A Pattern of Persecution
Wherever Christians live alongside large numbers of Muslims they are under relentless attack. Even in Africa, where Christianity has spread the fastest over the last century, Islamic persecution of Christians is pervasive. Even in countries where Christians outnumber Muslims, such as Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, churches are being regularly attacked by Muslim Jihadists.
Eradicating Christianity in its Birthplace
North Africa and the Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity, now has the smallest regional Christian minority in the world. Over 93% of the Middle East is Muslim, 1.6% Jewish and less than 4% Christian. Less than 0.6% of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians now live in the Middle East and North Africa. And that number is plummeting. The London Guardian has observed: “The religious ecology of the Middle East looks more fragile than ever, as the Arab Spring gives way to Christian Winter.”
The Islamisation of Egypt
Even in Egypt, where for a thousand years Christians made up the majority of the population, vast numbers of Christian families are fleeing Egypt - where their families have lived for many hundreds of years.
Targeting Christians in Egypt
Amnesty International has reported that the Egyptian Government continues to be a major recipient of US Aid despite its continued pattern of failure to protect Coptic Christians from wide-spread discrimination and extreme violence.
Mosques Mobilising Murderous Mobs
Many historic churches in Egypt have been stormed, stoned, burned and demolished by mobs of Muslims who are frequently being mobilised by Muslim leaders in mosques and through the megaphones on the minarets to throw stones and petrol bombs at Christian churches and to assault Christian worshippers.
The Egyptian police have generally refused to intervene and protect the lives and property of Christians. Nor have the Muslim assailants been charged or prosecuted. The new Sharia based Egyptian constitution passed by the Muslim Brotherhood dominated parliament of Egypt have encouraged a resurgence of Islamic extremism and open hostility towards the large Christian minority in Egypt.
The Most Persecuted Religion in the World
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has observed: “Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world.” The previous French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has observed that Christians are facing “a particularly wicked programme of cleansing in the Middle East, religious cleansing.”
The Global Assault on Christians
A new book by Peter Marshall, Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians, provides shocking stories behind the statistics. Christians are being harassed in over 130 countries, and violently persecuted in 66 countries. The pattern of persecution of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa are of imprisonment, torture, rape and murder.
More than two-thirds of the Christians in Iraq have fled during the last ten years to escape the escalating Islamic attacks on churches and massacres of Christians.
Christians in Syria are facing escalating persecution by armed Islamic militia groups who are deliberately targeting Christians for robbery, rape, kidnapping for ransom and mass murder.
Women Who Do Not Wear a Burka Deserve to Be Raped
Muslim Imam Hisham al-ashri declared on Prime Time television that women who do not wear the Hijab in public deserved to be raped.
Hate Speech in Mosques
It has been recorded in Friday mosque messages that imams have instructed Muslims not to co-operate with Christians “because they are infidels.” At the Sood bin Mwayi mosque in Makorora in Tanzania, the imam declared that: Muslims should not take part in any Christian festivals (including Christmas, Easter, Baptism, Confirmation, or funeral services.) “Let me tell you that if you came from a Christian father or mother, but you got assimilated (converted to Islam)…if one of your parents is deceased, you shouldn’t bury him or her, but just put him/her in the grave as if you were doing it to a dead dog.” Hate messages like these are becoming increasingly common in the wake of the Arab Spring. Muslim imams have declared that Christian festivals are forbidden by Fatwa.
Christian Women Stabbed
Bearded Salafis (Muslims who try to model themselves after their prophet Muhammad) have stabbed Christian women in public. Typically, the Egyptian police refuse to inspect the assault scene or persue these cases.
Egyptian Family Imprisoned for Conversion
An Egyptian court sentenced an entire family to prison for converting to Christianity. Although Nadia Mohamed Ali had been born into a Christian family, she had converted to Islam to marry a Muslim man. Then, after his death, she had reconverted back to Christianity. When she attempted to change her family’s religious affiliation on her identity card the entire family was arrested. Nadia and her seven children have been sentenced to 15 years in prison for converting to Christianity. 7 other people, who were accused of facilitating the conversion, were sentenced to 5 years in prison.
Under Siege in Pakistan
Christians in Pakistan report being regularly under siege as Muslim mobs run wild on the streets, burning churches and homes, attacking Christian men, women and children with knives, sticks, pistols and automatic rifles.
Christian teenage girls have been abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and married to older men, or trafficked into prostitution rings. Police in Pakistan have refused to even register a case for the abduction of Asma, a 15 year old Christian girl abducted from her home and sold into a prostitution ring. A police officer told the devastated parents: “I suggest that you forget your daughter and stop creating problems for your other children!”
In Uzbekistan police detained 80 church leaders in a raid on a ministry training seminar. The Bibles and Christian books were destroyed by court order and each minister was fined more than a years salary.
The declining Christian minority in Iraq face a continuous barrage of atrocities. A medical student was killed by a car bomb. A 54 year old Christian woman teacher had her throat cut. Many others have been abducted and murdered.
In Turkey Armenian Christians have been regularly targeted, stabbed, sometimes with crosses or crucifixes carved into their body.
In Algeria Muslim jihadists seized hundreds of gas plant workers and informed them that Muslims would not be harmed but all western hostages, and “Christians and infidels...we will kill them!”
A Disgraceful Silence
Persecuted Christians in North Africa and the Middle East express their shock that Western governments are generally so silent about this rising tsunami of Islamic hatred and violence against Christians, in what was the birthplace of the Christian Church. Generally speaking not only have the secular media failed to report this horrific situation, but so too have the Christian media. “Your ignorance and indifference is killing our people!” declared one Bishop.
“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honoured all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” 1 Corinthians 12:26-27
Remember the Persecuted
More than 400 million Christians in 66 countries worldwide are suffering under religious persecution. Yet little is heard is about this and many churches give little, or no, attention to remembering the persecuted, praying for the persecuted and serving the persecuted churches.
“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them – those who are mistreated – since you yourselves are in the body also.” Hebrews 13:3
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
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Genocide in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan
Pray for Christians Under Fire in Nigeria, Sudan and Tunisia
Urgent Call for Prayer for Christians Under Fire in Africa
Sudan Government Destroys Churches and Attacks Bible College in Khartoum
Christians Targeted in Nuba Mountains
Churches Bombed in Nigeria and Burned in Ethiopia
Churches Attacked in Nigeria
Praying for Justice