Muslim Persecution of Christians: February 2012

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


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The following article was originally published by the Stonegate Institute.

Half of Iraq’s indigenous Christians are gone due to the unleashed forces of jihad, many of them fleeing to nearby Syria; yet, as the Assad regime comes under attack by al-Qaeda and others, the jihad now seeps into Syria, where Christians are experiencing a level of persecution unprecedented in the nation’s modern history.   Likewise, some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled their native Egypt since the overthrow of the Mubarak regime; and in northern regions of Nigeria, where the jihadi group Boko Haram has been slaughtering Christians, up to 95 % of the Christian population has fled.

Meanwhile, the “big news” concerning the Muslim world in the month of February—the news that flooded the mainstream media and had U.S. politicians, beginning with President Obama, flustered, angry, and full of regret—was that copies of the Koran in Afghanistan were burned by U.S. soldiers because imprisoned Muslim inmates were using them  “to facilitate extremist communications.”

Categorized by theme, February’s batch of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed in alphabetical order by country, not severity.

Church Attacks

Algeria: Armed men raided and ransacked a church formally recognized since 1958, dismantling the crucifix above the premises.  The pastor and his family, trapped inside, feared that “they could kill us.” The pastor “has been repeatedly threatened and attacked since being ordained as pastor in 2007. In the summer of 2009 his wife was beaten and seriously injured by a group of unknown men. Then, in late 2011, heaps of trash were thrown over the compound walls while an angry mob shouted death threats.”

Egypt: Thousands of Muslims attacked a Coptic church, demanding the death of its pastor, who, along with “nearly 100 terrorized Copts sought refuge inside the church, while Muslim rioters were pelting the church with stones in an effort to break into the church, assault the Copts and torch the building.” They did this because a Christian girl who, according to Islamic law, automatically became a Muslim when her father converted to Islam, fled and was rumored to be hiding in the church.

Iran:  Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence has ordered the last two officially registered churches holding Friday Farsi-language services in Tehran—Farsi being the nation’s language—to discontinue the language: “Friday services in Tehran attracted the city’s converts to Christianity as well as Muslims interested in Christianity, as Friday is most Iranians’ day off during the week.” Banning church use of Farsi prevents most Iranians from hearing the Gospel.

Kazakhstan: A new report notes that “Churches are being raided, leaders fined and Christian literature confiscated as the Kazakh authorities enforce new laws intended further to restrict religious freedom in the country.”

Kuwait: A parliamentarian is set to submit a draft law banning the construction of churches.  Originally, Osama al-Munawer announced on Twitter his plans on submitting a draft law calling for the removal of all churches in Kuwait. However, he later “clarified,” saying that existing churches can remain, but the construction of new ones must be banned.

Macedonia: A two-century-old Christian church famed for its valuable icons was set on fire in response to “a carnival in which Orthodox Christian men dressed as women in burkas and mocked the Koran.”  Earlier, “perpetrators attacked a[nother] church in the nearby village of Labunista, destroying a cross standing outside” and “also defaced a Macedonian flag outside Struga’s municipal building, replacing it with a green flag representing Islam.”

Nigeria: A Muslim suicide bomber forced his way into the grounds of a major church, killing two women and an 18-month-old child during Sunday morning service; some 50 people were injured in the blast. In a separate incident, Muslims detonated a bomb outside a church building, injuring five, one critically: “The bomb, planted in a parked car, was left by suspected members of Boko Haram, which seeks to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria.”

Pakistan: A dozen armed Muslims stormed a church, seriously wounding two Christians: one man was shot and is in critical condition, the other risks having his arm amputated; another church member was thrown from the roof, after being struck repeatedly with a rifle butt. “The extremist raid was sparked by charges that [the] church was trying to evangelize Muslims in an attempt to convert them to Christianity. The community several times in the past has been the subject of assault and the pastor and his family the subject of death threats.”  As usual, the police, instead of pursuing the perpetrators, have opened an investigation against the pastor and 20 other church members.

Syria: Some 30 armed and masked jihadis attacked a Catholic monastery—unprecedented in Syria’s modern history—demanding money. According to the Catholic Archbishop of Damascus, “the situation in the country is spiraling out of control as the armed opposition spreads its influence to different regions of the state.”

Dhimmitude

[General Abuse, Debasement, and Suppression of non-Muslims as “Tolerated” Citizens]

Bangladesh: Three American Christians were injured after their car was attacked by a Muslim mob that suspected they were converting Muslims into Christians: at least 200 angry locals chased the missionaries’ car and threw stones at it, leaving three with cuts from broken glass.

Egypt: Rather than punishing the perpetrators who opened fire on and ran tanks over Christians protesting the constant destruction of their churches, the government arrested and is trying two priests in connection to the Maspero massacre. And although Egypt’s new parliament has 498 seats, only six are Copts, though Copts make up at the very least 10% of the population, and so should have approximately 50 seats.  Finally, evincing how bad the situation is, Coptic protesters organized a demonstration in front of Parliament to protest “the disappearance and abduction of Coptic girls.”

Indonesia: The Islamist Prosperous Justice Party complained about the Red Cross’ symbol of a cross, saying it is too identifiable with Christian culture and traditions. Red Cross volunteers and activists rejected the claim, saying that any changes to the logo would be “tantamount to giving in to the extremists.”

Iran: A pastor of a major house church movement began serving a five-year prison sentence for “crimes against the order.”  According to one activist,  “His ‘crimes’ were being a pastor and possessing Christian materials.” He is being beat in jail and getting sick, to the point that his hair has “turned fully gray.”

Israel: A mob of some 50 Palestinian Muslims stoned a group of Christian tourists atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, wounding three Israeli police officers in the process. The attack is believed to have been instigated by the former Muslim mufti of Jerusalem.

Pakistan: Yet another Christian woman, a teacher, has been targeted by Muslims due to allegations that she burned a Koran.  A mob stormed her school in an attempt to abduct her, but police took her into custody. Also, a Christian student who missed the grade to get into medical school by less than 0.1% would have earned 20 extra points if he had memorized the Koran—though no bonus points for having similar knowledge of the Bible.

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  • Amused

    Again ….more bi-partisan apathy . Where are the demagogues of the Right and Left ? Where's Rush ? Fighting condum battles ??? Where's Maher …smoking a joint ?
    Seems people like George Clooney are doing more than our State Dep[artment , and the only christian persecution Rush is decrying is Obama sending 100 military advisors to help bring down "the christian " Joseph Koni .
    Aside from bombing Teheran , where's the so-called "christian" Romney ? OR Obama ? Where in the hell is the POPE !

    • john

      Oh year now in remember you. You are than smarter than thou atheist.

      I like Clooney bringing attention the Sudan. He id a little more than Richard Gere or others becoming Buddhists & whining about China in Tibet. But in the end it will not be enough.

      Drought is natural. Famines are man made.

      I would like to go into Dharfur & protect the people. But after the Somali fiasco, I would not like to be "Stabbed in the Back" by the feckless left again.

      The U.N. went into Somalia to feed the people. A laudable goal. General Aidid stole the food aid & hoarded it to use famine as a weapon against other clans. He wanted the Habr Gidr clan to have power. The U.N. sent troops to famine relief efforts. Aidid killed U.S. or other soldiers. Then & only then we took out many of their clan leadership via a helicopter rocket attack. I read Black Hawk Down. I know the whole timeline.

      The U.S. should never ever help any 3rd world country when we have a Democrat controlled Congress, Executive branch or media. We should famine victims where the famine is man made when people like Code Stink, Cindy Sheehan, OWS or the leftist groups ( in their latest iteration, alphabet soup name, or flavor) are protesting in the streets.

      We don't need to be stabbed in the back again by the left!

      • Amused

        john , face it , you're a moron . go drink some more right wing cool-aid . you're not even coherent you meatball .

  • BS77

    The West better wake up and smell the coffee.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      I bet it's going to be 'halil' 'coffee.

  • maria

    Muslim WeeTodEdwards distorted Deuteronomy test as Muslims always do. Never trust Muslims as their koran decreed them to deceive infidels, all non-Muslims. How many non-Jews were killed by their religion? None. Unfortunately after 1967 war victory Jews even granted Temple Mount to Muslims. Huge mistake. In Israel all Christians Churches and even Muslims mosques has the same protection as synagogues. Opposit in Palestinians territories. Christians population dramaticaly decreased in holy cities for Christians:Hebron, Bethlehem, etc. Muslims killed there Christians as they do everywhere, Christians were persecuted and had to fled. Israel liberated land after wars imposed by Islamic neighboring countries to tiny but courages Israel, Arabs there were given autonomy. How they gratituted Jews? They desecrated Jewish holy cites and tryed to announced that they belong to Islam. They do it everywhere.

  • maria

    Muslims are worse than Nazists and the sooner Westerns realize the fact that there is no way to have peace with those who want to annihilate us, the better. We or those barbarians. They on mercyiess war with us. We must be adequat. Where will be world if in Hitler time those covardice pacifists ideas as Leftists impose on us now prevail? Wake up, people. At stake our life and our children life. All non-Muslims must united.

  • Ghostwriter

    I did read the posts by WeeToddEdwards and I'd like to ask you a question. Since when has any Muslim anywhere condemned Muslim terrorist attacks on Americans? I've rarely heard Muslims condemn any terrorist attack on Americans but riot when someone accidentally burns their Korans. I'd love to hear the answer to that question although I doubt I'd get an answer.

  • maria

    If there is some natural catastrophy in any country, like it was in Haiti, or in Indonesia, or in Turkey, etc all Western countries sent great deal of help financial, medical, etc. Do you know that almost never Muslims country help non-Muslims? More over 97 % of financial aid to so-called Palestinians (Arab of Palestine, Islamic terrorists) provide US and European countries and only 3% all Muslims country together? The same time they have vast profit for oil and many of those country very much reach? Muslims used their money only to promote Islam, to finance Jihad, to bribe stupid narrow-minded Westerns. Saudi Arabia, for instant, finance the most prestigious Univercities in US, Britain, etc. to promote Islam and to destort their murderous history of conquering Europe, India and all other countires which under death penalty islamized. Now the same process is going on in Africa. They kill Christians but where is Media? Oil money bought so-call Human Rights defenders. We are all in danger. Muslim world preparing us a new Holocaust but now for all non-Muslims, not only for Jews. Wake up people. Economy is very important but Islamization is much more as at the con is our life.

  • NONAME

    One word. Lebanon
    Lebanon has 57% Islamic people and they do not touch a Chrisitan man or women.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    No, so realistic. Why am I not shocked that your muslim friendly values would come oozing to the surface?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    And again you ignore muslim violence.

    When Christians are violent it is because they don't follow Christ's teachings.
    When muslim militants are violent it's because they are following muslim teachings.

    9:29 Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

  • Guest

    dummy – there are and have been atrocities committed by people of all religions and ethnicities, but nobody comes close to the amount of death that atheism/communism has brought us. Today in the 21st century the new 'ism' responsible for so much death and destruction is islamism

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Wee, you've been throughout this before. I'm a Christian. You're attacking Christians. That text is for Jews, not part of Christ's teachings.

    You can use it, but it's wasted ink unless you can show Christ sat his followers down and said to do it as a church after He left.

    This is a perfect example of the hate oozing out in your comments. You're not stupid, just a bigot.

  • JayThomas

    I read your linked article. No mention of Christians attacking. In fact the Minister of Religion at the Al-Khoei Foundation said they do not know who the aggressors are.

    So why do you assume Christians did this?

  • Looking4Sanity

    He IS a troll. And a psychopathic one at that. He follows this guy Roger to every site he goes to for the purpose of harassing him. It's been going on for over a year as best I recall.

    Wee Wee is an atheist with obsessive compulsive disorder and delusions of grandeur.

  • Looking4Sanity

    Wee is angry because he has shut himself off from grace. He can't stand the thought that anyone else might have access to it.

    I call this "Dog in the manger syndrome". The dog can't eat the hay, but he doesn't want the cows to have it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    He always assumes Christians are the aggressors, and still defends this comment he made about a similar story.

    24 minutes ago @ Breitbart.tv – Soldier Found Guilty i… · 1 reply · +1 points
    "The whole town needs locked in the church and the church set on fire. IMO"

    He actually advocated for vigilante style justice without a trial of complete investigation where they would all be locked in their church and set on fire to die a painful death even without knowing if they were actually involved.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    The hard part would be getting him strapped into the chair so he would have to talk to the guy.

  • kentatwater

    Roger may have inadvertently picked up another compulsive troll, in the form of "justquitnow." Both he and I drive it to profane hysterics fairly easily, but rather than realize its arguments are rubbish, and it's not as smart as it thinks, the troll has started to imagine "Roger and Me" is more that just a propaganda film by a leftist gasbag. It thinks we're the same person!

    I mean, I'm flattered and all. Roger is an excellent writer, who makes sound and compelling arguments, but last time I check my DL, I'm not Roger.

    Wait, I'll check again…

    Nope, still not Roger.

  • WeeToddEdwards

    You are another prime examle of why I label most christians hypocrites. Yoe will mention all other violent relgions but when it comes to you own you are silent or you use the numbers game.

  • WeeToddEdwards

    Lets see some proof. Hitler alone killed 6 million.

  • WeeToddEdwards

    It does not matter. Where in christ's teachings does he approve of this?

  • Zionista

    Does mao, stalin, or the khmer rouge ring a bell? Probably not for an ignoramus like you. You must have chosen the name wee with your brain in mind!!

  • WeeToddEdwards

    You have to show where they killed for a lack of belief of a god

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    If you know history you'd realize how sad that is.

    Did you learn the iranian history of the world by any chance?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    He advocates violence against Christians. He still defends this comment.

    24 minutes ago @ Breitbart.tv – Soldier Found Guilty i… · 1 reply · +1 points
    "The whole town needs locked in the church and the church set on fire. IMO "

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    No, he's not. He's an example of a Christian who is grounded well enough to call your poison exactly what it is.

    You keep blaming all the violence on religions other than islam, why is that?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Why thank you, isn't it fun to deconstruct the trolls and their talking points?

    They just go to pieces.

    And I'm still me. If they would just check my comment stream they'd see I don't play games or have time to do the parallel profiles like wee wee does.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Why should Christ have to mention self defense?

    You don't think you can really lay down that double standard do you?

    One moment Christians are all violent and the next we don't have a right to self defense?

    How does that work exactly? Oh, you're just a two faced hypocrite that hates Christians and still defends this comment.

    24 minutes ago @ Breitbart.tv – Soldier Found Guilty i… · 1 reply · +1 points
    "The whole town needs locked in the church and the church set on fire. IMO"

  • WeeToddEdwards

    Chapter and verse please where Christs appoves of christians burning mosques <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    How about chapter and verse where muslims are allowed?

    9:29 Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

  • WeeToddEdwards

    That was not the question asked. Why is ok for your fellow Christians to do it and no one else? Chapter and verse please <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Why is it all right for muslims to do so?

    9:29 Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

    And when the muslims do, why can't Christians defend themselves?