Christians Boldly Share the Love of Christ on the Streets of China’s Coronavirus Hot Zone

Contributor – By Lorie Johnson – February 6, 2020

Roughly 350 Americans are arriving home from China after leaving the coronavirus hot zone, touching down in California where they’ll be quarantined. The evacuations come as the virus is still spreading, infecting more than 24,000 people. China admits nearly 500 people are dead from the virus, but the actual numbers are unverifiable.

At the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, surgical masks are being used in two ways to further the spread of the Gospel.

First, Christians wear the mask themselves as they talk about Jesus to people on the streets. This not only helps prevent disease, but can also prevent prosecution by the Chinese government since the masks help conceal a person’s identity.

There are an estimated 100 million Christians in China, who often face persecution in the Communist nation. For that reason, most operate underground.

Second, Chinese Christians are handing out masks to people on the street. Along with the masks, they’re also handing out Gospel tracts.

CBN News Asia Correspondent Lucille Talusan said since the people of Wuhan are facing fearful uncertainty in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, some have become more receptive to Christ at this time.

“There are Christians, a ministry in Wuhan, they go out to the streets. They’re very courageous,” she said. “They give out masks and they say that they are Christians and they share the love of Christ and point to Jesus to bring hope to them and their families and the whole of China… This is really a break-through.”

As the infection rate soars, Americans and other foreigners are evacuating. The 350 Americans who left Wuhan on two US State Department chartered airplanes landed at Travis Air Force base near San Francisco. The passengers from one of the planes will remain quarantined there for two weeks.   The other plane refueled and flew to Miramar Air Station in San Diego where they will remain quarantined for two weeks as well.

The evacuees will be housed in hotels on the military bases and will not have any contact with base personnel, according to the US Department of Defense.

Although the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb, the World Health Organization meeting Tuesday stopped short of declaring the epidemic a global pandemic. While the number of cases has spread to dozens of other countries, the outbreak is still largely confined to China, where the government there is taking extreme measures to contain the virus.

A hospital built in a mere 10 days cares for 1,000 patients and that’s not enough. A gymnasium and exhibition center have been converted into a temporary field hospital.

Chinese officials use drones to spray disinfectant and to speak to citizens through microphones on the drones, telling them to put on masks, go inside, or disperse from gatherings where the disease can spread.

Casinos in the Chinese territory of Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub, are closed for at least two weeks.

Off the coast of Japan, 3,700 people aboard a cruise ship are quarantined on board after 10 tested positive for the virus.

The US and other countries have enacted stringent travel restrictions to and from China.

Health experts say the coronavirus appears milder than previously thought. The death rate hovers around 2% with the vast majority over age 60 with pre-existing health problems. And 700 people are confirmed to have fully recovered from the illness, approximately 200 more than the number of confirmed deaths.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the risk of contracting the virus is low.  The first American to have been diagnosed with the virus, a man in his thirties in the Seattle area, was discharged from the hospital Monday. There are 10 other confirmed cases in the US and zero deaths. Nine of the US cases contracted the virus in Wuhan, the other two are their spouses.  (Click to Source)

 

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Islamic Group Beheads Kidnapped Pastor After He Refused to Renounce Faith

By Pamela Geller – on 

The father of eight was murdered in accordance with Qur’an 47:4 — Islamic ritual slaughter.

Will the islamophobia never end?

BOKO HARAM EXECUTES BRETHREN PASTOR IN NORTHEAST NIGERIA

CHRISTIAN LEADER IN ADAMAWA STATE SOUGHT RESCUE BUT ENTRUSTED HIS FATE TO GOD.

By Our Nigeria Correspondent
JOS, Nigeria, January 21, 2020 (Morning Star News) – The Rev. Lawan Andimi had a treasured life – loving family, an affectionate congregation, respect from his colleagues.

The kidnapped district chairman of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) in Michika County, in northeast Nigeria’s Adamawa state, had stated in a video that he trusted in God should he lose his life to Islamic terrorists of Boko Haram. The rebel militants executed the father of eight children on Monday (Jan. 20), the head of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) confirmed today.

Ahmad Salkida, a Muslim journalist who has been a primary means for Boko Haram to release information, reported in a tweet today that the group beheaded Pastor Andimi on Monday afternoon.

Boko Haram’s journalist – their primary means to release information — hasn’t been arrested?

“To break some news items can traumatize. I’m battling with one of such. Reverend Andimi, abducted by #BokoHaram was executed yesterday,” Salkida tweeted. “Rev. Andimi was a church leader, a father to his children and the community he served. My condolences go to his family.”

CAN President Samson Ayokunle today confirmed in a comment to the Nigerian newspaper the Daily Post that Pastor Andimi had been executed.

Pastor Andimi had said in a Boko Haram video released by Salkida on Jan. 5 that he hoped to be reunited with his wife, children and colleagues.

“If the opportunity has not been granted, maybe it is the will of God,” he said. “I want all people close and far, colleagues, to be patient. Don’t cry, don’t worry, but thank God for everything.”

Pastor Andimi, who also served as chairman of CAN’s local chapter, was kidnapped on Jan. 2 when Boko Haram attacked two Christian communities in the area.

In the video released on Jan. 5, the pastor called on church leaders to speak out for him and urge Adamawa Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri to intervene to secure his release.

“I have never been discouraged, because all conditions that one finds himself is in the hand of God,” Pastor Andimi said in the video.

Strongly Worded Statement
CAN President Ayokunle said in a press statement that the execution of Pastor Andimi was “gruesome, unfortunate and a shame on the federal government,” according to Nigerian newspaper The Nation.

“What has become of intelligence-gathering of our security agencies?” Ayokunle said in the statement. “Is this government and the security agencies still claiming that the war against these criminals in religious garments has been won despite all the killings? Is the government sincere in fighting these terrorists or merely paying lip service to the war against the insurgency? Is there any hope that our security is guaranteed under this government?”

CAN’s director of legal and public affairs, Kwamkur Vondip, reportedly said in a statement that the church did “everything within her reach to secure the safe release of this pastor gentleman but it was not possible because they didn’t have the military power to do so,” according to The Nation.

“Just last Sunday, a clergyman, Rev. Denis Bagauri, was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence at Mayo Belwa of Adamawa state,” Vondip reportedly said. “The church views the unabated kidnappings, extortions and killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians as shameful to the government that each time boasts that it has conquered insurgency.”

In the strongly worded statement, Vondip said it was reprehensible and saddening that each time the government claims the defeat of Boko Haram, more killings are committed.

“In the light of the current developments and the circumstantial facts surrounding the prevailing upsurge of attacks against the church, it will be difficult for us to believe that the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari is not colluding with the insurgents to exterminate Christians in Nigeria, bearing in mind the very questionable leadership of the security sector that has been skewed towards a religion and region!

“Is that lopsidedness not a cover-up for the operation of the insurgency? If not, why couldn’t the well-equipped security agents of Nigeria get this man killed rescued?”

Vondip urged the government to ensure the release of Leah Sharibu, kidnapped from a high school in Dapchi, Yobe state in February 2018, and hundreds of other victims of Boko Haram and splinter group the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP).

“A government that cannot protect the governed is a failed government,” Vondip said. “Can the government tell us what they did since Rev. Andimì cried out to them for help?…If the security agencies claim the terrorists are operating outside the country, why is it possible for these hoodlums to invade the country, kill, maim, burn and kidnap without any convincing checks on the part of the security agencies?

“Since the government and its apologists are claiming the killings have no religious undertones, why are the terrorists and herdsmen targeting the predominantly Christian communities and Christian leaders?

“If the security agencies are not living up to the expectations of the government, why hasn’t it overhauled them with a view of injecting new visionary ones into the security system?”

He said that as long as the government refuses to act, the crimes will continue.

“We are almost losing hope in government’s ability to protect Nigerians, especially Christians who have become endangered species under its watch,” he said.

Ayokunle called on the international community to come to the aid of Nigeria, “especially, the Nigerian church, so that we might not be eliminated one by one.”

President Buhari, in a statement to the Daily Post, said security forces were working continuously to secure the release of hostages and appealed for Nigerians not to see terrorist attacks and plans as a religious fight or persecution of Christians.

“Not seeing terrorists as they should be is exactly what they wish to divide Nigerians,” Buhari said in the statement. “Nigerians must continue to be united in ensuring that they do not subscribe to the terrorists’ message of division. Unfortunately, some leaders and politicians seek to make political capital from our religious differences.

“As we fight Boko Haram on the ground, so too must we tackle their beliefs: stability and unity in face of their hatred is itself a rejection of their worldview. This government shall never tolerate religious intolerance. We clearly and unambiguously restate our support for the freedom to practice whichever belief you wish. The politicization of religion – as forbidden by the constitution – has no place in Nigeria.”

Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution but second in the number of Christians killed for their faith, behind Pakistan. (Click to Source)

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit http://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.  

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at https://morningstarnews.org/donate/?

Photo: The Rev. Lawan Andimi called for help on video released on Jan. 5, 2020. (Screenshot from video, Morning Star News)

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Prominent Italian intellectual accuses Pope of hating the West, aspiring to destroy it and Christian tradition

  BY 

Jihad Watch has frequently addressed concerns about Pope Francis and his efforts to ally with unsavory Islamic leaders and push for more Muslim migrants in the West. It is fortunate that not all Catholic leaders see eye to eye with the Pope.

For example, Cardinal Robert Sarah — prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments — compared “the modern influx of Muslim migrants to the invasions of barbarian tribes that ultimately brought down the Roman Empire in a.d. 475.” Sarah also issued a warning which contradicts the Pope. He cautioned that “it is a false exegesis [interpretation of scriptural text] to use the Word of God to promote migration. God never wanted these rifts.” But this is precisely what Pope Francis has been doing: acting as a blind guide in preaching that it is un-Christian to oppose mass Muslim migration into Europe. Meanwhile, the Vatican remains walled up, and the Pope remains surrounded by security.

A prominent Italian intellectual has now kicked criticism of the Pope up a notch regarding his views about mass Muslim migration and much more. Marcello Pera, a non-believer and a “philosopher of science, former president of the Italian Senate, and close friend of Pope Benedict XVI,” asserted that the Pope “hates the West, he aspires to destroy it. … as he aspires to destroy the Christian tradition.”

Given the globalist views of the Pope and his Islamic supremacist associates (which prompted Robert Spencer to refer to him as The Grand Sheikh Francis of al-Vatican), as well as his push for more Muslim migration, Pera makes a compelling case.

“Time for Pope Francis and the Vatican to wake up about Islam,” by William Kilpatrick, Lifesite News, January 7, 2020:

January 7, 2019 (The Catholic Thing) — In comments last year, Marcello Pera, a prominent Italian intellectual and non-believer, criticized Pope Francis for “openly going against tradition, doctrine, and introducing inexplicable innovations, behaviors and gestures.”

A philosopher of science, former president of the Italian Senate, and close friend of Pope Benedict XVI, Pera asserted that Francis had turned Catholicism into “a Church so outgoing that it can no longer be found anywhere.”

In an earlier 2017 interview with Il Mattino, Pera was even more outspoken. In answer to a question about “indiscriminate” welcoming of migrants to Europe, he replied: “Frankly, I do not get this pope, whatever he says is beyond any rational understanding. It’s evident to all that an indiscriminate welcoming is not possible: there is a critical point that can’t be reached.”

He continued: “If the pope … insists in a massive and total welcoming, I ask myself: why does he say it? … Why does he lack a minimum of realism, that very little that is requested of anyone? The answer I can give myself is only one: The Pope does it because he hates the West, he aspires to destroy it. … As he aspires to destroy the Christian tradition.”

Two years ago, most Catholics would have found that hard to swallow. But now, the idea that Pope Francis hates the West is beginning to seem plausible. It would explain much of what he says and does — his criticism of capitalism and colonialism, Amazonian initiative and, above all, encouragement of mass Muslim migration into Europe.

Does he also aspire to destroy the Christian tradition? Well, he rarely misses an opportunity to criticize traditional Catholics. At the same time, he seems intent on introducing exotic and decidedly non-traditional practices into the life of the Church.

The key word, of course, is “aspires.” Does Francis consciously desire to “destroy” the West and traditional Christianity (aka Christianity)? Or is he simply a well-intentioned do-gooder who doesn’t understand the consequences of his experiments?

That’s a serious question, but it’s unnecessary to know the answer in order to raise a related question: Whatever the intention, do his policies and programs actually tend toward the destruction of the West and of Christianity?

I would say, “Yes, they do.” And I would argue, as Professor Pera does, that they “lack a minimum of realism.” Future historians may well look back upon our era as the Age of Unreality. And many in the Church have embraced this unreality as though it were a newly revealed Gospel.

Some Church leaders have been flirting with the idea of same-sex marriage, and some seem willing to believe that females can transition to males and males to females. Others, including the pope himself, seem to believe in the fantasy idea that the lot of the poor can be improved by getting rid of fossil-fuels — which may be the reason that they have also revived the fantasy of the Noble Savage. Because, minus the benefits of electric power, much of the world will be quickly reduced to a primitive level. In which case, we may all find ourselves praying to Pachamama and the rain gods for a good harvest.

The most dangerous fantasy, however, is the one that Church leaders have created about Islam. We are told that it’s a religion of peace, that it shares much common ground with Christianity, that Muslims venerate Jesus just as Catholics do, that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, and that the slaughter of Christians by Muslims can be attributed to a tiny minority who “misunderstand” their religion.

At the same time, we are taught that “Islamophobia” — an irrational fear of Islam — is a far greater danger than Islamic aggression.

Pera’s point is that these supposedly “irrational” fears are actually quite reasonable. He is mainly concerned with the fantasy that Europe can successfully absorb millions of Muslim migrants who don’t want to assimilate…. (Click to Source)


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China Just Escalated Their Brutal Persecution Of Christians To An Entirely New Level

 

Be very thankful that you don’t live in China.  Approximately one out of every seven people on the entire planet lives in China, and it has become one of the most dystopian societies that the world has ever seen.  Surveillance cameras, government spies and facial recognition scanners are everywhere, and the totalitarian “social credit score” system that is currently being rolled out is an absolute nightmare.  And the Chinese government is not content to simply control how people behave.  They also want to literally control what people believe, and the ongoing crackdown on the Christian faith has been absolutely brutal.  Over the past several years, scores of pastors have been arrested, countless underground churches have been shut down, and thousands of Bibles have been burned.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for Chinese officials, and so they have now taken things to an entirely new level.

When the communists first came to power in China, it was a very dark time for Christians.  But underground churches started blossoming even in the midst of the persecution, and eventually there were a few decades where the national government more or less tolerated unsanctioned gatherings.  Today, it has been estimated that there are more than 100 million Christians in China, and it is being projected that China may actually have more Christians that any other nation on the planet by the year 2030.

Needless to say, the communists don’t like any threats to their power, and they see this underground movement as a very serious threat.

Under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the persecution of unofficial churches has steadily escalated.  This year they actually tried to ban Christians from gathering on Christmas, and a series of new regulations has just been introduced that requires “total submission to the Chinese Communist Party at all times”…

A new mandate entitled “Administrative Measures for Religious Groups” has been approved by the CPC and is comprised of six chapters and 41 articles dealing with the organization, functions, offices, supervision, projects and economic administration of religious communities.

The new rules also seek to ensure that religious leaders support, promote and implement total submission to the Chinese Communist Party at all times.

So what does that sort of “submission” look like?

Well, in some cases officials have required churches to take down pictures of Jesus and replace them with pictures of President Xi Jinping.

Yes, this is how twisted things have become in China.

The new regulations also require all churches to “spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party” in all of their activities…

According to International Christian Concern, Article 5 of the new ordinance reads that “religious organizations must adhere to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, observe the constitution, laws, regulations, ordinances and policies, adhere to the principle of independence and self-government, adhere to the directives on religions in China, implementing the values ​​of socialism …”

In addition, Article 17 specifies that all religious organizations “must spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party” in everything they do.

Any church that does not go along is likely to be raided and shut down at any time.

For example, Pastor Wang Yi once led one of the most important underground churches in all of China, but his church was raided and he was arrested.

And now we have learned that he has just been sentenced to nine years in prison…

Wang Yi, a leader in one of the most well-known Christian congregations in China, has been quietly sentenced to nine years in prison, according to a statement on the website of the Intermediate People’s Court of Chengdu Municipality.

The sentencing is the latest incident in an ongoing crackdown on organized religion in China. Early Rain Covenant Church, which Wang founded in 2008, attracted about 500 followers and was considered one of the most influential “underground churches” in China, operating independently of the state.

According to Chinese officials, Pastor Yi received such a harsh sentence for “subverting state power”.

Of course it isn’t just pastors that are being arrested.  Countless numbers of ordinary Chinese citizens have been swept up during the raids, and many are never seen or heard from again.

One Chinese Christian woman told the Los Angeles Times what happened to her when she was interrogated…

Li Chengju glared at her prison interrogator as he pressed her to renounce her Christian church and condemn her pastor.

Her captor warned she would not be so lucky as the pastor, who was locked in secret detention but at least might get a day in court.

“Look at you. You sweep the floors at church,” the interrogator said. “You think you’re getting a trial like your pastor? You don’t qualify.”

The way that the Chinese are treating their citizens is absolutely reprehensible, and unless they completely change course we should not be conducting any trade with them at all.

Sadly, the “five-year plan” that was launched in 2018 to indoctrinate churches all over China is not even halfway done…

The government calls its campaign “Sinicization” — a euphemism for turning faith into a tool for indoctrination in Chinese Communist Party ideology. The official five-year plan, issued in 2018, calls for inserting “patriotic education” and “socialist core values” into churches, revising the Bible and using church sermons to enforce party leadership and reject foreign influences.

The persecution of Christians is likely to get even worse in China, and this comes at a time when Christian persecution is on the rise all over the world.  This is something that many of us have been anticipating because of the times in which we live, but it is still horrifying to actually watch it happen.

As I close this article, I would like to share a message from Pastor Wang Yi that was posted on Facebook after he was arrested.  May his words inspire all of us to live every moment and to be the people that we were created to be…

“I hope God uses me, by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.”

“Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.”

“Those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the gospel to them.”

“Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.”

“Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.”

– Pastor Wang Yi, “My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience” (Click to Source)


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Christians Beheaded for Christmas, The West Goes Back to Sleep

by Giulio Meotti –

  • How much bigger and more extended must this war on Christians become before the West considers it a “genocide” and acts to prevent it?
  • The day after Christians were beheaded in Nigeria, Pope Francis admonished Western society. About beheaded Christians? No. “Put down your phones, talk during meals”, the Pope said. He did not speak a single word about the horrific execution of his Christian brothers and sisters. A few days before that, Pope Francis hung a cross encircled by a life jacket in memory of migrants who lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea. He did not commemorate the lives of Christians killed by Islamic extremists with even a mention.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that her priority will be fighting climate change. She did not mention persecuted Christians. Meanwhile The Economist wrote that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a passionate defender of persecuted Christians, politically “exploits” the issue.
  • “The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization [Hamas]. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference”. — Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, The New York Times, August 19, 2014.

Martha Bulus, a Nigerian Catholic woman, was going to her bridal party when she was abducted by Islamic extremists of Boko Haram. Martha and her companions were beheaded and their execution filmed. The video of the brutal murders of these 11 Christians was released on December 26 to coincide with Christmas celebrations. It is reminiscent of the images of other Christians dressed in orange jumpsuits bent on their knees on a beach, each being held by a masked, black-clad jihadist holding a knife at their throats. Their bodies were discovered in a mass grave in Libya.

On the scale of Nigeria’s anti-Christian persecution, Martha was less fortunate than another abducted girl, Leah Sharibu, who has now been in captivity nearly two years and just spent her second Christmas in the hands of Boko Haram. The reason? Leah refused to convert to Islam and deny her Christianity. Nigerian Christian leaders are also protesting the “continuous abduction of under-aged Christian girls by Muslim youths…”. These girls “are forcefully converted to Islam and taken in for marriage without the consent of their parents”.

Nigeria is experiencing an Islamist war of the extermination of Christians. So far, 900 churches in northern Nigeria have been destroyed by Boko Haram. U.S. President Donald J. Trump was informed that at least 16,000 Christians have been killed there since 2015. In one single Nigerian Catholic diocese, Maiduguri, 5,000 Christians were murdered. How much bigger and more extended must this war on Christians become before the West considers it a “genocide” and acts to prevent it?

The day after Christians were beheaded in Nigeria, Pope Francis admonished Western society. About beheaded Christians? No. “Put down your phones, talk during meals”, the Pope said. He did not speak a single word about the horrific execution of his Christian brothers and sisters. A few days before that, Pope Francis hung a cross encircled by a life jacket in memory of migrants who lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea. Last September, the Pope unveiled a monument to migrants in St. Peter’s Square, but he did not commemorate the lives of Christians killed by Islamic extremists with even a mention.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, one of the very few Catholic Church leaders who mentioned the Islamic character of this massacre, wrote, “In Nigeria, the murder of 11 Christians by mad Islamists is a reminder of how many of my African brothers in Christ live faith at the risk of their own lives.”

It is not only the Vatican that is silent. Not a single Western government found time to express horror and indignation at the beheading of Christians. “Where is the moral revulsion at this tragedy?”, asked Nigerian Bishop Matthew Kukah after the Christmas massacre. “This is part of a much wider drama we are living with on a daily basis”.

European leaders should follow the example of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who, in his first Christmas message to the nation said:

“Today of all days, I want us to remember those Christians around the world who are facing persecution. For them, Christmas Day will be marked in private, in secret, perhaps even in a prison cell”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that her priority will be fighting climate change. She did not mention persecuted Christians. French President Emmanuel Macron in his mid-winter speech was not even able to say “Merry Christmas”.

Meanwhile, The Economist wrote that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a passionate defender of persecuted Christians, politically “exploits” the issue.

Europe’s leaders failed to condemn the barbaric execution of Christians on Christmas Day: political correctness is corroding Western society from within.

At the beginning of December, another African bishop, Justin Kientega of Burkina Faso, said: “Nobody is listening to us. Evidently, the West are more concerned with protecting their own interests”.

“Why is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa?”, wrote Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress.

“In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference”.

Where were the Western governments when thousands of young Muslims entered Syria and Iraq to hunt and kill Christians and destroy their churches and communities? The West did nothing and suffered for its inaction. The Islamists started with Christians in the East and continued with “post-Christians” in the West. As the French medievalist Rémi Brague said, “The forces that want to drive Christians out of their ancestral lands would ask themselves, why not continue in the West a work so well begun in the East?”.

There has been no outrage in the West about cutting off Christian heads, only silence, interrupted by “Allahu Akbar”, gunshots and bombs. The history books of the future will not look kindly this Western betrayal — depending on who writes them. The end of the Christians of the East will be a disaster for the Church in the West. They will no longer have anyone living in their own cradle of civilization.

What would we be reading if, for instance, Christian terrorists had stopped a bus, separated the passengers according to their faith, ordered the Muslims to convert to Christianity and then murdered 11 of them? The opposite just happened in Kenya. What did we read? Nothing. On December 10, the Islamic terrorist group Al Shabaab stopped a bus in northern Kenya, then murdered only those who were not Muslims. We Westerners are usually moved by the persecution of this or that minority; why never for our Christians?

The Christianophobia of the Muslim extremists who massacre Christians in Middle East and Africa is central to a totalitarian ideology that aims to unify the Muslims of the ummah (the Islamic community) into a Caliphate, after destroying the borders of national states and liquidating “unbelievers” — Jews, Christians, and other minorities as well as “Muslim apostates”. Nigeria is now at the forefront of that drama.

“Nigeria is now the deadliest place in the world to be a Christian”, noted Emmanuel Ogebe, an attorney.

“What we have is a genocide. They are trying to displace the Christians, they are trying to possess their land and they are trying to impose their religion on the so-called infidels and pagans who they consider Christians to be”.

The West goes back to sleep. “The West opened its borders without hesitation to refugees from Muslim countries fleeing war”, wrote the economist Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy. “This seemingly virtuous Western solidarity is nevertheless selective and discriminatory”. Persecuted Christians have been abandoned by the Western governments and public squares.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently been besieged by Muslims protesting a new law that would offer citizenship to neighboring non-Muslims fleeing persecution. Tarek Fatah explained in the Toronto Sun that the Muslim outrage on the new Indian law comes from the fear “that allowing citizenship to persecuted Pakistani Christians, Hindus and Sikhs would increase the non-Muslim population of the country and thus dilute their veto power they’ve exercised in India for the last 70 years”.

Where are the squares filled with Londoners or New Yorkers for the Christian refugees discriminated by the West? In the parts of Syria occupied by Islamists, Christians just spent a “special Christmas” — without chime bells or lights and with many of their churches turned into stables.

The Khabour, the Syrian region where Assyrian Christians lived, is now called “dead valley”. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, recently wrote:

“War in Syria has reignited. Once again refugees fill its roads in need of our compassion. Yet those from the ‘wrong faith’ won’t find it from the British Government. The UK’s resettlement of 16,000 refugees from the earlier conflict saw hardly any from the most brutalised minorities reach safety in our land. Of the refugees who came here in 2015 under the Vulnerable Persons Scheme, only 1.6 per cent were Christians. That’s despite this group being 10 per cent of the Syrian population”.

Muslims fill Western squares for their own; but for our persecuted Christian brothers, these squares remain vacant. (Click to Source)

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.


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The Exodus: Christians Fleeing Gaza, Fearing Persecution

by Elizabeth Blade

A 60-year-old Christian from Gaza is now living on the streets of Nazareth but says he prefers to stay there than to go back to Gaza, where he had lived his entire life.

Kamal Tarazi fled the Gaza Strip in 2007 after Hamas, an Islamic group considered a terrorist outfit in Israel, seized control of the enclave, ousting its previous government, officials from Fatah.

“The moment they took control, they started persecuting us, ruining our churches and forcing Christians to convert to Islam”, the 60-year-old Christian recalls.

The Turning Point

It was then that Tarazi decided to organise demonstrations against the movement, uniting Christians and Muslims alike. The calls to act didn’t move the masses, but they did anger Hamas.

“I was jailed several times. Do you know what a Hamas prison is? It is pure torture”, he explains, adding that the Islamic group decided to keep him alive to avoid depicting themselves as persecutors of the local Christian population, something that could potentially anger the international community.

After two months in prison, Tarazi had had enough. Shortly before Christmas, he applied for a permit that would allow him to cross the border into Israel and then travel to Bethlehem – located in the West Bank – to attend a series of religious ceremonies.

Once the permit was given and the border was crossed, Tarazi vowed he would never go back, and he is not alone.

Gaza’s Christian community has been steadily declining over the years. Before Hamas came to power in 2007, Christians made up some 3,500 people in the Strip. Now, however, there are no more than 1,300 and Tarazi says the actual number is even lower.

“I am sure there are no more than 500 Christians left in Gaza and it is just part of the general trend”, he explains.

Over the years, many Gazans decided to flee the Strip, unable to cope with the difficult security and economic situation.

In 2018 alone, some 35,000 Gazans fled the Strip and Tarazi says the number of those who have left since 2007 surpassed 200,000 people.

“For Gaza, with its total population of 1.8 million, this number is significant”, he continues.

The Comeback

Despite promises he would never go back fearing for his life, Tarazi decided to give it a try in 2014, shortly before Israel started its operation Protective Edge aimed at putting an end to the continuous rocket barrage emanating from the Strip and targeting Israel’s southern communities.

“I missed my family and wanted to see how they were doing”, he says. But when he came home, he found an empty place.

“My wife and daughter left the flat where we used to live and moved in with my parents-in-law. As for my house, Hamas turned it into a warehouse, where they kept rockets and various ammunition”, he goes on, adding that he wanted to flee again but the Islamic group wouldn’t let him do so, imprisoning him for several months.

That, however, didn’t silence Tarazi and every time he was out of prison, he gathered crowds sending a clear message to Hamas: “Bidna Naesh” – Arabic for “we want to live”.

Similar protests have been staged by other peace activists but just like in the case of Tarazi, they too were silenced.

Hamas’s Days Numbered?

But Tarazi says the policy to silence those who oppose the Hamas regime cannot continue for too long. “Christians and Muslims live well together in Gaza but both are tired of this organisation that kills and damages everything around them. Their days are numbered”, he warns, adding that the situation in Gaza is explosive.

In Gaza, where 75 percent of the population lives in poverty, the unemployment rate is 52 percent, and the average salary is less than $20 a day, some 68 percent of Palestinians describe their situation as either bad or very bad, according to a recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research.

Leaving for good

“My situation was so bad and I was so desperate to leave that at some stage I tore my clothes off in public and wanted to set myself ablaze”, Tarazi recalls, adding that Hamas prevented him from doing so. To hush him they finally gave him a permit to leave Gaza, five years after his return.

“Initially I went to Bethlehem and from there to a church in Nazareth that gave me shelter for some time, until one day they asked me to pay for the accommodation they provided me with, which of course I couldn’t afford, and that pushed me to the streets of Nazareth, where I currently live”, he continues.

With winter approaching, no money in his pocket, and no Israeli job permit, Tarazi relies on the aid of charity organisations.

But help won’t come as Israel lacks relevant bodies that could take care of Tarazi’s needs.

“Israel has organisations that take care of African refugees and NGOs that help Palestinians with mainly legal advice but none of them will be able to provide him with housing, medication or even food”, explained a representative of Gisha, a non-profit organisation that protects the freedom of movement of Palestinians.

Tarazi, mewanwhile, continues to stroll along the streets of Nazareth, hoping that ordinary citizens will show more empathy.

Sputnik reached out to a number of other NGOs and aid organisations but none was able to help. Hamas hasn’t responded to a request for comment by the time of publication. (Click to Source)


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UN Officials Block Syrian Christian Refugees from Getting Help

Syrian Refugees | 2019-12-08 18:15:49

Christian Syrian refugees have told CBN News that they have been blocked from getting help from the United Nations Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, by Muslim UN officials in Jordan.

UN Response to Syrian Christians? Get Lost

One of the refugees, Hasan, a Syrian convert to Christianity, told us in a phone call that Muslim UN camp officials “knew that we were Muslims and became Christians and they dealt with us with persecution and mockery. They didn’t let us into the office. They ignored our request.”

A clear pattern of discrimination by the United Nations refugee agency in Jordan against Christians. And it appears to be one reason that while tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim war refugees have been settled in the United States and Britain, only a small number have been Christian.

And the two governments that could stop this persecution of Christian refugees – the US and Britain – have done little to nothing about it.

A Former Archbishop of Canterbury Says “Enough”

Lord George Carey is suing Britain’s home office alleging that “politically correct” officials have been “institutionally biased” against Christian refugees. He also wants to find out why out of 60-thousand Syrian war refugees accepted into the United States and Britain in 2014, almost none were Christians.

Lord Carey’s attorney, Paul Diamond, explains the case:

“You have this absurd situation where the scheme is set up to help Syrian refugees and the people most in need, Christians who have been “genocided,” they can’t even get into the U.N. camps to get the food. If you enter and say I am a Christian or convert, the Muslim U.N. guards will block you [from] getting in and laugh at you and mock you and even threaten you.

Christian Refugee Viewed as the Enemy by Muslim UN Officials

Another Syrian refugee, Timothy, who told us he became a Christian after seeing Jesus in a dream, said he was also blocked from entering a refugee camp by Muslim UN officials.

“All of the United Nations officials, most of them, 99 percent, they are Muslims,” Timothy explained from Jordan, “and they were treating us as enemies.”

Diamond says, “Sunni Muslim officials have blocked the way. They’ve laughed at them, threatened them, said ‘You shouldn’t have converted. You’re an idiot for converting. You get what you get,’ words to that effect.”

Carey says by doing nothing, western governments are complicit in what calls “the steady crucifixion of Middle East Christians.”

“And no simple measures are taken by both the British and the American government,’ Diamond says, “It would be simple just to open up a refugee camp for religious minorities, for Christians, Yazidis, whatever they are, and they’d be safe. But no one does that.”

Nations Also Deporting Christian Refugees to Certain Imprisonment or Death

Christians refugees who have made it to western countries are increasingly being deported back to Muslim nations, with no regard for the danger they will face.

Swedish attorney Gabriel Donner who represents Christian asylum seekers, says Sweden is now deporting up to one-third of Christian refugees back to Muslim nations where they are likely to be imprisoned or killed.

One of those Christian refugees now facing imminent deportation is Iman Amir-Ourang from Iran, shown here with members of his church in a foot washing. He says Swedish officials either did not understand or care about the evidence of his Christian faith.

Amir-Ourang told us, “There are so many atheists living in Sweden, so they can’t believe in somebody that believes in God. So just because they don’t believe in our Lord, they don’t trust anybody else to believe in the Lord either.”

“They don’t understand the message in the Bible. It’s just completely alien to them,” Donner added.

Britain Ignores Christian Refugees While Welcoming ISIS Children

President Trump told CBN News in 2017 that Christian refugees would be given priority. But Muslim governments officially classify Christians as security threats, causing their asylum applications to western countries to be rejected.

The UN Refugee program did not respond to our request for answers.

Lord Carey has publicly appealed for money in his suit against the British home office, which has already threatened the 84-year churchman with all court costs if he loses.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Home office is spending a lot of time and money on the resettlement of the children of ISIS terrorists. (Click to Source)

CBN


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The Palestinian Christmas Show

by Bassam Tawil

  • “The Palestinian Authority has been offering us money to remain silent. They are trying to bribe us so we would remain silent about the crimes of the police.” — Marian al-Hajal, video on Facebook, October 2019.
  • “We want a civil and humane state based on the rule of law and justice.” — Palestinian Professor Jamal Harfoush, who currently lives in Latin America.
  • As far as Marian is concerned, the PA police version is nothing but an attempt to cover up for their criminal behavior. She and many Christians want the world to know, particularly on the eve of Christmas, that Christians have become easy prey under the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
  • As far as PA President Mahmoud Abbas is concerned, it is business as usual. The cries of the Christian family in Bet Jala seem entirely lost on him…. Abbas may be worried about the future of the hefty funding he gets from Christian countries and organizations, if they find out what his police did…. What he seeks is to continue ensuring the success of the Palestinian lie that Christians are fleeing because of Israel.
  • Will the international community and press continue to swallow — as they have done year after year — the diet of lies that the PA leaders and spokesmen feed them?

 

In a few weeks’ time, the Palestinian Authority (PA) will perform its annual Christmas deception show. As is its custom, the PA will invite foreign journalists and diplomats to Bethlehem, where its spin doctors will wax poetic about good relations and harmony between Christians and Muslims in the city on the eve of Christmas. PA officials often seize this opportunity to blame Israel for the “plight” of Palestinian Christians, who make up only one percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

There is one incident, however, that the PA officials will do their utmost to keep under wraps. It is the story of 63-year-old Terez Ta’amneh, a Christian woman from the town of Bet Jala, near Bethlehem, who died when PA police officers raided her home to arrest her son, Yusef, for unpaid debts.

The story of Ta’amneh is one of those that cause serious damage to the PA’s propaganda machine, which is, instead, preoccupied with blaming Israel for the fact that a large number of Christians have left the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the past few decades.

The number of Christians in the Gaza Strip is currently estimated at a few hundred. Until 10 years ago, there were about 3,500 Christians living under Hamas rule. Most fled to Israel, the West Bank or other countries in the West.

According to a 2017 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics census, approximately 47,000 Christians live in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. In the past seven decades, since Israel was declared a state, tens of thousands of Christians have emigrated to the US, Canada, Europe and Latin America, mostly for economic reasons. The low birth rate among Christians, as well as mass emigration, has resulted in a steep decline of the Palestinian Christian population, from an estimated 10% in 1948 to around one percent today.

The timing of the death of Ta’amneh in Beit Jala could not have been worse for the Palestinian Authority leadership, particularly because it came shortly before Christmas, when PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his senior officials usually go out of their way to present a rosy picture about the conditions of Christians living under their rule in Bethlehem and other West Bank areas.

Abbas himself has made it a habit to participate every year in the Christmas eve celebrations at Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. This is his way of showing the world how much he cares about Christians and provides them with security.

Ta’amneh’s daughter, Marian al-Hajal, however, presents a different picture. She has accused the Palestinian Authority police of “killing my mother” and says that as a Christian, she has no confidence in the Palestinian law and police.

Marian made her allegations in a video she posted on Facebook shortly after the death of her mother. “My name is Marian al-Hajal, from Bet Jala, and I’m the daughter of the late Terez Ta’amneh, who holds Jordanian citizenship,” she said in the video.

“I appeal to His Majesty King Abdullah to seek justice for my mother, who died as a result of the barbaric behavior of the Palestinian police when they raided my mother’s home.”

The daughter said the incident took place at 10:30 pm on October 5. “The Palestinian police came to my mother’s home in Bet Jala to arrest my brother, Yusef, because of a financial dispute he has with another person.”

Marian pointed out that the Palestinian law allows the police to deal with financial disputes only between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm. “The seven officers who raided the house were led by Jamal Hmeid, the nephew of Kamel Hmeid, the Palestinian governor of Bethlehem, she said. “Here I want to ask: is the job of the police to protect citizens or is it a private company for collecting debts?”

The police officers, the daughter said, attacked her brother and began beating him in front of their mother. “My mother told them that Yusef suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure,” Marian said.

“She begged them to stop beating him. In response, the commander of the force, Jamal Hmeid, pointed a pistol at my brother’s head and threatened to open fire. He told my mother: We all have orders to open fire at him.”

According to Marian, her mother panicked and collapsed, dying instantly. “I don’t know what happened to her, but she fell to the ground and died,” she said.

“The next day, my sister and I went to the hospital to retrieve my mother’s body and prepare her for burial. We were shocked to find that my mother’s body was not in the morgue. We were told that the body was sent for autopsy. Who gave them the right to perform an autopsy on our mother’s body without our knowledge? As a Palestinian citizen, I have no confidence in the Palestinian forensic institute. I also have no confidence in the Palestinian law. I’m sure the results of the autopsy will be in favor of the police, and not in favor of my mother.”

The daughter said that the PA has taken no measures against the officers she claims are responsible for her mother’s death. “How can the Palestinian law protect me, when the representatives of the law themselves killed my mother?” Marian asked. “The Palestinian Authority has been offering us money to remain silent. They are trying to bribe us so we would remain silent about the crimes of the police.”

Palestinian Professor Jamal Harfoush, who currently lives in Latin America, appealed to Abbas to launch an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the Christian woman. Harfoush also expressed outrage that senior PA officials were trying to bribe the woman’s family in an attempt to keep them from speaking out. Addressing Abbas, the professor said: “We want a civil and humane state based on the rule of law and justice.”

A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority police in the West Bank claimed that Ta’amneh’s son, Yusef, tried to escape and attacked the police officers who came to arrest him. The spokesman also denied that the police officers had entered Ta’amneh’s home and insisted that her son was arrested outside the house.

As far as Marian is concerned, the police version is nothing but an attempt to cover up for their criminal behavior. She and many Christians want the world to know, particularly on the eve of Christmas, that Christians have become easy prey under the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

As far as Abbas is concerned, it is business as usual. The cries of the Christian family in Bet Jala seem entirely lost on him. Next month, he and his senior officials will arrive in Bethlehem and again talk about the harmony and brotherly relations between Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.

Abbas may be worried about the future of the hefty funding he gets from Christian countries and organizations if they find out what his police did to the Christian family in Bet Jala. What he seeks is to continue ensuring the success of the Palestinian lie that Christians are fleeing because of Israel.

Another day, another opportunity. Will the international community and media continue to swallow — as they have done year after year — the diet of lies that the PA leaders and spokesmen feed them? Marian, for one, feels confident that she cannot rely on the international community or the PA to bring her family justice. Who, then, will step up to do so? (Click to Source)

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East

© 2019 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

 

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UN poised to launch global ban on speech that insults Muslims

  BY 

Sharia-adherent nations have long “sought a determination from the United Nations that any criticism of Islam or Muslims is ‘Islamophobia’ and banned globally.’”

But somehow Westerners still generally refuse to acknowledge the real meaning and intent of the concept of “Islamophobia.” In short, it’s intended to promote the supremacy of the Sharia by discrediting and silencing critics of Islam. The UN declared its intention to become closer with the OIC years ago, and it has happened. Now:

Nations belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other governments adhering to Shariah law across the world are ramping up their new campaign with the United Nations to prohibit all speech that Muslims consider offensive.

This aggressive campaign is the logical next step following years of appeasement, thanks to politically correct Western leaders. There have been enough warnings. Now, the final stage for Western subjugation has arrived, and the more Westerners fight for their own right to the freedom of speech, the more aggressive the “Islamophobia” brigade will become, particularly in light of the fact that they have come this far through bullying, intimidation, deceit and manipulation. They’re not about to surrender now, as they have been encouraged by too many Western dhimmis surrendering to them.

Pakistan Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi incited more support to silence any opposition to Islam and its adherents – including speech condemning Islam for its scriptural inciting of terrorists to conduct jihad (holy war) on “infidels.”

Mainstream Muslim groups in the West share the message of Lodhi and routinely persecute those who call out the truth about Islam. Lodhi stated a common message which is now embraced across the West in describing the so-called consequences of those who offend Islam:

“An inevitable consequence is to fan the flames of bigotry, intolerance, anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia”

An “inclusive political process for durable peace”  by rejecting “Islamophobia” is what Lodhi — and other stealth jihadists who are promoting the Sharia — have duped Westerners into believing as they promote Islamic anti-blasphemy laws.

“UN poised to launch global ban on all criticism of Islam,” by Michael F. Haverluck, One News Now, June 23, 2019:

Nations belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other governments adhering to Shariah law across the world are ramping up their new campaign with the United Nations to prohibit all speech that Muslims consider offensive.

“Islamist nations … long have sought a determination from the United Nations that any criticism of Islam or Muslims is ‘Islamophobia’ and banned globally,’” WND reported, noting that with 57 members, the OIC represents the largest voting bloc in the U.N. “But each time it has come up for a vote, more realistic arguments prevailed and the campaign never was legitimized.”

Pakistan putting on the pressure
After U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres unveiled the new “U.N. Strategy and Plan of Action” to fight so-called “hate speech” at a special meeting in the packed Economic and Social (ECOSOC) chamber, Pakistan Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi incited more support to silence any opposition to Islam and its adherents – including speech condemning Islam for its scriptural inciting of terrorists to conduct jihad (holy war) on “infidels.”

An inevitable consequence is to fan the flames of bigotry, intolerance, anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia,” Lodhi proclaimed before ambassadors, senior diplomats and high-ranking U.N. officials, as quoted in a press release, according to MSN. “My Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently again called for urgent action to counter Islamophobia, which is today the most prevalent expression of racism and hatred against ‘the other.’” (Click to Source)

Africa: Alarming Rise of Christian Persecution

by Uzay Bulut

  • “In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.” — The Independent Review of FCO support for Persecuted Christians.
  • “The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused. They ordered them to gather under a tree and took their Bibles and mobile phones. Then they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead.” — World Watch Monitor, May 2, 2019.
  • As the British report demonstrates, persecution against Christians and other non-Muslims is not about the ethnicity, race or skin color of either the perpetrators or the victims; it is about their religion.
  • If these crimes are not stopped, it is highly likely that the fate of the African Continent will be like that of the Middle East: Once it was a majority-Christian region; now, Christians are a tiny, dying, defenseless minority.

According to a recent interim report published in the U.K., “it is estimated that one third of the world’s population suffers from religious persecution in some form, with Christians being the most persecuted group.”

Although the full report — commissioned by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and conducted by the Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen — was due to be released by Easter this year, “the scale and nature of the phenomenon [of Christian persecution] simply required more time,” accordingto the report. As a result, Mounstephen explained, the “interim” findings released in April are incomplete, and the final report will be published at the end of June.

According to the “overview” section of the interim “Independent Review of FCO support for Persecuted Christians”:

“In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.”

Africa — now home to the greatest number of Christians in the world — is one such region.

On June 16, for instance, a Christian elementary school in a Muslim village in Uganda was destroyed, International Christian Concern (ICC) reported.

On June 15, “a mob of Muslim protestors set a church ablaze in Maradi, the third largest city in Niger. The incident was a response to the arrest of a very prominent Imam who was arrested after he claimed the country’s proposed legislation on worship was ‘anti-Islamic.'”

On June 9 and 10, two terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso left 29 Christians dead. This purposeful slaughter of Christians came less than two months after the April 28 massacre of 80-year-old pastor, Pierre Ouédraogo, and other members of his congregation in Burkina Faso, by armed Islamists. A local leader, who requested anonymity, told World Watch Monitor:

“The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused. They ordered them to gather under a tree and took their Bibles and mobile phones. Then they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead.”

On June 7, a Christian woman in Niger was kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists and released three days later with a letter calling on all Christians to “leave the town within three days or be killed.”

The above incidents are not isolated. According to the 2019 World Watch Listcompiled by Open Doors, a persecution watchdog group:

“While the violent excesses of ISIS and other Islamic militants have mostly disappeared from headlines from the Middle East, their loss of territory there means that fighters have dispersed to a larger number of countries not only in the region but, increasingly, into sub-Saharan Africa. Their radical ideology has inspired, or infiltrated, numerous splinter groups such as Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a deadly group that broke away from Nigeria’s Boko Haram that also enslaves Christian women and girls as an integral part of their strategy.”

Terrorist groups are not the only sources of persecution in Africa. Many Muslim governments and individuals also target Christians.

According to the Open Doors 2019 report, the situation in many African nations is as follows:

In Somalia, there is a “life of violence and isolation” for the Christian community that numbers only a few hundred.

“Estimates suggest that 99 percent of Somalis are Muslims, and any minority religions are heavily persecuted. The Christian community is small and under constant threat of attack. Sharia law and Islam are enshrined in the country’s constitution, and the persecution of Christians almost always involves violence. Additionally, in many rural areas, Islamic militant groups like al-Shabab are de facto rulers. Somali Christians often must hide their faith to stay safe.”

Libya is home to a Christian population of only around 38,000.

“Converts to Christianity face abuse and violence for their decision to follow Christ. Libya is also home to many migrant workers who have been attacked, sexually assaulted and detained, which can be even worse if it is discovered they are Christians.”

Sudan is home to 1.9 million Christians.

“The country has been ruled as an Islamic state with limited rights for religious minorities and heavy restrictions on freedom of speech and press. Christians, whose population is over 1,900,000, face discrimination and pressure— multiple church buildings were demolished in 2017 and 2018, leaving some Christians without a place to worship. Christian converts from Islam are especially targeted for persecution.”

In Eritrea, sometimes called “Africa’s North Korea”, there are around 2.5 million Christians, and many suffer in prisons.

“Since 1993, President Isaias Afwerki has overseen a brutal authoritarian regime that rests on massive human rights violations. In 2018, there were raids on churches, and hundreds of Christians were imprisoned in inhumane conditions. Additionally, there are estimates that other Christians are currently in Eritrea’s vast prison network, but no one knows how many there are or if they are still alive.”

Nigeria, where over 90 million Christians live, is one of the worst places in Africa for Christians.

“Nigeria’s score for violence has stayed as high as possible, primarily due to the increased attacks on Christian communities by militant Fulani herdsmen. These attacks claimed the lives of hundreds of believers during the reporting period, and villages and churches burned to the ground. Additionally, in parts of northern Nigeria, Christians are treated as second-class citizens. Christians from Muslim backgrounds face persecution from their own families”.

Christians in Egypt, whose Christian population is 9,937,600, suffer from persecution in various ways.

“Those with Muslim backgrounds face enormous pressure from immediate and extended families to return to Islam. Severe restrictions on building or securing places for worship prevent Christians from congregating, in addition to hostility and violence toward believers who do gather. In recent years, Islamic extremist groups have targeted Christians and churches in numerous violent and deadly acts of persecution.”

In the Central African Republic (CAR), the main religion is Christianity, and the Christian population numbers more than 3,450,000.

“Over the last year, the situation has worsened for CAR Christians who face intensifying pressure from Muslims. Christians are also threatened by jihadists and criminal groups in the country whose actions often overlap. And Christian civilians are still caught in the violent conflict between the mainly Muslim Seleka and self-defense militant groups called anti-Balaka.”

Algeria, where around 125,000 Christians live, “has seen an increasing number of churches closed” over the last year.

“At the same time, Christian converts have become more open about their faith, leading to a backlash by Muslim families and the intolerant society. Laws regulating non-Muslim worship, banning conversion and prohibiting blasphemy make proselytizing and public expression of the Christian faith dangerous as well.”

In Mali, the Christian population is 425,000.

“The West African country has become increasingly militant. In the northern part of the country especially, this intolerance has resulted in increasing violence against Christians from jihadist and criminal groups that have a vested interest in keeping the country mired in chaos and instability.”

In Mauritania, there are only around 10,000 Christians from population of 4.5 million people.

“The ‘Islamic Republic of Mauritania’ — the autocratic government of Africa’s 11th largest country — often acts as protector of the Islamic religion. As a result, the state is a major source of persecution. Radical Islamic preachers and militants contribute to the radicalization of society, fueling antagonism and hatred toward non-Muslims. Additionally, a caste system marginalizes darker-skinned Mauritanians and those who do not adhere to Islam.”

In Ethiopia, where the main religion is Christianity and the Christian population numbers more than 64 million, “radical Islam is growing at the local, regional and national levels. Particularly in the rural areas, where Muslims are the majority, Christians are harassed and often denied access to communal resources.”

Morocco has a Christian population of around 31,500.

“Christians suffer persecution from both the state and society. There are restrictions imposed by the state on Christians, such as confiscation of Christian materials written in Arabic, restrictions on evangelization and difficulty getting places of worship for believers from a Muslim background. Radical Muslims within the general populace also put pressure on Christians. In rural areas, pressure from family and community can also be considerable.”

In Tunisia, for the small community of Christians numbering around 24,000, “life within Islamic society comes with hostility and daily pressure.”

“And the threat of Islamic militant activity—especially by those returning from fighting with ISIS—is still worrying, with one suicide-attack on a police station in Tunis in September and a major attack in the border region with Algeria in July 2018.”

In Kenya, another African nation where the main religion is Christianity, Christians are targeted both by Muslim officials and terror groups.

“Inspired by Islamic radicals in Somalia, Muslim politicians have made it their agenda to eliminate Christianity. Officials often demand churches do things that are not in line with their faith, while militants viciously carry out suicide bomb attacks and other brutal acts against those considered to be the enemies of Islam. Due to corruption inside the government agencies, those operating against Christians tragically often enjoy impunity.”

In a May 21 article for Open Doors, Lindy Lowry says that Boko Haram, founded in 2002 in Nigeria, has expanded into neighboring countries:

“They have conducted terrorist attacks in Niger, Chad and Cameroon, which have resulted in dramatic refugee and humanitarian crises. They are even regarded as ‘slave raiders’ who target women in raids for ‘wives’ in the areas around Lake Chad, which borders Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria…

“In Rwanda, the country has closed thousands of churches and has arrested at least six pastors since February 2018 for ‘noise pollution’ and failing to comply with building regulations. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern province of North Kivu, leaders of the church have been targeted and killed. Reportedly, at least 15 armed extremist groups were known to be operating in the area.”

As the British report demonstrates, persecution against Christians and other non-Muslims is not about the ethnicity, race or skin color of either the perpetrators or the victims; it is about their religion. In Africa, various Islamist groups and individuals are attacking and attempting to annihilate Christians for being Christian. If these crimes are not stopped, it is highly likely that the fate of the African Continent will be like that of the Middle East: Once it was a majority-Christian region; now, Christians are a tiny, dying, defenseless minority. (Click to Source)

Uzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.