“Lovers of Islam, Force These Demonic Creatures Out!” Muslim Persecution of Christians, May 2019

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The Slaughter of Christians

Burkina Faso: A number of fatal Islamic terror attacks on Christians and their churches occurred throughout or were reported in May:

  • On Sunday 26 May, armed Muslims stormed a Catholic church during mass and opened fire on the gathered worshippers; four were killed and several others injured. killing four and injuring others.
  • On May 13, armed Muslims attacked a Catholic procession, slaughtered four Christiansand “burned a statue of the Virgin Mary.”
  • On May 12, approximately 30 armed Muslims stormed a Catholic church, slaughtered at least six worshippers—including the officiating priest—and then burned the church to the ground.
  • On Sunday, April 28, Islamic terrorists stormed a Protestant church and killed six worshippers, including the 80-year-old pastor and his two sons.  According to a local, “The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused.”  So “they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead.”
  • On April 5, Islamic gunmen entered a Catholic church and murdered four Christians.

Nigeria:  On Sunday, May 26, Muslim Fulani herdsmen ambushed and slaughtered as many as 30 Christians as they walked home after church service.  The Muslim tribesmen also torched approximately 20 Christian households as part of their planned “Islamization” of Nigeria, said a local pastor, adding, “These targeted attacks on innocent Christians are unacceptable, particularly with confirmed arrests of over 30 Christian women [who work as] fruit and food vendors by soldiers … after the attack.”  Separately, on May 18, Islamic gunmen killed a Christian and kidnapped two others at a Baptist church.

Central African Republic: An elderly Christian nun of Spanish/French origins who spent her days teaching young girls how to sew in the African nation was beheaded by a militant group representing and partially composed of Muslim Fulani herdsmen; around the same time the group massacred at least 26 people, in what one report refers to as “one of the biggest single losses of life in the Central African Republic (CAR) since a February peace deal.”

Turkey:  The murder of an elderly Christian man is believed to have been a hate crime.  According to the report, the “86-year-old Greek man was found murdered in his home with his hands and feet tied. He was reportedly tortured”:

Zafir Pinari’s death on May 14 comes just five days before the commemorative anniversary of the Greek Genocide. This genocide was conducted from 1913-1922 by the Ottoman Empire and was the systematic killing of Christian Greek citizens. By … 1923, most of the Greek population were either murdered or had fled the country. A wave of killing of Greek Christians again occurred in the 1960s.  A suspect has been arrested in this case and three others are under investigation. It is not yet clear as to what motivated the murder. However, given the historical context, local press covering the incident are labeling it as a hate crime.

Pakistan: A Muslim man tortured his Christian employee to death after the latter tried to quit his job.   Javid Masih, 45, worked as a livestock farmhand for Abbas Jutt.  According to a source acquainted with the case, “Masih wanted to quit because he was often subjected to discrimination and religious hatred.”  The deceased’s widow confirms: “We had been experiencing religious hatred from [Jutt] and his colleagues, however, we had no courage to register this with police.  We are poor and belong to a downtrodden segment of society. Therefore, we are never heard.  Jutt has damaged our lives and we have nothing to live for now.”

Egypt:  A Muslim employee murdered his Christian supervisor on May 7, “because of his Christian faith” notes a report.  Surveillance footage from a nearby building captured the incident.  While passing each other, the two men speak briefly, before the Muslim man returns with a knife and butchers the Christian, who leaves behind a wife and two boys aged 15 and 9.  “The Islamic holy month of Ramadan began nearly two weeks ago,” the report adds. “It is common for Christians to suffer increased violence and harassment during this time. Persecution is a constant theme of life for Egyptian Christians, as they are already viewed as second class citizens in this Islamic nation.”

Syria: Islamic militants bombed a Christian village; five children and a 35-year-old woman were killed.  “The kids went out to play after some days of calm” near a monastery, explained a local priest, when a rocket struck near them, “instantly killing five and wounding others… the woman was killed in a nearby street by a separate rocket.”

Iraq:  On May 13, Islamic militants connected with the Shia group, Shabak, which is supported by Iran,  broke into the home of two elderly Christian women, a mother and daughter, and repeatedly stabbed them with knives.  Although the mother’s age is unknown, it can be surmised considering that her daughter—who was last reported as “struggling with death” and “in critical condition”—is 69 years old. According to one report, “The women were repeatedly stabbed with a knife and their gold and money were stolen. The two victims were then hospitalized in Mosul. The daughter, who sustained a violent head injury, remains in critical condition.”  Although the two women were subsequently robbed, local Christians say plunder was not the primary motive: “The attackers tried to deliver a message of threat….  I don’t think it was a robbery because they stabbed the daughter on her head by a knife which means the criminals tried to kill them….  You know who could be the ones who may attack Christians. Everyone knows them. But no one can give you the names since they are supported by the militia.”

Separately, in an address delivered in London, the Rev. Bashar Warda, Archbishop of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, accused Britain’s Christian leaders of indifference to the genocide of Iraq’s Christians.  Some of his comments follow:

Christianity in Iraq, one of the oldest Churches, if not the oldest Church in the world, is perilously close to extinction. Those of us who remain must be ready to face martyrdom….  Our tormentors confiscated our present, while seeking to wipe out our history and destroy our future. In Iraq there is no redress for those who have lost properties, homes and businesses. Tens of thousands of Christians have nothing to show for their life’s work, for generations of work, in places where their families have lived, maybe, for thousands of years….  Will you continue to condone this never-ending, organised persecution against us?  When the next wave of violence begins to hit us, will anyone on your campuses hold demonstrations and carry signs that say “We are all Christians”?  And yes I do say, the “next wave of violence”, for this is simply the natural result of a ruling system that preaches inequality, and justifies persecution. The equation is not complicated. One group is taught that they are superior and legally entitled to treat others as inferior human beings on the sole basis of their faith and religious practices. This teaching inevitably leads to violence against any “inferiors” who refuse to change their faith. And there you have it—the history of Christians in the Middle East for the last 1,400 years.

Attacks on Churches

Nigeria: Muslim Fulani herdsmen stormed a church during evening choir practice and kidnapped 17 Christians on May 18.   “As we were in the church, Fulani herdsmen numbering over 20 just surrounded the church and started shooting,” a church member recalled. “Everybody was terrified, but there was no way we could run because they had already surrounded the church. They were asking for the pastor’s house, and they threatened to shoot us if we don’t show them the house. Some of them went to the pastor’s house while others kept watch over us.”

Kenya:  On May 17, a rampaging mob of Somali Muslims destroyed the properties of four churches—Kingdom Gospel for All Nations Ministry, Evangelical Victory Church International, End Time Army Church, and Kale Heywot Church—and injured several Christians.  On the previous day, locals had called police on an outdoor Islamic event because it was getting too loud and rowdy.  Citing “public disturbance,” police responded by pulling the plug on the event.   On the next day, “a group of Muslim adherents stormed our church building armed with stones, machetes, and petrol,” the pastor of one of the destroyed churches said.  “They broke into the church and damaged everything; from chairs to sound equipment. They also attempted to set the church on fire, but police arrived and contained the situation….  After they destroyed the chairs and equipment of this church, they split into small groups and went around stealing from the nearby shops operated by Christians. This was outright persecution of the people that subscribe to the Christian faith.” Another pastor of an attacked church said, “Our freedom of worship has been violated and we can only pray for a time when the Muslim community will allow Christians to worship without fear of being attacked. Our members are now scattered and … we have received notes at our church warning us against going to church, praying and preaching.”  “The influx of the Somali people who are majorly Muslims has posed a great danger to the churches,” said the leader of another attacked church. “They have erected four mosques and are looking for portions to build other mosques. They have been threatening churches to leave so that they can build mosques on those plots.”

Turkey: On May 21, police interrupted a baptismal ceremony while raiding and subsequently shutting down an unauthorized church composed of Iranian Christian asylum seekers. “Turkey does not have a pathway for legalization of churches,” the report adds:

Many are instead forced to register as a foundation or association, and most even then will not be allowed to open a church building. For this reason, many like the church in Bolu are forced to exist in apartment buildings.  It is common for Christians to report harassment and intimidation by the police who monitor their church services. For Iranian Christians, they are often challenged in that as asylum seekers, they are usually housed in extremely Islamic areas who do not want a Christian presence.

Iran:  Authorities directly under the control of the Supreme Leader  raided an Assyrian Presbyterian Church on May 9. They tore the church’s cross down, changed its locks, and made clear that worship was no longer be permitted at the church.  Apparently the church’s crime was that it used the Persian language alongside its own Assyrian language; because the overwhelming majority of Iran’s Muslim population speaks only Persian, conducting church services in that language is seen by the Islamist regime as a seductive threat to the faith of Muslims

Algeria:  Citing a law that requires special authorization for non-Muslim places of worship, authorities shut down another church and its Bible school on May 22.  “I am sad to have to face this injustice,” its pastor said: “We prayed for those authorities who are persecuting us, as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded.” The church had filled all other prerequisites for legalization, and had been waiting for approval since 2017, which never came.   This is the latest of several churches to be closed in recent years.  According to the report,  “Officials have yet to issue any license for a church building under the regulation…Several churches have since received written orders to cease all activities, and authorities have closed a number of them for operating without a license. Islam is the state religion in Algeria, where 99 percent of the population of 40 million are Muslim.”

Egypt: Authorities closed down another church in response to Muslim disapproval.  “This is a very hard situation,” said one local Christian. “You can see kids praying in tears because of their feelings of fear … that is very painful for us as Christians personally. I don’t trust in the government promises, but we have to continue praying for [a] reopening the church.” “Many years ago we were praying in our houses with the priest because there was not an [existing] church,” another local Christian gave background information. “Now there are more than 400 Coptic persons in our village and the number of us increases day by day… During the last feast days (Orthodox Easter) many Copts prayed and the police had secured the building, but then the police asked Bishop Georgius to close the church because some Muslims in the village disagreed.”

Separately, an American professor teaching at Cairo’s American University was fired for refusing to emphasize Islam over other religions during his Religions of the World Class. According to one report,

Professor Adam Duker has taught Comparative Religions at the university since 2016. His dismissal reportedly comes after a conflict with Saudi billionaire Tarek Taher, who maintains close ties to the university.  Taher had requested that Professor Duker focus more heavily on Islam. When Professor Duker refused, his contract was terminated effective October 2019. Professor Duker says that Taher asked him to encourage non-Muslim students to convert to Islam and that Taher wanted his lectures pre-approved before teaching. [A more detailed report on this development appears here.]

Pakistan: “A pastor … received a letter on May 1 warning him that his church would be the site of a terrorist attack unless he paid a ransom of more than $3,500.00,” notes a report. “The threat has many church leaders in Karachi on edge and calling on local authorities to provide their communities with protection….The letter also warned that if Pastor Azeem went to police, there would be consequences like the recent terrorist attacks on churches in Sri Lanka.”

In a separate incident, 38 Christian graves at a Pakistani cemetery were desecrated; the unknown assailants also defaced several crosses fixed to the graves.

Attacks on Apostates and Blasphemers

Uganda:  Muslims burned the home of a former Muslim convert to Christianity and his large family (when still a Muslim he had married three women who gave him 14 children).  Most of the family was indoors and barely made it out in time before the charred roof collapsed.   “We thank God that no one was physically hurt but emotionally are very hurt as we continue receiving threatening messages warning us of a possible attack,” said the father. “The pressure from the extended family and radical Muslims is really troubling my family, and we cannot risk going back to our houses.”  Problems began once Muslims learned the family had embraced Christianity; area Muslims began stoning their home on the same day they saw the family attend church.  Muslim villagers and the imam of the local mosque also began insulting and harassing the family, with one villager saying, “If you do not come back to Islam, then expect something unusual to befall your family.” “Since then,” explained the father, “my family became vigilant, and we even hired a guard to take care of the family during the night, but the stone-throwing continued in one of the houses while the guard was on patrol on the other side of the homestead.”  Even after being made homeless, the family continues to receive threatening messages, including,  “The burning of the house was just warning. If you continue hardening your hearts and fail to return to Islam, then expect a worst thing that you have never seen before.”  “We sincerely need prayers and financial support,” concluded the father. “My family is scattered, and the children are unable to go to school. We gave our lives to Jesus and here we are living a troubled, restless life. The law should bring these perpetrators to book.”

Pakistan: On May 15, a Muslim mob attacked a Christian family accused for allegedly blaspheming against Islam. The incident started after a Christian man asked a Muslim man who was loudly cursing on his phone near the Christian family home to move away.  The Muslim responded with a derogatory, anti-Christian slur, which led to a physical altercation, until the Christian family managed to separate the two men.  That night, the local mosque’s megaphones started blaring out against the Christian household, accusing them of blasphemy and adding: “All the lovers of Islam must gather together and force these demonic creatures out of this village.”  A family member explains what happened next:

This was a horrifying moment for my whole family and other Christians. We felt totally helpless. In our panic we started to get ourselves ready to flee our homes and  get far away from the village, however, we were all to[o] slow. In no time we start to hear Muslims gather outside our home—even the children. The violent mob surrounded our home and all of them had weapons including guns—which were being shot in the air, sticks, axes, poles and farming tools. Even the small children had weapons [and] we feared for our lives. The mob began shouting outside our home asking for our family to exit our home and receive divine retribution for our sin. It did not seem very divine—we just saw raging evil violent people ready to kill us.”  Seven Christian family homes were attacked before the mobs dispersed.

Sexual Abuse of Christians

Indonesia:  A May 23 report says that “ a new form of persecution is on the rise—Christian girls are being targeted by Muslim men…  Influential leaders are literally training young men to target Christian girls to impregnate them”:

They target them to try and sort of diffuse the spread of Christianity because the family of the Christian girl is so ashamed that…they’re forced into marrying that daughter into a Muslim family….  The family, because the shame is so overwhelming, they agree to that… and the Muslims who are being trained to do this, they understand that. That’s why they’re doing that. They’re taking a Christian into a Muslim family so they can influence [her].  Once girls are married into the Muslim families, they’re often cut off from or abandoned by their families and they face even more difficult circumstances.  In some cases, girls are the second or third wife of their persecutor and they have few freedoms.

Pakistan:  Neha Pervaiz, a 15-year-old Christian girl, was raped, forcefully converted to Islam, and married to a 45-year-old Muslim man. “I was taken by my aunt, a Muslim convert, to her house on April 28 to help her look after her sick son,” recalls Neha. “But there I was asked to marry a Muslim man named Imran. When I refused, they beat me up and threatened to kill my minor brother who was with me.”  She was then forced into another room and raped by Imran. “They then pressurized me to convert to Islam and marry Imram.”  Over the following two days she was forced to convert, renamed Fatima, and taken to court where she was illegally married to Imran.  She eventually managed to escape back to her parents.

Egypt: Muslims reportedly kidnapped a Christian wife and mother of three near Cairo. Her family has since received threatening messages saying that unless the woman embraces Islam one of her sons will targeted for slaughter.  After the family took the matter to police, the latter refused to open a case,  suggesting that the woman left her home of her own free will.

Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

About this Series

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic.  Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed in 2011 to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that occur or are reported each month. It serves two purposes:

1)          To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.

2)          To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Islamic Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy, blasphemy, and proselytism laws that criminalize and sometimes punish with death those who “offend” Islam; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam;  theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or second-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination thereof.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East—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. (Click to Source)

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“EASTER WORSHIPPERS”: OBAMA & HILLARY REFUSE TO USE THE WORD “CHRISTIAN” AFTER SRI LANKA ATTACKS

Yet they directly referred to “Muslims” following Christchurch mosque attack

Following the deadly attacks in Sri Lanka which killed 290 people, including many Catholics, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton refused to refer to the victims as Christians, preferring instead to call them “Easter worshippers”.

The attacks, which were likely carried out by a local Islamist group with international support, targeted three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district during Easter services. Luxury hotels were also targeted.

Barack Obama reacted to the attacks by tweeting, “The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity.”

This is in stark contrast to Obama’s reaction to the New Zealand mosque massacre, when Obama specifically made reference to “the Muslim community”.

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Hillary Clinton also directly spoke of “the global Muslim community” following the Christchurch mosque massacre. She also called out “Islamophobia”.

However, like Obama, Hillary referred to Christian victims in Sri Lanka as “Easter worshippers”.

Given that Christians are the most persecuted religious group on the planet, with vast numbers more Christians being killed by Islamists than vice-versa, why are global leaders afraid to even use the word “Christian” in their condolences?

This bizarre trend of the word “Christian” being somehow taboo has also infected the media. The Associated Press also referred to Christians as “Easter worshippers” in the context of Notre Dame being closed.

Obama and Hillary’s choice of words did not go unnoticed. (Click to Source)

 
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Nigerian Muslim Militants Kill 120 Christians in Three Weeks

 

The recent death toll of Christians in Nigeria has reached 120 with this week’s slaughter of more than 50 by Fulani Muslim militants in the Kaduna state of Nigeria, the Christian Post reported.

The Fulani jihadists, who have become a greater threat to Nigerian Christians than the Islamist terror group Boko Haram, stormed the villages of Inkirimi, Dogonnoma, and Ungwan Gora in the Kajuru Local Government Area last Monday, destroying 143 homes, killing 52 people, and wounding dozens more.

The assailants reportedly split into three groups, the first of which fired upon the people, the second set fire to buildings, and the third chased down people fleeing from the scene. Victims of the assault included women and children.

Monday’s incident followed an attack the day before in the Ungwan Barde village in Kajuru, where 17 Christians were killed and dozens of homes were burned.

In the first week of March, Muslim extremists massacred more than 30 Christians in Karamar village, setting fire to several houses and a church. The terrorists reportedly shot at families trying to escape the fire, killing 32.

The spate of recent attacks against communities has taken place within the predominantly Christian Adara chiefdom of southern Kaduna.

The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the Kajuru Local Government Area to try to contain the violence.

In late February, militants attacked the Maro village, killing 38 Christians and torching homes as well as a Christian church.

The Christian Post reported that Fulani militants killed thousands of Christians in 2018 alone in what many are calling a Christian genocide in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.

Last December, a leading Anglican bishop in Nigeria, Dr. Benjamin Argak Kwashi, said that the Muslim Fulani militants represent the number one terrorist threat facing Christians in Nigeria.

“The government is able to provide protection [to the Christians], but what’s obvious to everybody is that the government is unwilling,” Kwashi told Breitbart News.

“The Fulani herdsmen are a bigger threat,” Kwashi added. “Boko Haram operates in the northeast and scantily moves into other areas, but the Fulani herdsmen are widespread. They’re everywhere now. So the Fulani are a bigger threat.” (Click to Source)

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Christian Martyrs of Islamic Jihad: A Recurring Theme

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Last February 15 marked the four year anniversary of the martyrdom of 21 Christians—20 Coptic Orthodox from Egypt and one Ghanaian.  It was commemorated by several groups, including Coptic Solidarity, which summarized the event in a February 15, 2019 statement:

This week in 2015, 21 men were brutally beheaded on a Mediterranean beach in Libya, by members of ISIS. They had been captured by ISIS a few months earlier and pressured to renounce their faith in Christ and convert to Islam. These 21 modern martyrs chose their faith and love for Jesus Christ over the opportunity to extend their mortal lives….  All were given the opportunity to convert to Islam to save their lives, yet each chose the love they had for Jesus above the love they had for their families and own lives. Reportedly, the Ghanaian captive on seeing the faith of his fellow Coptic Orthodox captives chose their faith and death over saving himself.

A Coptic icon of the 21 Martyrs of Libya.

Inasmuch as the 21 martyrs should be remembered and commemorated, the fact is, they are ultimately modern day reflections of an ancient (and ongoing) phenomenon that permeates nearly fourteen centuries of history: Muslims slaughtering Christians who refuse to renounce Christ and embrace Muhammad.

Indeed, this very week, the Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates 42 other Orthodox Christians who were also beheaded 1,170 years before half their number—the 21 Copts/Ghanaian—were executed under very similar circumstances.  Known as the 42 Martyrs of Amorium, their story follows:

In 838, Caliph al-Mu‘tasim—at the head of eighty thousand slave-soldiers—burst into Amorium, one of the Eastern Roman Empire’s largest and most important cities. They burned and razed it to the ground and slaughtered countless; everywhere there were “bodies heaped up in piles,” writes a chronicler. The invaders locked those who sought sanctuary inside their churches and set the buildings aflame; trapped Christians could be heard crying kyrie eleison—“Lord have mercy!” in Greek—while being roasted alive. Hysterical “women covered their children, like chickens, so as not to be separated from them, either by sword or slavery.”

About half of the city’s seventy thousand citizens were slaughtered, the rest hauled off in chains.  There was such a surplus of human booty that when the caliph came across four thousand male prisoners he ordered them executed on the spot. Because there “were so many women’s convents and monasteries” in this populous Christian city, “over a thousand virgins were led into captivity, not counting those that had been slaughtered. They were given to the Moorish and Turkish slaves, so as to assuage their lust,” laments the chronicler.

When the young emperor, Theophilus (r. 829–842), heard about the sack of Amorium—his hometown, chosen by the caliph for that very reason, to make the sting hurt all the more—he fell ill and died three years later, aged 28, reportedly from sorrow.  Meanwhile, the Muslim poet Abu Tammam (805‐845) celebrated the caliph’s triumph, since “You have left the fortunes of the sons of Islam in the ascendant, and the polytheists [Christians] and the abode of polytheism in decline.”

Among the many captives carted off to Iraq were forty-two notables, mostly from the military and clerical classes (which in early Christianity were often closely associated).  Due to their prestigious status and in order to make them trophies of Islam, they were repeatedly pressured to convert:

During the seven years of their imprisonment, their captors tried in vain to persuade them to renounce Christianity and accept Islam. The captives stubbornly resisted all their seductive offers and bravely held out against terrible threats. After many torments that failed to break the spirit of the Christian soldiers, they condemned them to death, hoping to shake the determination of the saints before executing them. The martyrs remained steadfast…

An icon of the 42 Martyrs of Amorium.

Interestingly, some of the arguments used by Muslims indicate that they acknowledged Christ as the Prince of Peace and Muhammad as the Lord of War—and played it to great effect.  One Theodore, a Christian cleric who fought in defense of Amorium, was goaded as follows:  “We know that you forsook the priestly office, became a soldier and shed blood [of Muslims] in battle. You can have no hope in Christ, whom you abandoned voluntarily, so accept Mohammed.”  Theodore replied: “You do not speak truthfully when you say that I abandoned Christ. Moreover, I left the priesthood because of my own unworthiness. Therefore, I must shed my blood for the sake of Christ, so that He might forgive the sins that I have committed against Him.”

In the end, none would recant; and so, on March 6, 845, after seven years of torture and temptation failed to make them submit to Muhammad, all 42 Christians were—like their 21 spiritual descendants, the Coptic/Ghanaian martyrs—also marched to a body of water, the Euphrates River, ritually beheaded, and their bodies dumped into the river.

In the video of the 21 martyrs made by ISIS, some could be seen mouthing, “Oh Lord Jesus Christ” immediately prior to having their heads carved off. Commenting on this, Coptic Orthodox Bishop Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, said: “The name of Jesus was their last word. Like the passion of the early martyrs, they entrusted themselves to He, who moments later, would welcome them into his embrace (emphasis added).”

Sadly, past and present, some things do not change. (Click to Source)

(Note: For more examples throughout the centuries of Christian martyrs of the Islamic jihad, see the author’s recent book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West.)

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“We Will Teach You a Lesson”: Extremist Persecution of Christians, November 2018

by Raymond Ibrahim

  • After it was announced that Asia Bibi — a Christian women who had spent nearly a decade on death row for allegedly “blaspheming” against Islam — had been acquitted, Muslims rioted throughout early November; in one march, more than 11,000 Muslims demanded her instant and public hanging. A leading Muslim party announced that the judges who had acquitted her deserved death. The lawyer who represented her fled the nation due to many death threats. — Pakistan.
  • While under arrest, he asked police to allow him to “kill the infidels… otherwise you will become infidels like them.” Authorities later said the man had mental problems and was under the influence of drugs. The Christians replied that the media always present such Muslims who attack churches and Christians as suffering from mental illnesses. — Egypt.
  • “[A]t least 350 Christian owned properties have illegally been seized. The government has stopped only 50 of these properties from being sold… Iraqi Christians have long complained about the disproportionate targeting of their properties for illegal seizures. These seizures often occur in waves which follow violent incidents of persecution.” — Iraq.
  • “[T]he government… protect the aggressors and leave the victims mercilessly helpless… The devastation in terms of massacre of lives and destruction of property is unimaginable.” — Rev. Dacholom Datiri, President of the Church of Christ in Nigeria.
A 22-year-old Muslim man, “holding a Koran and sharp tool,” entered the St. George Church in Cairo (pictured) during Sunday worship service on November 11. While shouting Islamic slogans including “Allahu Akbar!” (“Allah is greater!”), he wounded two Christian men. Witnesses reported that they “heard him say that he wanted to kill them because they were Christians.” (Image source: Terry Feuerborn/Flickr)

The Slaughter of Christians

Egypt: On November 2, heavily armed Islamic terrorists ambushed and massacred Christians returning home after visiting the ancient St. Samuel Monastery in Minya. Seven pilgrims—including a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy—were shot to death. More than 20 others were left injured, with bullet wounds or shards of broken glass from the buses’ windows. “I pray for the victims, pilgrims killed just because they were Christian,” Pope Francis said after the attack.

Pictures posted on social media revealed “bodies soaked in blood and distorted faces of men and women.” In one video posted, a man can be heard crying, “The gunshot got you in the head, my boy!” and repeating, “What a loss!” One of the female survivors, shot in the legs, recalls that an explosion of gunfire suddenly opened on all sides of their bus; by the time she could register what was happening, she saw pieces of her brother-in-law’s brain splattered on her lap. Another woman, after realizing that her husband and daughter had been killed, begged the jihadis to kill her, too. “No,” they said, “you stay and suffer over your husband and daughter.” Then they shot her in the ankles. In a separate report, another survivor said the terrorists told her, “We will kill the men and children and leave you to live the rest of your lives in misery.” Coptic Bishop Anba Makarios of Minya confirmed that, “The pilgrims were killed in such a savage and sadistic way, as if they were enemy combatants, when they were just simple Christians come to get a blessing from a monastery.” The attack was almost a duplicate of another that occurred on May 26, 2017: then, extremist Muslim gunmen ambushed buses full of Christians returning from the same monastery. Twenty-eight Christians—ten of whom were children, including two girls, aged two and four—were massacred. “Who can accept these incidents?” asked another Christian. “Every day, there are many incidents harming Christians. We must leave our land and get out of here. I’m so exhausted… it’s so dull and dark these days.”

Central African Republic: A militant Islamic group raided a Catholic church compound and massacred dozens of Christians, including two priests, in the small town of Alindao, on November 15. According to the report, the group, which consists of “mainly Muslim and Fulani militia, stormed the cathedral and the nearby refugee camp hosting more than 26,000 people displaced following previous attacks in the town and its surrounding villages.” Pictures and testimonials “revealed the scale of the devastation as dozens of bodies littered the ground, mixed with the burned debris of tents … Some of the victims were burned beyond recognition, while others had been shot or dismembered with machetes. Bishop Juan Jose Aguirre Muños provided more details: “The men of Ali Darassa assaulted, looted and set fire to the displaced camp and killed women and children; they burned down the cathedral where they killed the two priests.” Immediately afterwards, the terrorists “allowed groups of young Muslims of the western part to enter the eastern part of Alindao and looted the bishop’s residence and burned the presbytery and the centre of Caritas.” The same Christian town suffered from a similar attack on May 8, 2017; then, between 130 and several hundred “Christian townspeople and villagers” were butchered. Due to these ongoing attacks, on November 16 the Central African Episcopal Conference issued a statement, saying that the Catholic Church “has become the target of armed groups in Central Africa.” In 2018, five Catholic priests were killed by the Muslim militants in various attacks.

Democratic Republic of Congo: An Islamic militant group slaughtered seven Christians during a late night raid on their village. In the raid, which began on November 10 and continued into the early morning hours of November 11, three children, aged between eight and 13, were among the slain, as well as two pastors, and the daughter of one of them. The terrorists also kidnapped 13 Christians, children among them. “At about 10pm they [Muslim militants] got into the pastor’s house and attacked his daughter with machetes,” a local church leader explained. “When she started screaming for help, her father came out … to rescue her. They shot him dead, and then shot her dead too. One of his grandchildren remains missing.” “I was in my house when they attacked,” another survivor recalled. “From my window I could hear the attackers discussing that the area where they operate belongs to the Muslims, and not to Christians, and that every Christian found in it is an enemy.”

The Murder and Persecution of Muslim Converts to Christianity

Uganda: A Muslim man poisoned and killed his friend for apostatizing to Christianity. After Abdul Hamza converted, his wife “threatened him that leaving Islam would attract grievous measures from their family,” explained his pastor, the Rev. Canon Kainja. Although he was ostracized from the Muslim community, some Muslims still remained on friendly terms with him. “One evening, Abdul Hamza and his friends went out to the local market to have some tea and snacks,” continues Kainja.

“Not suspecting anything, he sipped his tea, amidst catching up [on] the days’ occurrences. He immediately complained of pain in the stomach followed by vomiting. I was informed about his sudden sickness and asked my fellow pastor, Rev. John Murabyo, to help me take Hamza to the hospital. He succumbed to the stomach pain and vomiting, which the doctor later confirmed was food poisoning.”

Hamza’s father, Ibrahim Masereka, was later interviewed:

“Everybody in the family was shocked by the conversion of Hamza and we were left with no option other than letting him leave and settle elsewhere because we could not bear the shame. I was pained a lot, but tolerant. Thoughts of killing him never crossed my mind. His wife was so upset, even contemplating a divorce. Later on, Hamza was poisoned and died at the hospital.”

“His wife did not mourn him,” adds Kainja. “A day after laying to rest Hamza, she left the matrimonial home and their two young boys and got married off to Abdul’s friend, who is suspected of poisoning him.” His orphaned sons currently live with the Rev. Canon Kainja.

In a separate but similar incident in Uganda, a Muslim man who converted to Christianity died from wounds sustained during a severe beating on the orders of his father. The following account concerning the story of Juma is made up of quotes from various interviewed family members: In April 2018, “He informed his wife that he … felt that he needed to put his trust in Christ. A few days later, he stopped going to the mosque and began attending Bible studies and church services. Juma’s father was very upset after learning about Juma’s new faith. He called all of us and led the meeting that excommunicated Juma, his wife, and his child.” Eventually Juma “went to live in another district far away from home. During this time, he was not able to take care of the wife and young Rehema [his daughter]. Eventually, his wife informed him that she was not ready to suffer for a decision she did not make, and thus left him and Rehema. Until now, nobody knows where she disappeared to.” Soon thereafter, Juma’s “father called some relatives and friends and went to engage Juma. A discussion that was to be amicable turned chaotic when Juma’s father started cursing him and asking the group to beat him. He suffered several injuries in the head and the spine. They also demolished his house and took Rehema back to her grandmother…. He later succumbed to the injuries” and died. His orphaned daughter, Rehema, “has been struggling to pay for her school fees and uniform. She is also lacking quality shoes and clothing.” Described as “distraught and lonely,” she said “I miss my father so much. I also want to become a Christian, but I fear my grandmother and other family members. I don’t know where my mama is and I hope that she is fine and she will come back home soon.”

Kenya: After a Muslim father, mother, and two children embraced Christianity on November 4, “We were given a day to either recant the Christian faith or face the sword, as well as lose all the privileges the Muslims had given to us,” Abdul Abuk-Bakr, the father, explained.

“It reached the mosque at Sera that I had converted to Christ, and that very day I received threatening messages that the Muslims were planning to kill all of us and take away both the rented house and the two acres of land on which we had planted food crops—maize and beans.”

The family instantly sought refuge at a church. During Friday, November 9 mosque prayers, a leading cleric announced the penalty for apostasy: “The family of Abu-Bakr are now infidels and have become apostates, and they deserve to die.” Since then, the family has been on the run, living at various Christian households: “Life for us is now very difficult—the Muslims are monitoring our movements,” said the father:

“We have decided to take our two children, ages 4 and 5, to a good Samaritan’s home. Though they are missing our love at their tender age, their security is more important…. We are at crossroads, not knowing what to do—no home, no food, life-threatening environment and children away from us. At times we are missing peace. My wife has been having sleepless nights thinking about the children. We really need prayers to remain in the Christian faith and the peace that comes from God.”

Sudan: More details concerning the October 13 arrest and beating of Christians who were attending a house church in Darfur emerged in a November 6 report. According to a local contact, after entering the house and asking “Are you Christians” and receiving a reply in the affirmative, security agents “tortured them beating them a whole day and night and telling them you face death because you changed your religion.” The report continues:

“Ten of the Christian converts were later released after reportedly being tortured into recanting their faith. Pastor Tajdeen, who is also a convert from Islam but refused to deny Christ, was held for several more days and has since been released. All eleven were required to report daily to authorities, but have gone into hiding for their safety. Under Islamic sharia law, Muslims who abandon their religion face severe punishment. According to all schools of sharia, men face the death penalty…. Sudan is one of the few countries in the world today where people have been executed for apostasy…. In 2014, a Christian Sudanese woman was sentenced to death for apostasy. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim was raised as a Christian by her mother, but because her estranged father was a Muslim, authorities claimed she was a Muslim by birth and was therefore guilty of apostasy. An international outcry led to her eventual release…..”

The Persecution of Christian Blasphemers and Preachers

Pakistan: After it was announced that Asia Bibi—a Christian women who had spent nearly a decade on death row for allegedly “blaspheming” against Islam—had been acquitted, Muslims rioted throughout early November; in one march, more than 11,000 Muslims demanded her instant and public hanging. A leading Muslim party announced that the judges who had acquitted her deserved death. The lawyer who represented her fled the nation due to many death threats. Fearing a backlash from the UK’s large Muslim community, Theresa May blocked the long tormented Christian woman’s asylum application, “despite UK playing host to [Muslim] hijackers, extremists and rapists,” read one report headline. Last reported, Asia Bibi was still in custody and apart from her family on Christmas Day.

Uganda: Police arrested a pastor and five other Christians in eastern Uganda after hundreds —one source says 1,800— of angry Muslims chanting “Allahu Akbar!” (“Allah is greater!”) surrounded the local police station and insisted that the men be arrested for publicly debating—called, blaspheming—about Islam, on November 24. As police forced the Christians into their van, Muslims shouted, “Away with these pastors and their families for blaspheming the Koran and Hadith.” A local church leader expressed his disappointment at the double standards: “When Muslims alleged that Jesus is not the son of God, we Christians did not pick up stones to attack the Muslims, and we are shocked that the Muslims and police officers have taken such a wild move.” One of the arrested pastors, Tom Palapande, offers more details:

“The Muslims came in the company of their Sheikhs and disrupted our open-air market preaching as the police watched. We were then arrested and taken to Soronko district police headquarters for questioning. We were charged with causing public disturbance and inciting violence, offenses [to which] we responded not guilty. The police locked us up from Saturday to Monday so as to investigate the matter. We were not causing any violence. We are evangelists known across eastern Uganda for… answering questions on Islam and Christianity. When the Sheikhs fail to answer questions, they usually turn their disappointment to us because we know how to handle the Quran and the Bible. We also hold public debates with them and they hate us because, through our ministry, many Muslims have converted to Christianity.”

The Christians were released “with conditions: not to hold and discuss the Quran.” Last reported, they were still getting threatening text messages: “The struggle is not yet over, we will teach you [Christians] a lesson,” read one. Another read, “Know that disrespecting the Koran means a punishable crime, which is death.” Earlier in June, Pastor Tom was stoned by Muslims while preaching the Gospel in Kuwait. “The injury almost blinded me, but [I was saved] thanks to my small local church that contributed some little money for me to seek treatment.”

Malaysia: After angry Muslims filed complaints, police arrested four Finnish nationals—two men and two women between the ages of 27 and 60—on November 20 for reportedly passing out Christian literature on the streets of Langawi Island the day before. Police further confiscated 336 Christian pamphlets from their hotel room. According to the November 28 report:

The four Christians remain in custody today on the charges of “disturbing religious harmony.” If they are found guilty in court, they could face up to five years in a Malaysian prison. This is the third report of foreigners or Malay nations being arrested for Christian activities in recent weeks. Earlier, five Nigerians were arrest[ed] for Christian activities followed by six locals for similar activities. In Malaysia, it is illegal to convert from Islam to Christianity and therefore it is against the law to evangelize in Malaysia.

Indonesia: A Muslim organization accused Grace Natalie, a Christian and founder of the Indonesian Solidarity Party, of blasphemy, after she told reporters that “The implementation of religion-based bylaws [a reference to Sharia] victimize women and I have become a victim as well for criticizing such regulations.” The Indonesian Muslim Workers’ Brotherhood was so offended by this remark that it lodged a blasphemy complaint: “Her comments appeared hostile [to Islam] and was considered hate speech against religion,” a representative of the Islamic group said.

Attacks on Christian Churches and Buildings

Egypt: A little over a week after the November 2 slaughter of seven Christians traveling from a monastery (see above), a 22-year-old Muslim man “holding a Koran and sharp tool,” to quote an eyewitness, entered the St. George Church in Cairo during Sunday worship service on November 11. While shouting Islamic slogans including “Allahu Akbar!” (“Allah is greater!”), he wounded two Christian men, one of whom he struck on the head with his sharp object. Other witnesses report they “heard him say that he wanted to kill them because they were Christians.” Police came and restrained the invader. While under arrest, he askedpolice to allow him to “kill the infidels… otherwise you will become infidels like them.” Authorities later said the man had mental problems and was under the influence of drugs. The Christians replied that the media always present such Muslims who attack churches and Christians as suffering from mental illnesses. “The media uses words which don’t reveal the truth,” Ehad, a local Christian said. “Now we have discovered that … he was holding a Koran and sharp tool [while] injuring some people on their heads. The media’s role is to reveal the reality and not to hide information to make the Copt[ic Christians] calm down.” Another local Christian, Majeed, added, “Lies and lies and lies… I’m sure that this criminal will not be punished.” “Mentally ill, what?! How the media manipulates us!” exclaimedanother Christian, Hani.

Nigeria: Muslim youths are suspected of torching Christian school on the night of November 21. “[T] the school was completely burnt down leaving only rubbles,” states the report. Fortunately, “the security man at the school however escaped death… [E]verything was completely razed, especially books and other learning materials.”

Algeria: Authorities closed down another Christian church, which was first opened in 2015 and had about 200 members, on November 14. They said the church did not have the required permission from the National Committee for Non-Muslim Worship. According to the report, “The repression of Algerian churches has intensified over the past year, with several closed for vague reasons despite their membership with the officially recognized Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA).” This is “part of a systematic strategy by the authorities to increase restrictions on Christians…. A decree in 2006 stipulates that permission must be obtained before a building is used for non-Muslim worship. However, the authorities have failed to respond to almost all applications.”

General Persecution of Christians

Iraq: “[A]t least 350 Christian owned properties have illegally been seized,” an investigative report found. “The government has stopped only 50 of these properties from being sold.” Although illegal seizures have happened elsewhere in Iraq, the “problem primarily exists in the Nineveh Plains,” where most Iraqi Christians are located. “Iraqi Christians have long complained about the disproportionate targeting of their properties for illegal seizures. These seizures often occur in waves which follow violent incidents of persecution.”

A separate report, on November 18, highlights the extortion and threats that Christians experience in Ankawa, the Christian quarter of Erbil, which is governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG):

“Christians do face a number of challenges when living in areas controlled by the KRG. Peshmerga militias, affiliated with the KRG, did not protect Christians when ISIS advanced through the Nineveh Plains. Christians living in the KRG repeatedly report harassment from the broader Muslim community, especially during Islamic holidays such as Ramadan. The recent extortion attempts against Ankawa Christians also highlights [sic] another problem: while charges are brought against the defendants, they do not necessarily reflect the nature of the compliant.”

Nigeria: During a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, a number of leading Christian pastors accused the nation’s military of being complicit in the ongoing Muslim Fulani attacks on Christians. After documenting how 646 Christians in Plateau State alone were killed—as well as 30 church buildings and 4,436 Christian homes destroyed, and 38,000 Christians were living in 10 camps for displaced persons from March through October—the Rev. Dacholom Datiri, president of the Church of Christ in Nigeria, said:

“The narrative has been that these people are killed by unknown gunmen, or suspected herdsmen, or that there have been farmer-herders clashes. All these are deceptive narratives deliberately framed to conceal the truth and continue to perpetrate the evil.”

He pointed to the fact that these supposedly impoverished Muslim herdsmen often attack and kill Christians with sophisticated guns, including assault rifles, machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades. Rev. Datiri continued:

“The proficiency and mode of operation in all of these attacks, as testified by the surviving victims, leaves us in no doubt of the complicity of the military being used as hired mercenaries by the Fulani militias. On this, we are disappointed, and sadly so, that the government has not delivered on her constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property… The implication is that they protect the aggressors and leave the victims mercilessly helpless… The devastation in terms of massacre of lives and destruction of property is unimaginable. Pastors and members in their thousands have been killed in cold blood, either shot dead or slaughtered like animals or burned to death. Houses and businesses have been burned or looted and farmlands have been destroyed… And yet, despite the huge government intervention in that area, very little relief has come to COCIN [Church of Christ in Nigeria] and her members, if any. We are aware that a lot of government intervention in terms of relief material has gone to the [Muslim-majority] northeast. Unfortunately, our members in that zone have been left out of the distribution.”

Although Prince Charles and his wife had planned to go to Jos, the administrative capital of Nigeria’s Plateau State, in efforts to talk about conflict resolution and peace building with local authorities during their November visit to the west African nation, a British foreign spokesperson announced that, “we have decided at this time not to include Jos during their royal highnesses'” visit to Nigeria. “The decision was taken upon advice from the Nigerian government and others involved in security and operational aspects of the visit.” As explained above by the Rev. Datiri, however, more Christians have been killed in Jos and Plateau by Muslim Fulani herdsmen than anywhere else in Nigeria, including the northern states where the Islamic terror group Boko Haram is active. Responding to the cancelation, one Christian leader in Jos said:

“We would have liked Prince Charles to visit Jos and hear from Christians affected by the violence directly. But now we have been robbed of an opportunity to create awareness about our travails with a prominent world figure.”

“Many lives have been lost,” added Dr. Soja Bewarang, the chairman of the Plateau state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, “[along with many] properties, church buildings have been destroyed. Many People have been displaced. People are living in fear, not knowing when death and destruction will visit their community.”

Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by extremists is growing. The report posits that such persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location. (Click to Source)

Previous reports

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“Don’t Dare Sit with Us if You Want to Live”

Muslim Persecution of Christians, September 2017

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  • “They get paid for every Coptic Christian girl they bring in. In some cases, police provide the kidnappers with drugs they seize. The drugs are then given to the girls to weaken their resistance… I even know of cases in which police offered helped to beat up the girls to make them recite the Islamic creed.” — World Watch Monitor, Egypt; September 14, 2017.
  • On September 14, a court sentenced a Christian man to death for “blasphemy” against the prophet of Islam. Nadeem James, a 27-year-old father of two, was originally arrested in July 2016, after a Muslim angry with him for personal reasons falsely accused James, who is illiterate, of texting a poem deemed “blasphemous” of Muhammad. — Pakistan.
  • School textbooks taught her that “it was the Christians who wanted to plunder the lands and the riches of the Muslim world” and Turks merely responded by “defend[ing] what was rightfully theirs.” (In reality, modern day Turkey consists of territory that was Christian for more than a thousand years before it was conquered by Turks in the name of jihad.) “Everything is used to make the Christians look like villains,” she said, adding, “It’s the same all through Muslim countries.” — Turkey.

Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Pakistan: Sharoon, a Christian boy who achieved academic excellence despite years of entrenched discrimination and bullying—and whose poverty-stricken parents had worked hard to put him in MC Model Boys Government High School—was beaten to death by Muslim pupils. On his first day at the school, the teacher slapped him across the face while blurting an anti-Christian slur. Having set a precedent, the rest of the classroom of Muslim boys continued harassing him throughout the same first day: they hurled out derogatory terms against Christians, denied him access to drinking water, and told him, “You’re a Christian don’t dare sit with us if you want to live.” According to one report: “His academic prowess … only added to the disdain for him felt by other pupils.” Another report said, “there were repeated attempts to convert him to Islam. Sharoon however, never quit his faith to the chagrin of the Muslim children around him, exacerbating his pariah status.” Then, on August 27—his fourth day at the prestigious Model school—Muslim students attacked him in the classroom (the teacher supposedly did not notice; he was reading his paper). “The violence,” continues the report, “was of such sickening ferocity that poor Sharoon died where he was in the classroom.” A cacophony of insults accompanied the beating; he was called a “filthy Christian” and a “demon.” According to the murdered teen’s mother:

“My son was a kind-hearted, hard-working and affable boy. He has always been loved by teachers and pupils alike and shared great sorrow that he was being targeted by students at his new school because of his faith. Sharoon and I cried every night as he described the daily torture he was subjected to…. The evil boys that hated my child are now refusing to reveal who else was involved in his murder. Nevertheless one day God will have His judgement.”

Kenya: Islamic militants from Al Shabaab, centered in neighboring Somalia, beheaded four Christian men in two separate attacks. Approximately 30 heavily-armed assailants surrounded several homes in two different areas; they called victims out by name, before pulling them out and slitting their throats or decapitating them. In the previous two months (August and July), Al Shabaab militants slaughtered thirteen other Christians in a similar manner. “The knock at the door confirmed our fears that what happened in nearby Malamande village in 2014 [was] happening again,” recounts one of the slain men’s wives:

“We were reluctant to open [the door] and that is when the gang of about 20 broke in and dragged my husband out. I climbed and hid in a space up the roof and I heard everything that was going on. My husband was struggling and screaming for help but the gang overpowered him, slit his throat and chopped off his head. I am very bitter and worried about how I will live without [Gerald]. I treasured him because he loved me and provided everything that I needed. I am still in shock from what I saw that night; blood all over, his body lying lifeless and the head a few meters away. Why did they kill my husband?”

Separately, suspected Islamist militants opened fire on and killed two police officers guarding a church. After the gunmen encountered police standing guard at the entrance of an Anglican church, they “sprayed the officers with bullets,” notes the report, before fleeing on motorbikes. “One officer was shot in the head and died on the spot while the other,” police confirmed, “died in hospital.”

“Islamic terrorist group al-Shabaab’s beheadings and attacks against Christians will continue to rise,” according to another report, “with the Somali-based militants having an estimated 9,000 jihadis at their disposal.” It quotes the American Center for Law and Justice as saying:

“[Y]et another radical Islamic jihadist army — just like ISIS, the Islamic State — is ruthlessly murdering Christians, targeting them for their faith. This global and historic persecution continues…. Al-Shabaab’s actions are clearly deadly, demented, disturbing, and disgusting. We must defeat and destroy these Islamic jihadists.”

Nigeria: Muslim Fulani herdsmen, accompanied by known “Islamic extremist militants,” states a report, raided a Christian village and massacred 20 Christians, including a three-month-old baby and eight other children, as they slept sometime after midnight, Friday September 8. Police, who apparently treated the incident with some indifference, said it was a “reprisal” attack for the discovery of a decapitated Muslim boy; but dumbfounded Christians argued that the murder happened in another village more than a year ago and that they had nothing to do with it.

In another incident, a Catholic priest, Cyriacus Onunkwo, was abducted by Islamic gunmen on Friday, September 1 and found slaughtered in the bushes the following day. Nothing was stolen from his car and no ransom was demanded for his release.

Muslim mob uprisings in Jos also left scores of Christians wounded and one dead. On September 15, a mob attacked a vehicle with four Christians who were leaving a weekly prayer meeting at the University of Jos chapel. “Just as I pulled out of the main gate and [was] about to make a left turn,” Professor Timothy Oyetunde recalled, “the mob, from the Muslim-dominated neighborhood opposite the campus, ran across the street, surrounded us and started smashing the van” with clubs, stones and actual weapons. Two of the passengers, including another professor, were stabbed; they all fled the van before the Muslim mob torched it. “In a separate attack,” the report continued, “two university students were attacked in a different Muslim-dominated area of downtown Jos and stabbed. One student died in the hospital while receiving treatment.”

Muslim Rape of Christians

Pakistan: On September 13, a Christian boy (age not provided) was misled to an isolated area, beaten, “gang raped,” and ordered to recite the Islamic profession of faith by seven Muslim men. According to the report, “initially they started beating him violently and stripped off his clothes. They sexually assaulted Sher Dil [the youth] and forced him to recite Kalma. Sher Dil was again beaten and fell unconscious, and was taken to a local hospital by the alleged rapists. They warned him of dire consequences if he would disclose the details of the incident to anyone.” Police were “reluctant” to respond and, when pressed to act by the victim’s father, “took sides” with the rapists, noted the report. The boy is under threat of death from his tormenters for going to the police, even as his father implored the Ministry of Human Rights for help.

Egypt: An ex-kidnapper, an ex-kidnapper known only as “G,” explained the process of how Christian girls are targeted for abduction, forced conversions and “marriages” to Muslims. According to the report, he related that “they get paid for every Coptic Christian girl they bring in. In some cases, police provide the kidnappers with drugs they seize. The drugs are then given to the girls to weaken their resistance as they put them under pressure. I even know of cases in which police offered helped to beat up the girls to make them recite the Islamic creed.” He “admits he was in a network actively targeting Coptic girls for years before he left Islam.” Although such networks have been around since the 1970s, they reached their “highest levels now, in the era of President Sisi,” he said. A portion of his testimony notes that:

A group of kidnappers meets in a mosque to discuss potential victims. They keep a close eye on Christians’ houses and monitor everything that’s going on. On that basis, they weave a spider’s web around [the girls]…. I remember a Coptic Christian girl from a rich, well-known family in Minya. She was kidnapped by five Muslim men. They held her in a house, stripped her and filmed her naked. In the video, one of them also undressed. They threatened to make the video public if the girl wouldn’t marry him…. The kidnappers receive large amounts of money. Police can help them in different ways, and when they do, they might also receive a part of the financial reward the kidnappers are paid by the Islamisation organisations…. And the value of the reward increases whenever the girl has a position. For example, when she is the daughter of a priest or comes from a well-known family…. The Salafist group I knew rented apartments in different areas of Egypt to hide kidnapped Coptic. There, they put them under pressure and threaten them to convert to Islam. And once they reach the legal age, a specially arranged Islamic representative comes in to make the conversion official, issue a certificate and accordingly they change their ID…. If all goes to plan, the girls are also forced into marriage with a strict Muslim. Their husbands don’t love them, they just marry her to make her a Muslim. She will be hit and humiliated. And if she tries to escape, or convert back to her original religion, she will be killed.

Muslim Attacks on Apostates to Christianity

Germany: A group of Muslims attacked a 23-year-old Muslim convert to Christianity. He was assaulted because “his attackers saw his Christian cross and were angry he had converted from Islam, says the report. “They asked him why he had changed his religion,” before “one of the attackers tore the chain off him and threw it to the ground.” The report continues:

The unidentified man then punched the Afghan in the face several times. The second attacker then held the Christian by the arms as the first man took out a blade and cut him twice on the upper body with it….. The attack happened less than a mile away from the most notorious radical Islamist mosque in Berlin, the Al-Nur Mosque. An attack of this nature is also not the first to happen this year in Berlin. In August, another man … was attacked by three men of North African appearance who also objected to his cross. The three men brutally beat the 39-year-old and shouted abuse at him. Earlier this year in May …yet another man was attacked for wearing a cross necklace. …The Christian charity Open Doors claim to have recorded thousands of cases of violence and abuse directed towards Christians in Germany. Earlier this year, an Arabic translator working with asylum seekers in Germany said that many of the Muslims in asylum homes express hatred toward Christians. “Pure hatred against non-believers is preached, and children are brought here from an early age here in Germany. It’s very similar in asylum housing, where Muslim boys refuse to play with Christians,” the translator said.

Nigeria: The Muslim family of a man, Bulus, a convert to Christianity, harassed, ostracized, threatened to kill, and finally made false charges against him that landed him in prison—possibly for as much as ten years. His family responded by trying to do “whatever they could to make him return to their faith,” according to a report. “When Bulus refused, his father threatened to disown him. Bulus lost his inheritance, the support from the extended family circle for everyday life, the protection of the status of the clan and the privilege of an arranged marriage—in other words, and from their perspective, his entire future. When he still refused to change his mind, his family threatened to kill him. That was when Bulus says he knew it was time to go. He fled to Jos, further south, where no-one knew him, and enrolled in theological training.” During his training, “I learned a lot about forgiveness,” says Bulus. “After I graduated I wanted to go home to see if there was any way my parents and I could be reunited.” He instead discovered that:

“Their hatred had increased, especially when they heard I had become a pastor. Before I could leave, relatives trapped me and started beating me. I thought I was going to die, but they dragged me to the police station and accused me of stealing some of their goats. Despite the fact that there was no proof, the police locked me up. Five days later they took me to court. I did not have the opportunity to defend myself but was kept in prison anyway.”

As of the last report, Bulus was incarcerated under extremely unhealthy and unhygienic conditions. “He doesn’t know when this ordeal will end,” said the report, “and dares not fuel any expectations of a speedy release.”

Maldives: Although “Christians in the Maldives [already] have few rights,” a September report notes:

“the government is increasingly controlling the courts and simply ignoring the law, leaving Christians in an even more vulnerable state…. Despite being a popular tourist destination, the Maldives is one of the most difficult places in the world to be a Christian. The 2008 Maldivian constitution bans Muslims from becoming Christians, which leaves open the question as to whether someone who becomes a Christian could be stripped of their citizenship.”

Earlier the government “arrested 50 Maldivians suspected of having become Christians, and is thought to have tortured them. Any Maldivian even found to have a Bible in their house faces a prison sentence.”

Iran: Iranian national media reported that several Christians, almost all of whom are converts, in Tehran, Rey, and Pardis, were arrested after a video surfaced showing dozens of Bibles and other Christian literature, allegedly also confiscated by authorities. Little other information is provided.

Muslim Attacks on “Blasphemous” Christians

Egypt: In response to an old Facebook post, a Muslim mob attacked Christians in Tawa village and destroyed several homes, buildings, and cars on September 14. After the slaughter of several Christians traveling to a monastery four months earlier, in May, Bassem, a 22-year-old Christian from the village, had written:

“Are we [Christian] Egyptians not from Egypt? No matter that you try to hurt us, one day all your ways will fail…. When you demolish the homes of his [Jesus’] children, you attack him. I ask Jesus to touch your heart and change you. Our Lord knows and sees what is happening to us. Continue and increase your terrorism, but I’m not afraid because it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God.”

Although he deleted the post one day later, a cached copy was seen by and shared with other Muslims four months later. Deeming it “an insult to Islam … [m]any Muslims gathered and the mob began to attack Christian homes and shops,” notes an eyewitness. “They were pelting stones at the homes while shouting ‘Allah Akbar.’ They hurled bricks and stones at Mar Girgis (St. George) Coptic Orthodox Church…”

Pakistan: On September 14, a court sentenced a Christian man to death for “blasphemy” against the prophet of Islam. Nadeem James, a 27-year-old father of two, was originally arrested in July 2016, after a Muslim angry with him for personal reasons falsely accused James, who is illiterate, of texting a poem deemed “blasphemous” of Muhammad. The condemned’s brother explained what next transpired: “We were not at home when the police raided our house to arrest Nadeem. However, when the cops couldn’t find any of us in the premises, they took away two women of the family – my wife and the wife of my elder brother, Faryad.” Around the same time, local mosques began calling on megaphones that if he did not surrender himself, Christian homes would burn. Nadeem surrendered himself and the women were released. “The charge against my brother is completely baseless,” the brother maintains. “Nadeem is uneducated and could not have possibly sent that text message. I’m certain that Yasir Bashir [Muslim accuser] downloaded the supposedly blasphemous text onto Nadeem’s phone and then forwarded it to his cell number to build a case against my brother.” Nadeem’s lawyer said they will challenge the conviction in a high court.

Separately—and despite being “mentally challenged”—a Christian teen accused of blasphemy against Islam had his first court hearing in September. A Muslim, Muhammed Nawaz, had accused Asif Stephen, 16, of stealing at a local bazaar; he beat the boy, and then told the local imam—who, according to the initial report, “has a history of preaching hatred towards minority Christians”—that the youth had also burned a Koran. Nawaz and the imam tracked down the boy and beat him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison, calling for a public lynching of Stephen. As the mob overwhelmed local police, Stephen was removed from his cell and handed over to the mob, which consequently beat him until reinforcement officers stepped in to calm the situation. Police then moved Stephen to a higher security district jail where he pleaded guilty to blasphemy in what his family believed was a coerced confession.” His father said that “Muhammed Nawaz has always had a grudge against my son” and “has often threatened Asif and told him that the tomb area is designated for him to collect recyclables as he is a Muslim and Asif is only a worthless and untouchable Christian.”

Indonesia: The world’s largest Muslim nation “made it clear that the country’s dangerously ambiguous blasphemy law is here to stay – which is bad news for beleaguered religious minorities,” Human Rights Watch said after the nation rejected the UN’s stated recommendations that it “introduce legislation to repeal the blasphemy law.” Indonesia further “rejected a recommendation it amend or revoke laws that limit the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion in the country,” Human Rights Watch said. Among those recently to suffer from these laws is Ahok, a Christian and former governor of Jakarta, who was sentenced to two years in prison for blaspheming against Islam. “By rejecting pleas from U.N. member states to abolish the blasphemy law,” continued Human Rights Watch, “the Indonesian government is telling the world that it will continue to pander to bigotry and discrimination at the expense of the rights of religious minorities.”

Indonesia joined other repressive Muslim nations in May 2017 when it sentenced the Christian governor of Jakarta, known as “Ahok,” to a two-year prison term on the charge that he committed “blasphemy” against Islam. Pictured: Ahok on the day of his election, February 15, 2017. (Photo by Oscar Siagian/Getty Images)

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Mali: Not only were several Catholic churches “ransacked and torched, forcing parishioners to flee” throughout September, but “militants told Christians they would be killed if they were seen in church,” a report noted. A Catholic church leader explained:

“Our churches and chapels are now being targeted by extremists who’ve told Christians not to gather to pray…. But we’re also alarmed the attacks are being mounted by isolated Islamist groups, acting in their own name…. On previous occasions, the government has deployed military units in our parishes. But this still hasn’t been done against these new attacks.”

Turkey: Photos taken clandestinely of the largest Armenian cathedral in the Middle East “reveal considerable damage to the sanctuary and walls of the now desecrated church in southeast Turkey,” a report disclosed. Its crucifix was “defaced,” its windows smashed, and its pews used as firewood; garbage was dumped in its sanctuary. First built in the 1600s, Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church is one of six Christian churches in the Sur district to be confiscated by the state. For three years now, Christians—Armenian, Assyrian, Chaldean, and Protestant—have been unable to worship in their churches as authorities placed all Christian property in Diyarbakir on the Turkish cabinet’s expropriation plan. “We have been exposed to ethnic and religious discrimination for years,” said a local pastor.

Malaysia: Police managed to foil an Islamic State terror plot targeting Christian churches and other non-Muslim places of worship after they arrested a 21-year-old Muslim affiliated with the jihadi group. According to the General of Police, the Muslim youth had “received instructions from a Malaysian Daesh (Islamic State) member in Syria to buy a pistol, a M-16 rifle, an AK-47 rifle and hand grenades from a neighbouring country with the aim of launching attacks on non-Muslims and their places of worship.” Chemicals used to assemble the devices were discovered in his house. Although Malaysia is Muslim majority, sizeable populations of Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus also live there.

Muslim Hate Preaching and General Contempt for Christians

Turkey: A former Muslim woman who converted to Christianity explained how “her opinion of Christians was very low because of the things she and others were taught to believe about Christians in a Muslim society,” noted a report. According to the convert, who now lives in the U.S. and goes by the pseudonym Derya Little, “An anti-Christian attitude is a big part of the national identity, so anyone or anything that promotes Christianity is automatically suspicious.” School textbooks taught her that “it was the Christians who wanted to plunder the lands and the riches of the Muslim world” and Turks merely responded by “defend[ing] what was rightfully theirs.” (In reality, modern day Turkey consists of territory that was Christian for more than a thousand years before it was conquered by Turks in the name of jihad.) “Everything is used to make the Christians look like villains,” she said, adding, “It’s the same all through Muslim countries.”

Saudi Arabia: School textbooks continue to promote animosity for, and violence against, non-Muslims. “As early as first grade, students in Saudi schools are being taught hatred toward all those perceived to be of a different faith or school of thought,” said Human Rights Watch. “The lessons in hate are reinforced with each following year,” Textbooks teach that Christians are “kafirs” (or infidels) and that it is the duty of Muslims to disavow them: “For whoever does not or whoever doubts their religious infidelity is himself an unbeliever.” Another textbook teaches that “The hour will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews and Muslims will kill the Jews. The Jew will hide under the rock and tree and the rock or tree will say O Muslim, servant of Allah, this Jew is behind me, kill him.”

Iran: The government “ordered children belonging to families of one of the country’s largest house church movements to study the Koran and Shi’a Islam teachings or face expulsion from school,” another report relates. This policy “deprives Christian children of primary and secondary education unless they agree to religious instruction that does not conform to their faith.” According to Firouz Khandjani, a Church of Iran council member who lives in hiding:

“Right now [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani wants to prove that he is a good Muslim by persecuting Christians…. Most of the new Christians are former Muslims…. The authorities are trying to eradicate Christianity, just as the Islamic State group, but smarter.”

Sudan: “Christian children in Sudan’s refugee camps are not receiving food unless they say Islamic prayers,” according to a report. After describing South Sudanese Christian refugees as living “in a terrible situation,” a local source elaborated:

“We have heard stories where children are conditioned to say Islamic prayers before [being] given food. This is not right. These children are Christian. They should be respected for that…. The majority are left in camps, some in a very terrible situation. They are confined in those places. They are not allowed to go further north to the cities.”

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by Muslims is growing. The report posits that such Muslim persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location. (Click to Source)
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Democratic Dementia: Americans “Mistreat” Muslims More than Muslims Mistreat Christians?

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A February Rasmussen report sheds light on just how divorced from reality millions of American liberal voters are. After pointing out that “Democrats are more likely to think Muslims are mistreated in America than to think Christians are persecuted in the Islamic world,” the report elaborates:

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats, however, believe most Muslims in this country [America] are mistreated, a view shared by only 22% of Republicans and 39% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Fewer Democrats (47%) think most Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world, compared to 76% of GOP voters and 64% of unaffiliateds.… Women are more likely than men to think most American Muslims are mistreated here but less likely to believe Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world.  Nearly as many voters under 40 think most Muslims are mistreated in America (51%) as think most Christians are mistreated in the Muslim world (57%).

To put these dismal statistics in perspective, consider some facts. Open Doors, an international human rights organization that publishes annual reports concerning the global persecution of Christians, noted in its most recent report: “215 million Christians experience high levels of persecution.” During 2017, a reported 3,066 Christians were killed, 1,252 abducted, and 1,020 raped or sexually harassed on account of their faith. And 793 churches were attacked or destroyed.

The overwhelming majority of this slaughter and destruction occurred in 50 nations — 38 of which are Muslim-majority.

“Islamic oppression” is further responsible for the “extreme persecution” of Christians — meaning the abuse, rape, imprisonment, or slaughter of Christians on sight — in eight of the worst ten nations.  “Every day,” the organization adds, “six women are raped, sexually harassed or are forced into marriage to a Muslim under threat of death due to their Christian faith.”

The above statistics are actually conservative. Based on the findings of the Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions, “90,000 Christians died for their faith in 2016” alone, a great many under Islam.

It’s worth noting that the overwhelming majority of Muslims persecuting Christians are not “terrorists” (at least not formally), but rather come from all rungs of Muslim society.

Take Egypt, for example (the 17th worst nation where Christians experience “very high persecution”). According to the report, along with “violent religious groups,” two other segments of society are “Very Strong[ly]” responsible for the persecution: (1) “Non-Christian religious leaders” — meaning Muslim clerics, sheikhs, imams, and the rest — “at any level from local to national”; and (2) “Normal citizens (people from the general public), including mobs.”

Similarly, “officials at any level from local to national” are “strongly responsible” for the “oppression” of Egypt’s Christians, particularly “through their failure to vindicate the rights of Christians and also through their discriminatory acts which violate the fundamental rights of Christians.”

That the same segments of Muslim society are involved in the same patterns of persecution of Christians throughout the Islamic world — despite the racial, linguistic, cultural, and economic-political differences of all these African, Asian, Arab, and Caucasian nations — further underscores the only commonality, or true source of the persecution: Islam.

Now, compare all this to the supposedly worse — in liberal minds — “mistreatment” Muslims suffer in America.

According to a November 2017 Pew report: “In 2016, there were 127 reported [Muslim] victims of aggravated or simple assault.” In the preceding decades, assaults on Muslims averaged around 50 a year.

Even if this number were accurate, it pales in comparison to what millions of Christians — not 127 — are experiencing under Islam. But the fact is many of these anti-Muslim hate crimes are later found to have been fabricated or grossly exaggerated. Note, for instance, how the Pew report conflates “assaults” with “simple assaults” — even though the latter “does not involve physical contact with the victim.”

Moreover, Muslims in America do not experience institutionalized persecution — that is, persecution at the hands of governments, authorities, and police — as Christians under Islam do.

And there is a final ironic difference: Muslim persecution of Christians is religiously motivated and built on Islamic doctrines that portray non-Muslims as subhuman chattel. And that’s what the “assaults” and “simple assaults” on Muslims are generally motivated by, or rather in response to: Americans knowing and disliking what Muslims are about. That such assaults are so exceptionally rare proves that Americans understand what makes such values incompatible with our laws.

Nonetheless, and as usual, all these actual facts have little to do with what a significantly large segment of the American voting population — mostly liberals/Democrats, a majority under 40 and female — believe.

Why they are so misinformed becomes apparent when one understands that liberal media is dedicated to maintaining liberal Narratives at all costs: in this case, that Christians are always the aggressors, Muslims always the misunderstood victims.

Thus, when journalist Shannon Bream recently announced a forthcoming segment on the growth of Christian persecution around the world, ABC’s Matthew Dowd tweeted: “Maybe you can talk about the bigger problem which is persecution of Muslims in America and around the globe. Bigger issue.”

The truly “bigger issue” is that tens of millions of Americans are so deluded as to believe — and inevitably base their votes on — the inverse of reality. (Click to Source)

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Persecution in Nigeria has resulted in 16,000 Christians dead in less than 3 years

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16,000 Christians Dead in Less Than 3 Years: Report Reveals Extent of Violence in Nigeria

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U.S. President Donald Trump and his counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, have been told that at least 16,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since June 2015, many of them victims of radical Islamic violence.

The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law submitted a petition to Buhari last week, where the civil society organization urged the president to “wake up from [his] slumber” and protect the millions of endangered Christians in Nigeria.

The “Christians at Crossroads in Nigeria” letter, shared online by Elombah.com, said that 16,000 people, mostly Christians, have been killed since Buhari took office in 2015, including the 5,800 victims of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, based on Intersociety’s investigation.

Intersociety, which sent a copy of the letter to Trump and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres, said that the 30 million or so Christians in Northern Nigeria have for decades suffered discrimination and violent attacks at the hands of radical terror groups.

“The estimated 16,000 deaths are specifically composed of 2,050 victims of direct State violence, 7,950 victims of police custody or captivity killings through racial profiling and unprofessional crime detection management, 2,050 victims of Boko Haram insurgency and 3,750 victims of terror Fulani Herdsmen killings,” the group calculated, noting that hundreds of churches have also been destroyed.

(PHOTO: REUTERS/AKINTUNDE AKINLEYE)A woman attends a community dialogue meeting as she sits in front of a burnt building belonging to Christ Holy Church International in Uzo-Uwani village near Nimbo town in Nigeria’s southeastern state of Enugu August 4, 2016.

Buhari vowed to defeat Boko Haram when he came to power, and although authorities said on a number of occasions throughout 2017 that the radical Islamic group is being successfully driven out of the country, bombing and kidnapping attacks continue.

“In the months of December 2017 and January 2018 alone not less than 350 mostly Christians were killed by Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram in the States of Adamawa, Taraba, Borno, Benue and Southern Kaduna,” the report said.

“In January 2018 alone, not less than 250 defenseless citizens composed of mostly Christians were killed in the above named States.”

Intersociety pointed out that despite Buhari’s promises, attacks against Christians have increased by 62 percent since June 2015, and blamed the government for doing “little to nothing” in terms of bringing those responsible to justice.

The group declared:

“We hereby strongly call on Mr. President to put an end to slaughtering of thousands of defenseless Christians on annual basis by terror Fulani Herdsmen in Northern Nigeria and proscribe the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria as well as fish out their leaders and culpable elements and charge them for manslaughter and culpable homicide, respectively, among other felonies committed against the State of Nigeria and its population.

“Mr. President must wake up from Mr. President’s slumber and discharge Mr. President’s sworn constitutional duties and functions courageously and impartially so as to prevent a situation where millions of the threatened and endangered Christians in Nigeria will be forced to take recourse to self-defense and other self-help mechanisms to prevent their Christian religion and practices going the way of their counterparts in Lebanon, Asyut in Egypt and Turkey and other parts of Middle East.”

The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans has also been increasingly critical of Buhari, and warned in a statement last week that the country is fast becoming “rudderless.”

“CANAN commiserate with the recent victims of the Herdsmen massacre in several states in Nigeria particularly in Benue and Nasarawa. We pray that God will console the families of those who lost their lives in this dastard acts, and further states as follows,” the group said, and outlined several grievances it has with the Buhari administration.

It accused government officials of inaction and refusing to provide the necessary support to protect Christian communities, but it also warned that the conflict should not be seen as one between regular Muslims and Christians.

“This is an isolated incident orchestrated by criminal herdsmen. To this end we should all rally support for the victims as injury to one is injury to all,” CANAN said. (Click to Source)

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“Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We’ll Kill You All”

Muslim Persecution of Christians, August 2017

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Sweden recently decided to deport Aideen Strandsson, a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When Strandsson pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” (Image source: Facebook/Aideen Strandsson)

  • A popular Arabic-language newspaper attacked Morocco’s Christian activists for their faith and ended with the message: the “Koran requires the killing of apostates.” — Morocco.
  • Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison, and called for a public lynching of Stephen.” — Pakistan.
  • Sweden decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” Meanwhile, Sweden continues accepting Muslim refugees.
  • In the name of “fighting terrorism,” Bangladesh made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down.

    A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East’s Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity “will vanish” from its ancient homelands in a few years’ time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 — roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities “have lost almost all of their Christian population.”

    Other experts offered similarly dismal statistics. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, had predicted that by 2025, the percentage of Christians in the Middle East — which in 1910 was 13.6% — could go down to around 3%.

    Christians seeking to return to areas in Iraq and Syria liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) continue to face discrimination from local Muslim and Kurdish communities. Andrew White, also known as the “vicar of Baghdad,” had said that, “the time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited.”

    Others, such as Former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), are more optimistic: “Now is the time. We have an administration that’s open to doing something,” he said, indicating the US Trump administration.

    Meanwhile, ISIS continued to harbor high hopes. In a video released by the terrorist organization in August, an extremist tore up a photo of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, while saying, “Remember this, you kuffar[infidels] — we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah [Allah willing].” The narrator of the video also vowed that, “After all their efforts, it would be the religion of the cross that would be broken. The crusaders’ enmity toward the Muslims only served to embolden a generation of youth.” When asked about this, the pope’s top aide said, “Pope Francis hasn’t changed a thing in his agenda, nor is he going to. Furthermore, he’ll continue to foment dialogue, creating bridges, defending peace. With Muslims and Christians.”

    August’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    Muslim Slaughter of Christians

    Kenya: Islamic terrorists hacked four Christian men to death for refusing to renounce Christ and embrace Islam. On Friday, August 28, jihadis from the Somali-based group, Al Shabaab, rounded up three men (two in their forties, the other 17) and held them at one of the Christians’ homes. They ordered them to recite the shahada — that “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger” — and thereby renounce the Trinity and become Muslim. When the men refused, the Muslims hacked them to pieces with machetes. They then went and slaughtered the mentally handicapped older brother of one of the slain. According to the “severely traumatized” wife of one of the men, “Al-Shabaab knew these men as Christians, and Joseph [her slain husband] as a church elder.”

    Nigeria: Gunmen massacred as many as 50 Christian worshippers inside ‎St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Amambra State during a Sunday morning service. Initial reports claimed that “the gunmen were hunting for a drug baron, traced him to his house but were told he had gone to church.” When they found he was not in the church, “out of anger, probably, they rained bullets on worshippers in the church.” However, not only does the attack closely follow the pattern of other jihadi terror attacks on churches in Nigeria, but at least one group, Act for Biafra, a Biafran independence organization, issued a statement referring to the attack as a “jihadist slaughter” of Christian churchgoers.

    Separately, during an attack on a Christian community in a Muslim majority region that enforces Sharia (Islamic law), Muslim terrorists slaughtered a Christian father and his son, and abducted three women and a baby. Aside from habitual attacks on Christians “in northern Nigeria, [which is Muslim majority] Christians who have already been displaced by Boko Haram extremists are being forced out of their refugee camps and denied access to vital aid,” according to human rights activists.

    Pakistan: Javid Masih, a Christian man who sold himself into slavery to a Muslim family for two years to buy his family a home, was regularly abused, kept from going to church, and finally murdered in August. When the two-year contract was nearly up and Javid told one of the family that he looked forward to getting married, he was told, “There is no way you will ever be free from us and leave this place.” When his term was up and he asked for his freedom, he was severely chided by the family’s sons: “You filthy Chura [“worthless thing”], how dare you ask for your freedom. Your life is ours. You will clean our excrement every day of your life from now on or you and your family will die.” Afterwards, “he was grabbed by the brothers, tied up, beaten and spat upon for a whole day. He had never told his family about this because he was both embarrassed and fearful of the repercussions on his family if they got involved. Other employees were made to see the brutal torture of Javed to instill a sense of fear amongst them.” He continued as a slave but his productivity dropped, and the Muslim family decided to do away with him. They poisoned him and then dumped him in front of his family’s home. When his widowed mother begged them to drive him to a hospital, they spat on her. He died; the police reported the death a “suicide.” Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

    “Despite anti-slavery laws in Pakistan bonded labour proliferates and is destroying the lives of many Christians. The Bonded Labour (Abolition) Act 1992 is not worth the paper it is written on and the Government’s clear apathy to enforce the law illustrates the low value placed on Christians and other minorities… There is a very small suicide rate in Pakistan of around 300 victims over two years—Pakistanis are hardy. It is inconceivable that Javed committed suicide when he expressed no such desire to anyone he knew and remained stoic for two years despite the pain inflicted on him.”

    Another Christian man, a prisoner who was offered but rejected Islam, was found dead “under mysterious circumstances in police custody,” according to a report. Indaryas Ghulam, 38, was among 42 Christians arrested for the lynching of two Muslims associated with a 2015 church attack that killed nearly 20 Christians and wounded 70. Indaryas had denied involvement in the lynching and was one of the prisoners promised “release in exchange of reneging Christ.”

    “He could have saved his life, but decided to bear witness to his faith onto death…. The prison administration attributed his death to poor health; he had tuberculosis. But his wife Shabana and daughter Shumir, who saw the body, said that he had burns and cuts everywhere, clear signs of torture and of the brutality to which he had been subjected. What is more, they add that although he was severely ill, he never received adequate medical care behind the bars.”

    Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom

    Iran: Approximately five hundred Muslim converts to Christianity have faced persecution in Iran, and fled to Turkey in search of asylum, notes an August report. One young convert who said he could not be who he wanted to be if he remained Muslim, added that he is now feeling “comfortable” as a Christian. Another said:

    “I changed my religion because I did not see anything in Islam. Whatever I saw was wrong. It is a fact that the government of Iran is an Islamic one, yet our youth are getting executed. In Iraq the same…. There is ISIS and [they] are killing people in the name of Islam, and there are vulnerable people who are being beheaded there. They have fled to Turkey, and we came to Turkey. That is why I did not see any good from Islam.”

    Open Doors USA, which monitors Christian persecution around the world, confirms that “Converts to Christianity from Islam make up the largest group of Christians and experience the most persecution.”

    Morocco: An August report reveals that earlier in 2017, a popular Arabic language newspaper attacked Morocco’s Christian activists for their faith and, considering that virtually all Christians in Morocco are converts from Islam, ended with the message: the “Koran requires the killing of apostates.” “Morocco is home to several thousand Christians who live across the nation, many of whom are new converts and forced to worship in secret churches,” the report adds. “Christians are regularly harassed by authorities, and societal pressure to renounce their faith is commonplace throughout the country.”

    Pakistan: Another Christian minor was beaten and charged with “blaspheming” against Islam. After a Muslim man, Muhammed Nawaz, accused Asif Stephen, 16, of stealing at a local bazaar, he beat the boy, then told the local imam, who, according to the report, “has a history of preaching hatred towards minority Christians,” that the youth had also burned a Koran. Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison and called for a public lynching of Stephen.”

    “As the mob overwhelmed local police, Stephen was removed from his cell and handed over to the mob, who consequently beat him until reinforcement officers stepped in to calm the situation. Police then moved Stephen to a higher security district jail where he plead guilty to blasphemy in what his family believed was a coerced confession.”

    Uganda: On August 7, Sophia Nakisaala, 35, a Muslim woman, embraced Christianity after her daughter was healed by a street preacher:

    “My child got healed instantly from high fever, which had caused several convulsions. The evangelist shared with me about Issa [Jesus], whom he said to be the healer and Savior. I then decided to accept Him as my Lord and Savior and then returned back home.”

    When she returned home and began telling Muhammad Lubaale, her husband, what had happened, “He got angry and slapped me. I kept quiet and did not respond to his interrogation about my new faith in Jesus.” Three days later, word of his daughter’s healing and confirmation that his wife had indeed embraced Christ reached Muhammad. “My husband arrived home on Aug. 10 and started beating me and injuring me with bruises on my head and right hand, using a stick,” Sophia explained. “Neighbors came to my rescue and housed me that very night.” The following morning, while her husband was away, she gathered her four children—aged 3, 5, 8 and 11—and went to an area pastor, who helped her find refuge.

    Sweden: The Western nation most renowned for taking in — and suffering from — Muslim migrants, Sweden, decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” Meanwhile, Sweden, which is reputed as “the world’s humanitarian conscience and a safe haven for refugees,” continues accepting Muslim refugees, some of whom have helped make it known as the “rape capital of Europe.”

    Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

    Egypt: Authorities closed down the 1,300-member Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in the Minya governorate. The closure came in response to local Muslim opposition groups who protested the existence of the church, which had served Christians from three separate villages. The Coptic Bishop of Minya, Anba Makarios, issued a public statement chiding officials for siding with the aggressors against the victims:

    “The security apparatus has prevented Copts from practicing their rites in Kedwan, Minya, claiming that it was because of objections of some opposing factions in the village, and that it was necessary to be considerate of their feelings. However, this means that there is no consideration for the feelings of the Copts and those who do not ask for anything but to pray, as if the decision belonged to the opposing factions and not to a great state such as Egypt, which should have authority and law.”

    The Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in Kedwan is just one of at least 15 Christian churches that have been closed in Minya province alone. “We have more than 15 places [of worship] closed on the order of the security apparatus, despite the existence of formal requests that are imprisoned in [desk] drawers,” Makarios added in his statement. “Also, there are 70 villages, farmsteads and hamlets without places for prayers.”

    Separately in August, security officials prevented Christians from meeting and worshiping in a private home in the village of Forn, in Minya. They said the home lacked a permit for worship. In a letter entitled, “We were prevented from prayer like criminals,” frustrated Christians wrote to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi:

    “We were surprised to find police forces surrounding and entering the village to prevent the Egyptian Copts from prayer and were prevented from going out of our homes. We were attacked with inappropriate words … As if we are criminals or outlaws and wanted for justice, accused of performing religious rituals. And is performing religious rituals a crime?”

    Iraq: Christians returning to the Nineveh Plain continued to encounter the remains of the Islamic State’s handiwork, including graffiti all around and inside their desecrated churches, such as “There is no place for the Cross in Islamic lands” and “The Cross is under our foot.” The following German writing was found in one church:

    “Oh you Cross worshippers, we’ll kill you all. Germany is an Islamic land. You are weak and don’t belong here…. Oh you Cross worshippers, you have no place in Islamic lands. Either you leave or we’ll kill you.”

    “They’d [ISIS] used the statutes of Jesus and Mary for target practice,” said one man of another church. “The altar was also destroyed. Daesh [ISIS] knew that the West would be reluctant to bomb a church, so [it] stored food and ammunition here.” Much of the graffiti has since been removed and altars are being restored. “To see our Christian symbols again is almost as important as food for us,” commented one Christian man.

    Somaliland: After agreeing to the reopening of a Catholic Church, which had been closed for nearly 30 years, the government of the Muslim nation reversed its decision. Spokesmen cited public anger, fomented by Islamic religious leaders who claimed the church reopening was part of the government’s conspiratorial plan to Christianize Somaliland. Explaining their decision during a press conference, Religious Affairs Minister, Sheikh Khalil Abdullahi Ahmed, said, “The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has decided to respect the wishes of its people and religious leaders and keep the church closed, as it has been for the past 30 years.” The Catholic church was one of many churches built 70 years ago when Somaliland was a British Protectorate.

    Sudan: The day after the Khartoum Parliament rejected the Ministry of Education’s call for Church Schools to operate on Sundays and follow only the Muslim week—a decision “viewed by Christians in Sudan and around the world as another means of harassment and discrimination against the minority group” — on August 2, the Sudanese government demolished yet another church in Omdurman, just west of Khartoum, from their list of 27 churches to be demolished.

    Muslim Contempt for and Abuse of Christians

    Iraq: More reports indicating that Christian suffering is hardly limited to ISISappeared in August. According to one, Chaldean Archbishop Habib Jajou said “that the remaining Christian families in Iraq fear that a new ISIS could come to power. He accused Baghdad of failing to foster religious tolerance amid the years of sectarian war and said a lot of people have been brainwashed by the terror group.” He also pointed out that the education ministry should begin to acknowledge Iraq’s Christian heritage and roots instead of falsely claiming that it was always Islamic and that Christians are essentially foreigners and agents of the West.

    Pakistan: The Islamic nation’s senate unanimously approved a bill requiring the compulsory teaching of the Koran to all primary and secondary school students, including non-Muslim ones. In part, the bill is meant to help the state discharge article 31(2) of the Pakistani constitution, which states that the “State shall endeavour to make the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Islamiyat [all things Islamic] compulsory.” However, according to Nasir Saeed, the director of a Christian human rights organization, the bill “will have a negative impact on the non-Muslim students… It will promote bigotry and hatred against non-Muslims in Pakistani society, something which is already on the rise.”

    Bangladesh: In the name of “fighting terrorism,” the Muslim nation made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down. The Foreign Donations Regulation Bill, which is meant to be a check on terrorist cells receiving funds outside of Bangladesh, has especially created economic problems for Christian NGOs “geared specifically for the Christian community” explained one missionary. Because a majority of Christian organizations in overwhelmingly Muslim Bangladesh are economically supported from outside sources, 200 were no longer able to secure external funding and to close permanently.

    Sudan: The Islamist government arrested seven church leaders for refusing to comply with a court order to turn over leadership of their congregation to a government appointment committee in an effort to dissolve the church. They were interrogated for several hours and then released on bail. “Police said that in arresting them they were implementing orders from the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments to impose its committee as new SCOC leadership, presumably to sell off the church property in Sudan’s bid to rid the country of Christianity,” notes the report, adding that “the arrests were seen as part of a recent upsurge in harassment of Christians.”

    Separately, in order to help a wealthy Muslim businessman take over church property, police evicted two more pastors and their families from their homes and onto the streets. The pastors “were terrorized when police pounded on the doors shouting threats,” “They came and knocked on the door strongly, they said, ‘Should you not open, we will have to break it by force to get in,” Pastor Nalu, 47-year-old father of a one-year-old boy, said. “The situation is very difficult, and we are living on the street.”

    Nigeria: Fulani terrorists, some allied with the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, have been known to invade Christian farms and settlements and slaughter Christians. In August, when few such attacks were recorded, and (mostly Muslim) politicians portrayed the problem as settled, a Christian leader explained that, when not directly slaughtering Christians, Muslim Fulani herdsmen resort to “economic terrorism”: “As we gleefully wallow in the false sense of peace on the Plateau,” he said, “know it today that a deliberate economic terrorism and land-grabbing strategy is being launched on Christians of Riyom and Barkin Ladi on a daily basis with the sole aim of making them poor, weak and destitute in their own land.”

    About this Series

    While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by Muslims is growing. The report posits that such Muslim persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location. (Click to Source)

With ISIS in Retreat, Assyrian Christian Community Seeks Return to Ancestral Nineveh

“Arise go unto Ninveh that great city and make unto it the proclamation that I bid thee.” Jonah 3:2 (The Israel Bible™)

iraqi-assyrian

With Iraqi forces on the march to liberate Mosul from the grips of the Islamic State, Iraq’s beleaguered Assyrian Christians have renewed hopes of returning to their ancestral homeland in the Nineveh Plains region surrounding Mosul, the country’s second largest city.

Since the beginning of recorded history, the Assyrians, along with other ethno-religious minorities, have lived in northern Iraq’s Nineveh Plains. In 2014, they were conquered by the Islamic State and forced to flee or be killed.

In the latest development on Oct. 24, Iraqi troops swept into the predominantly Assyrian Christian town of Karemlash, located about 18 miles southeast of Mosul. Before that, Iraqi special units had also captured the Assyrian Christian town of Bartella and entered Iraq’s largest Christian city, Qaraqosh, home to around 50,000 Christians prior to 2014.

Working alongside the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armored Division are the Nineveh Plains Protection Units(NPU), an ethnic Assyrian fighting force which is part of the effort to liberate their homeland during the Mosul offensive. So far, several villages and towns formerly under the Islamic State’s control have been liberated. (Click to Article)