Two weeks after Arizona street preacher Hans Schmidt was shot in the head, he’s still fighting for life in intensive care, but the shocking crime has vanished from the headlines, prompting Christian commentators to lament the US media’s indifference towards anti-Christian hostility in the community.
The 26-year-old former military medic was critically wounded while preaching alone without an audience on a street corner in suburban Phoenix which was busy with evening traffic, but with few other pedestrians seen in the area. It remains unclear whether he was deliberately targeted or if the shooting was a random act of violence. A nearby worker observed that some people driving past would scream and curse at the preacher.
Police have only just released traffic camera video of the incident which fails to pinpoint where the shot came from. Investigators still appear to have no idea who fired it. Silent Witness, a non-profit program created to give citizens the opportunity to remain anonymous while assisting law enforcement in solving crimes, has offered a A$15,000 reward.
Those developments have rekindled some renewed interest in the crime, but previously the US mainstream media appeared to have lost interest. Christians posted on social media pages that attempted murder for preaching the Gospel should be bigger news. One of them tweeted “I don’t expect much from our government or media when it comes to the persecution of Christians, of course, but this should be much bigger news. We need justice.”
Former Trump Administration senior official William Wolfe who’s a visiting fellow with the Center for Renewing America says it’s a sign of America’s anti-Christian culture. The now Master of Divinity student writes in The Christian Post that believers are fast becoming the nation’s most persecuted demographic. “The godless media and secularists cheer this on which is why they want to bury any stories that would wake people up to this fact,” he observed.
He asks several questions in his article: “Is this yet another manifestation of a rising tide of anti-Christian sentiment in America? The answer, unless proven otherwise, appears to be Yes. Isn’t America supposed to be a country built on Christian values? One that, from its founding, offered religious freedom to Christians to not only worship, but to live out their faith in the public square?”
Mr. Wolfe continues: “Marxism, critical theory, and wokeness have been working overtime to drive Christians out of politics, out of public gatherings, and underground. They’ve spun false narratives of Oppressor vs. Oppressed; labelled Christians as oppressors; and essentially told two generations that we are hateful bigots who deserve what’s coming to us. In typically woke cognitive dissonance, they tell us that Christians aren’t being persecuted, but it’s good that we are.”
“Young Hans Schmidt getting shot in the head while sharing the Gospel up-ends their narrative. And it serves as a stark reminder of the challenges that Christians face in America today. While Americans often pride themselves on being a nation that values freedom of religion, incidents like this prove that there is a growing and violent intolerance towards Christian beliefs.”
“The shooting of Hans Schmidt is a wake-up call for all of us. It’s a call to stand up against intolerance and violence, to defend our Christian and American right to practice our faith, and to ensure that America remains a nation where Christian religious freedom is not just a constitutional right, but a lived reality.”
“We must not let this incident pass unnoticed. We must raise our voices, not just in prayer but in defence of Christians all across our communities. We must work together to ensure that such acts of violence are not repeated — which means that the perpetrator must be found and brought to swift, Biblical justice.”
Mr. Wolfe concluded: “Let us remember Hans Schmidt and his family in our prayers. Let his story be a reminder of the challenges we face as Christians in an increasingly secular society that hates both Christ and His followers. Our nation needs Jesus, badly. Christians can pray for our enemies; preach the Gospel: and push for changes in our society to roll back this dark and rising tide of anti-Christian persecution. Because if we don’t, Hans Schmidt won’t be the last victim — he might end up being one of the first.”