400% Increase in Persecution
The persecution of Christians in the 10/40 window area of North Africa, the Middle East and South Central Asia has increased by 400% over the last 10 years. Some of the worst persecution of Christians is taking place in the Arab nations of the Middle East, particularly in Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, in the Muslim dominated North of Nigeria, in Sudan, in communist China, North Korea and in Buddhist Burma.
Coptic Christians Targeted in Egypt
In Egypt, Salafis Muslims are kidnapping Coptic Christian girls for forced conversion to Islam and marriage to Muslims. Coptic girls have also been subjected to violent attacks on the streets. Frequently these knife attacks are by Muslim women wearing hijabs (a black face covering with only narrow slit for the eyes). These hijabs prevent the assailants from being identified for prosecution.
Over 3,000 Christians are imprisoned in Eritrea and all missionaries have been expelled from the country.
Beheaded in Somalia
In Somalia, on 16 November, Al-Shabaab Muslims publically beheaded 25-year-old, Farhan Haji Mose, for leaving Islam and embracing "the foreign religion of Christianity".
Churches Bombed and Burned in Kenya
In Kenya, where Christians are the majority, numerous churches have been attacked by Muslim militants connected with Al-Shabaab. Churches have been bombed and others have been burned down. Numerous Christians have been killed and crippled in these terror attacks. On Sunday, 4 November, chaplain Julius Mukonyi was killed and 11 Christians injured in a bomb attack on a church in Garissa. The chaplain was preaching when the bomb landed on the pulpit.
Persecution in Pakistan
In Pakistan, Christians have been beaten by mobs for sharing the Gospel with their neighbours.
Suicide Bombings in Nigeria
Suicide bombing attacks on churches in Nigeria continue to kill and cripple Christians gathering for worship. Christian students at some colleges have been targeted, called upon to deny their Faith, or be hacked to death with machetes. Many churches, businesses and homes of Christians have been targeted for arson attacks and burnt to the ground. There have been over 700 attacks against Christians by Muslims in Northern Nigeria recorded during 2012. On Sunday, 25 November, 20 Christians were killed and many wounded in a twin suicide bombing of St. Andrews Protestant Church inside the Jaji military barracks in Kaduna. Investigators believe that the bombers may have been residents of the barracks and that they built the bomb on site. This has raised fears that all military and police establishments which have Muslim staff and personnel could be similarly targeted from within.
Muslim Mobs on the Rampage
On 1 December, 9 Christians were killed and 4 churches were burned down in two separate attacks in Borno state, in North Eastern Nigeria. Muslims went on the rampage burning the homes of 20 Christians and a church in Kwaple village. Another 3 churches were burned in Gamboru, Ngala. 10 Christians were killed in the attacks by Muslims in Kwaple.
Jihad in Nigeria
In a press communication released on 29 November, the radical Muslim terrorist group, Boko Haram declared: "Jihad started now! Jihad started now, oh enemies of Allah!" On Sunday morning, 2 December, approximately 50 Muslim terrorists, in cars and on motorbikes, attacked a police station, immigration and customs offices and 3 churches in Gamboru, Ngala, in Borno state, near the border of Cameroon. Before launching the attack, the Jihadists destroyed the mobile phone masts to prevent communication and delay the arrival of ambulances and reaction teams.
Murder in Allah's Name
Shouting "Allah Akbar", they opened fire, killing 5 police. While torching churches, targeting the homes of Christians, slitting the throats of Christians and looting the neighbourhood, they chanted "Allah Akbar" repeatedly. At least 10 Christians were killed in this attack. A tailor was shot for making clothes which the Islamists deemed un-Islamic.
Phenomenal Church Growth
Yet, while persecution, particularly in the Muslim and communist world is increasing, Bible-based, Evangelical Christianity is the fastest growing Faith on the planet. Mega Shift documents that while liberal mainline denominations are losing members, the fastest growing religious movement on earth are those who are Biblically inspired, born again and Evangelistic.
A Massive Spiritual Harvest
Bible-believing Evangelicals are increasing by 8% a year. Every day an average of 175,000 more Bible-believing Evangelicals are added to the Church, net gain. There are over 707 million Bible-believing Christians who would describe themselves as born again.
Muslims Turning to Christ
Over 200,000 Muslims have been converted to Christ in the last 6 years. Many of these converts include Sheiks, Imams and other Muslim leaders. There is a tremendous dissatisfaction and disillusionment amongst many of those who have studied the Qur'an and know it the best, and who are informed concerning the history of Islam.
It is this explosive growth of the Christian Church, in many cases at the expense of Islam, that has led to this vicious backlash by Muslim terrorists. There is a desperation that they are losing ground and they are reacting in the only way they know how, violently.
From Islam to Christianity
For 36 years, Nigeria was considered a Muslim country, and was a member of the Organisation of Islamic Countries. Yet, now, the percentage of Christians in Nigeria outnumbers those of Muslims. Many Churches in Northern Nigeria are made up primarily of converts from a Muslim background, members of the Hausa and Fulani tribes, which traditionally have been completely Muslim.
Winning Muslims to Christ
It is these churches which have large numbers of Muslim converts which are primarily being targeted by the Jihadists. There have been cases of entire mosques being converted to Christ. One Muslim town in Northern Nigeria, which has martyred numerous Christians, now has 7 thriving churches.
"The desert tribes will bow before Him and His enemies will lick the dust… all kings will bow down to Him and all nations shall serve Him." Psalm 72:9-11
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa