Via Dolorosa by Jon McNaughton - 14 Options AvailableArtist's Comments:
What is the meaning of this painting?
This painting has over 100 figures, both good and bad, men and women that have left their footprint on Christianity. The man in the middle represents the modern Christian...a man who must decide whether or not he will stand up for his Christian beliefs. Many are shouting out to tell him what to do. He raises his hand to say, "Be silent, for I know that Jesus is the Christ!" He touches Jesus' shoulder to indicate that he gets his strength from the Master. Today, Christians are the most persecuted people in the entire world. Yet many of us stand idly by as we are mocked and persecuted for what we know to be true. As true Christians, we must not fear to speak the truth, even if it means we have to stand alone in the world.
What does the title of the painting mean?
"Via Dolorosa" are the Latin words for "Way of Suffering" and is the name for the traditional road in which Christ carried his cross to Calvary.
How are Christians the most persecuted?
According to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians in at least 60 countries are denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith. David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, and Peter F. Crossing in their 2009 report in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research (Vol. 33, No. 1: 32) estimate that approximately 176,000 Christians will have been martyred from mid-2008 to mid-2009. This, according to the authors, compares to 160,000 martyrs in mid-2000 and 34,400 at the beginning of the 20th century. If current trends continue, it is estimated that by 2025, an average of 210,000 Christians will be martyred annually. In the last two thousand years of Christian history, about 70 million faithful have given their lives for their faith.
How does this apply to me as an American Christian?
Even here in the United States many of us have sat quietly while our religious freedoms have slowly been taken away from us...We are not allowed to speak in the halls of academic science because Darwinism and Atheism are treated as the official religion. In the public schools we cannot teach or pray or sing about God because our children's minds belong to the state. If we celebrate our holidays in public places we are shut down because our judges have chosen to redefine the Constitution. We cannot speak openly in the media because of political correctness. The sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman is being challenged and we are under attack for defending it. We believe that America is "One Nation Under God" and we are hated for it. As Christians in America, we must stand up for the principles set forth in the First Amendment of our Constitution!
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