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Finally, the State Department provided taxpayer funds to restore the 18th century Golden Mosque in Lahore, in Pakistan’s Punjab province, an area which happened to be the scene of an assault on a Christian colony in July 2009 by thousands of Muslims who set fire to over 50 houses and two churches, burning to death eight people, including a seven-year-old child.
Unfortunately, the ongoing eradication of Christian churches in the Islamic world shows no signs of abating any time soon, especially given comments like those of Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, who recently declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.”
While Aziz bin Abdullah’s clarion call was directed toward Christian churches on the Arabian Peninsula, it has nevertheless been earnestly followed by Muslims in Islamic countries throughout Africa, the Mideast, and Asia.
For example, in the past two months Muslims in Kenya have attacked 11 churches, assaults which include grenade attacks on a crowd of 150 Christians attending an outdoor church meeting, killing two and wounding more than 30; and one attack during a church service that killed one and injured 16.
In June the Sudanese government bulldozed three church buildings to the ground and confiscated three Catholic schools in the capital of Khartoum, saying that such buildings are now unwelcome in the Islamic-ruled country.
In Afghanistan, where more than 2,000 American troops have died protecting that country, the last public Christian church was demolished in October 2011, forcing Afghan Christians to practice their faith in underground “House Churches.”
In Indonesia, a ministerial decree has led to the closure of more than 400 Christian churches. While Christian worshippers must make due in storefront churches or, lacking that, parking lots and the side of streets, it hasn’t stopped Muslim mobs from trying to prevent those services.
Specifically, in May a horde of 600 Muslims, led by Indonesia’s Islamic Defenders Front, hurled bags of urine, rotten eggs, ditchwater and stones at over 100 Christians attempting to attend church service in an empty parking lot in the city of Bekasi, located outside the capital of Jakarta.
Unfortunately, news of that type of anti-Christian behavior was not included in the recent public service announcement the State Department aired on Pakistani television in which it condemned religious intolerance in the video “Innocence of Muslims.”
Instead, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while lamenting the hurt feelings the video engendered among Muslims, said the Islamic faith “respects the fundamental dignity of human beings,” and that it is “a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocents.”
Ironically, as Clinton’s public apology was being aired, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, an 82-year-old church in northwest Pakistan, was being burned by a mob of hundreds of Muslims protesting the offending video.
Since that attack was, in the words of Mrs. Clinton, “a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocents,” perhaps she will inquire if there are any funds still available in her mosque restoration program to help cover the costs of rebuilding St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
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