic attacks in South Africa. We are hearing of economic demands and derogatory remarks against different ethnic groups. Let us not be ignorant about the times. It is a time for the church at least, to cry out to God for help and intervention. I hear that many people say we must not fear or pray from a position of fear and that we must not hastily come to conclusions, etc. I agree. And we need to face the facts. In nearly every genocide people said: surely it will not happen here.

For decades we were living on the edge of a civil war. Is it possible that we are now closer to a genocide than to just a civil war.  The question that I am addressing is not about what and who is right or wrong. The question is: are we reading the signs of the times correctly or are we just trying to ignore the situation and hope for the best?

As Christians we have access to the throne of grace. As Christians we need to go to the Lord and ask for His mercy on our nation.

We see ethnic tension. We see xenophobic attacks. We see labour unrest. We see a growing number of people slipping into poverty and more and more people unemployed. There is a problem with service delivery in many municipalities. We see an increase of militant young people.

Some Christians strongly advise not to pray from a position of fear. Well, I think that when the first few hundred people are killed, fear will soon enough inspire quite a number of people to start to pray very seriously, the advisors included. And my prayer is that no form of civil war or genocide will come to our nation.

Bennie Mostert
Jericho Walls International Prayer Network
Private Bag X22
Lynnwood Ridge
South Africa

Tel: +27-12-365 3213
Fax: 086 594 0565
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