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Apologists for Islamic persecution of Christians regularly argue that the animosity is not driven by religion, but rather a “sectarian” divide, as well as any number of “indigenous” factors—poverty, intertribal conflicts, political machinations, etc. Other times, persecuted Christians are portrayed as Zionists and rapists, spies and traitors—anything other than people killed for their Christian faith.
Consider, however, the following two stories which deal with, not indigenous Christians—that is, not members of the native framework with its complex socio-political factors—but American Christians; not Zionist spies, but teachers—who were, nonetheless, killed by Muslims last March, for sharing their faith with Muslims.
First, on March 1, Jeremiah Small, a “beloved teacher and friend” who taught at a Christian school in Iraq, was shot to death by an 18-year-old student, even “as he bent his head to pray at the start of a morning class. The 33-year-old teacher from Washington state took bullets to the head and chest and died at the scene.” According to students, “Mr. Jeremiah’s hands were still folded in prayer when he fell”; others say a day before the shooting “a heated discussion” broke out “during which the pupil threatened to kill the teacher because of conflicting religious views.”
The official story, however, as reported by the mainstream media, such as the Wall Street Journal, is that the source of the quarrel is a “mystery,” and religion is unlikely; mention that he was murdered during prayer is also withheld.
To those who do a little digging, however, it becomes clear that he was most likely murdered for sharing his Christian faith. According to this article, which interviews family and friends, Small “was a devout Christian who frequently praised Christianity and prayed in the classroom, and his friends in Washington said his evangelism is what motivated him to teach in Iraq… but he wasn’t pushy.” A pastor who once interviewed Small says “He knew he was putting his life on the line… He felt this was a way to serve and touch some lives for God.” His parents—who wrote on Facebook “Our oldest, Jeremiah was martyred in Kurdistan this a.m.”—do not appear to doubt the context of his murder. Finally, it is interesting to note that the Muslim father of the pupil who killed Small condemned Christian evangelists, portraying them as “more dangerous than al-Qaeda.”
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