Iraq: Though Kirkuk’s church was recently restored after an earlier bomb attack that killed a 13-year-old Christian boy, the “reopening celebration was but a brief respite in the ongoing suffering of Iraq’s Christian community, signaled by two further attacks”: Another church in Baghdad was bombed, killing two guards and wounding five, and the body of a Christian was “found riddled with bullets in Mosul. He had been shot nine times at close range. The freelance photographer had been kidnapped four days earlier. Iraqi Christians are often targeted by kidnappers for ransom.”
Kenya: A band of Muslims launched a grenade attack on a crowd of 150 Christians attending an outdoor church meeting, killing two and wounding more than 30. “Human-rights groups say that the Muslim attackers were hyped into action by a militant Muslim preacher holding an alternate rally only 900 feet from the Christian gathering. Further reports say that the Muslim preachers were slandering Christianity and that members of the Christian group could hear the Muslim speakers.”
Nigeria: A Boko Haram suicide car bomber attacked a Catholic church, killing at least 10 people. The bomb detonated as worshippers attended Mass at St. Finbar’s Catholic Church in Jos, a city where thousands of Christians have died in the last decade as a result of Boko Haram’s jihad, and where another church was attacked, killing three, less than two weeks earlier.
Saudi Arabia: the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, one of the Islamic world’s highest religious authorities, declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” He made his assertion in response to a question posed by a delegation from Kuwait, where a parliament member recently called for the “removal” of all churches: the delegation wanted to confirm Sharia’s position on churches with the Grand Mufti, who “stressed that Kuwait was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, and therefore it is necessary to destroy all churches in it,” basing his verdict on a saying (or hadith) of Muhammad.
Sudan: Sudanese aerial strikes were aimed at church buildings in various regions. Churches in the Nuba Mountains are holding worship services very early in the morning and late in the evening to avoid aerial bombardments intentionally targeting their churches. The Khartoum regime is “doing everything possible to make sure they get rid of Christianity from the Nuba Mountains—churches and church schools are the targets of both the Sudanese Armed Forces and its militias,” said an aid worker.
[General Abuse, Debasement, and Suppression of non-Muslims as “Tolerated” Citizens]
Denmark: In a Muslim ghetto in Copenhagen, a refugee from Africa had his door kicked-in several times and was threatened by a group of “youths” who accused him of being “both black and Christian,” and tried to extort money from him. Police said they could not guarantee his safety, and he was eventually found in tears living in the streets.
Egypt: In Minya province, Christian families are “living in terror” since Salafis threatened to kidnap any Christian girl not wearing the hijab; parents are keeping their daughters indoors, missing school. Likewise, a Christian boy was abducted, his kidnappers demanding a large ransom from his family. And a court in Edfu sentenced the pastor of a church that was torched by Muslims to six months in prison for violating the height of the church building, further ordering the removal of the excess height. The church had received a license and was still under construction when it was torched by a Muslim mob in September.
Iran: After complaints about the display of Christmas trees and Santa Clauses in the streets of Tehran during the Christmas season, an official warned that the municipality will begin to seize such symbols: “Building facades in Tehran should be controlled by the municipality and the display of such symbols should not be allowed.”
Iraq: Christians are running out of havens as rising security concerns and economic hardship cause them to leave the places of refuge they had found in the country’s Kurdish north. The sort of attacks that initiated a mass exodus of Christians from Baghdad and Mosul are increasingly occurring in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, which once “welcomed Christians and was relatively safe.” A Christian who fled there from Mosul seven years ago after retrieving his son from kidnappers said it is like history “repeating itself.”
Nigeria: The Islamist organization Boko Haram declared “war” on Christians, saying it aims to “annihilate the entire Christian community living in the northern parts of the country.” According to a spokesman, “We will create so much effort to end the Christian presence in our push to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians won’t be able to stay.” Along with constant church bombings—most recently on Easter, killing nearly 50—one of the groups new strategies is “to strike fear into the Christians of the power of Islam by kidnapping their women.”
Pakistan: Two Christian hospital employees were abducted by “Islamic extremists”: “Such cases are on the rise, as banned Islamist groups and other criminal gangs are turning to kidnappings for ransom in order to survive and procure weapons and ammunition,” said a senior investigator, adding that most Islamist groups believe that Christian NGOs are involved in evangelizing “under the guise of charity,” giving more incentive to abuse them.
Sudan: Over half a million people, mostly Christian and originally from South Sudan, have been stripped of citizenship in response to the South’s secession, and forced to relocate: “Sudanese Christians who have barely a month to leave the north or risk being treated as foreigners are starting to move, but Christian leaders are concerned that the 8 April deadline set by Islamic-majority Sudan is unrealistic. ‘We are very concerned. Moving is not easy … people have children in school. They have homes … It is almost impossible,’ said a Catholic bishop.”
Syria: The nation where many Iraqi Christians fled to as a haven is slowly becoming like Iraq, as thousands of Syrian Christians continue to flee to nearby Lebanon. “Al-Faruq Battalion, which is affiliated with the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA), is imposing jizya (an extra tax imposed on non-Muslims living under Muslim rule) on Christians in Homs Governorate” and “armed men … threaten to kidnap or kill them or members of their families if they refuse to “pay Islamic taxes”—precisely what has been taking place in next door Iraq.
Turkey: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom named Turkey—formerly hailed for its freedoms—as “one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom,” due to its treatment of Christian and other minority groups. The report said that restrictions on non-Muslim communities, such as limiting their right to train clergy and own places of worship, “have led to their decline, and in some cases, their virtual disappearance,” further noting “an increased number of attacks, ranging from harassment and vandalism to death threats, against Protestant churches and individuals in 2011 compared to 2010.”
About this Series
Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching epidemic proportions, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
1. Intrinsically, to document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.
2. Instrumentally, to show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (tribute); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed “dhimmis” (barely tolerated citizens); and simple violence and murder. Oftentimes it is a combination thereof.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the west, to India in the east, and throughout the West, wherever there are Muslims—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.
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