Persecution is the weakness of tyrants engendered by their fear, and love will cast it out…!

Being photo-rich, this blog might take a moment longer than usual to load!

This is not a political blog, but an effort to speak a word in season on behalf of the spiritual standpoint of conviction that healing can happen through the awareness and expression of divine Love, God. So the blog’s title quote by Mary Baker Eddy is not intended as a political statement, but a spiritual one…

Spiritual love uproots the tyranny of materialism that would try to take a hold of each of our thoughts and all of our lives, in minor or major ways…a tyranny which is sometimes magnified to our perceptions as political drama playing out on the national or international stage.

Just as in our hearts, so on the streets of Cairo, the spectre of material resistance to the progress of freedom can get really rough, but it is never the whole of the story.  Love is in operation…

Christians protecting Muslims –

What is depicted here is a ring of Christians circling around their Muslim fellow protestors to protect them from the violence while they are praying.  (I found this photograph here.)

In this heart-warming picture, taken during the heart-wrenching violence of the clashes at the Cairo protests, is there a prophecy of good things to come? Or just some break in the established order – like the opposing World War 1 soldiers who stopped fighting at Christmas long enough to share a soccer game, Christmas greetings and some carols?  Let’s hope and pray that this is a symbol of the potential for peaceful, mutually caring coexistence among peoples of different faith (and of none) in Egypt and around the world.

Muslims protecting Christians –

It has worked the other way round too.  When a militant Islamist group expressed their perceived grievances by fatally attacking a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, Muslims came out in their thousands to act as human shields around Christian churches the following week…holding both crosses and crescents.

This reads "We are a human shield for Egypt, either we LIVE together or we DIE together"

(Photo left from Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as “human shields”, photo above from Egyptian Muslims Protect Christians During Christmas Mass.)

(Just before September 11 this year we compiled a blog called Christian gratitude for Muslim neighbours ahead of September 11.)

Egyptian women fight back with dialogue!

Nicholas D. Kristof has reported in The New York Times on a couple of courageous Egyptian women who responded to the thuggery that targeted Tahrir Square…with words!  As Kristof put it, “Thuggery and courage coexisted all day in Tahrir Square”. (Although the copy editors more ominously headlined his article Watching Thugs With Razors and Clubs at Tahrir Sq.)

From the New York Times “Minna, left, and Amal, with pro-Mubarak forces.”

Egyptians protecting a priceless heritage –

At I found the following picture of Egyptians bravely forming a human shield to protect the treasures of the Cairo Museum.

* * * * *

At another point in her writings, Mary Baker Eddy wrote that “Fear is the weapon in the hands of tyrants.”  So perhaps it follows that fearlessness has the power to disarm tyranny within and without. And as the Bible puts it, it is “perfect love” that casts out fear.

These words of hers about facing down tyranny with love were far from an abstract ideal to Mary Baker Eddy. She had to walk the talk of proving it in her own life as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. In her day (1821-1910) she faced a very aggressive push back to her spiritual ideas which challenged the entrenched scientific, theological and medical views. (And, arguably, still do!)  While this push back was at times relentless, it did not generally take the form of physical violence, although it did at one point include a targeted bomb threat.

However, despite starting as one woman alone with her ideal in a world in which men generally held the levers of power, it was on that very basis of love that she courageously completed a spiritual journey of articulating her innovative ideas and founding a church to carry forward their global  dissemination.

As people throughout the Middle East, individually and collectively, stand up to the tyranny of autocratic thinking, let’s trust and pray that they, too, find a way to hold fast to the depth of love that has the power to dethrone it.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Spirituality and Society, Women's spiritual leadership

Author:Tony Lobl

I write and speak on spirituality from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I am also an Associate Editor for the Christian Science periodicals. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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7 Comments on “Persecution is the weakness of tyrants engendered by their fear, and love will cast it out…!”

  1. Clive
    February 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Great post Tony – it’s great to think that just a few hundred kms from Tahrir, people “of the book” Christians, Muslims and Jews daily marvel at the sunrise on Mt Sinai; let’s hope that the unity inspired by Love can bring a new dawn of freedom in the region.

  2. February 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Valuable post, Tony. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Terese Reiter Messman
    February 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    So inspiring to hear the “real” story of what everyone’s prayers bring forth, the power of Love over materialism and tyranny. The photos and stories give me tears… and encouragement to keep praying for Egypt and all places where fear tries to be more powerful than good. Thank you.

  4. February 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Thanks, Tony. So MUCH good is happening, person to person in Egypt right now. Images like those of Christians linking arms to protect Muslim prayers, and protection of cultural sites. I have to think we are witnessing the unfoldment of a large voice in the world, saying: Freedom, Courage, Faith. I only wish the democracies of the West would heartily confirm their support of new fresh ideals for Egypt. Alexis

  5. Maria Cavazza
    February 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    Standing infront of the temple in Karnak I felt the words in my heart saying. I AM THAT I AM. I was, I am and will always be the same omnipotent God.
    No, we cannot do anything without this knowing of God´s omnipresence.
    I was touched by this picture of Christians protecting Muslims during their prayer and this is the evidence of LOVE´s presence and the Christ. “Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us all?”
    Thank you Tony,


  1. Tweets that mention “Persecution is the weakness of tyrants engendered by their fear, and love will cast it out…! | "Oh, Lord, Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" -- - February 4, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Raymond, Tony Lobl. Tony Lobl said: "Persecution is the weakness of tyrants engendered by their fear, and love will cast it out…! […]

  2. Egypt, are you in the hands of angels? One American’s spiritual awakening suggests you are! | "Oh, Lord, Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" - February 11, 2011

    […] Here is a previous blog, about the good going on in Egypt. […]

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