Who is your favorite conspiracy theorist?
HkD tip: See through conspiracy theories in the Corona period
Pastor Jürgen Schnare, advisor for Eastern religions and worldview issues in the House of Church Services, sees the conspiracy theories in the Corona era as a challenge, also for the Christian faith, and has put together recommendations on how we can deal with them in everyday life:
The corona virus is not only a health hazard, it shakes societies and subjects the interaction between people and states to a test. An example of this is conspiracy theories and fake news that are now rampant. Sometimes it is the Chinese, sometimes the Americans, who are supposed to be to blame for the virus and its spread. Or you can blame other dark forces who are supposed to usurp power on the planet. Where the world seems even more opaque and insecure than before, apparent truths that promise transparency and security help. At the same time, they increase uncertainty, fears are aroused and trust in the truth is destroyed.
Recognize and question conspiracy theories
Well, conspiracy theories are nothing new. A look at history shows us that belief in this was much more widespread in the past than it is today. It was only in the period after the Second World War that they were ostracized, especially in the USA and Europe. Yet they are not extinct. The Kennedy murder, the moon landing or September 11, 2001 were the cause of many conspiracy theories. With the Internet, the possibility of their dissemination and the networking of supporters of conspiracy theories have increased. Many people now have the impression that belief in it is growing again. If we actually give more space to conspiracy theories, then we turn back the wheel of history. Then the open society that we have seen so far comes under pressure. We can see how this works in some countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
The most devastating conspiracy theory in history is the basic anti-Semitic narrative that the Jews sought world domination. It has led to innumerable casualties and has determined the 20th century and German history in particular. Unfortunately, Christian anti-Semitism has made a major contribution to this. That is why we are particularly challenged to do something about it. Because so far neither anti-Semitism nor the conspiracy theory associated with it have disappeared. But the new developments also require an answer!
Strengthening Christian Faith
In connection with the Corona crisis, it can be seen that Christian circles are also spreading conspiracy theories and fake news. Sometimes there is talk of divine punishments, sometimes the end of the world is near. Then everything is not so dangerous again, but the enemies of faith use the crisis for their own ends. This increases dangerous tendencies.
It also perverts the Christian faith. In his second letter to Timothy, the apostle writes: “God did not give us the spirit of fear, but rather strength and love and prudence.” (2 Timothy 1: 7) This must be preserved in times of crisis the many dangers in the face of illness and suffering. The answer of faith to the many false news and claims is: Live and act with love and prudence from day to day in the power of trust given by God!
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