Muslim Persecution of Christians: The Spring Offensive

Mideast EgyptOriginally published by the Gatestone Institute.

The Islamic jihad against Christians in Nigeria is proving to be the most barbaric.  A new report states that 70% of Christians killed around the world in 2012 were killed in the African nation.  Among some of the atrocities committed in March alone, at least 41 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a bus station in a predominantly Christian neighborhood.  According to the Christian Association of Nigeria, these attacks “were a signpost of the intended extermination of Christians and Christianity from northern Nigeria.”

According to the Rev. Jerome Ituah, “Out of the 52 Catholic churches in Maiduguri diocese, 50 of them have been destroyed by Boko Haram.   When two Christian brothers were returning home after Sunday church service, jihadis opened fire on them with machine guns, killing the brothers, as well as three others, and injuring several more Christians.

Another 13 Christian factory workers in Kano were “gruesomely” slain. Said the local bishop: “Reports of the attack reaching us disclosed that on that fateful Saturday at about 7 p.m, Muslim faithful were conducting their prayer close to the affected compound occupied by Christian families, when two taxi cabs stopped in front of the compound and the occupants, who all concealed their arms dashed into the complex and demanded to know why the residents were not part of the 7 p.m. Muslim prayer. They responded by telling the visitors they were Christians and so could not be part of the Muslim gathering. At that point, they separated the men from their wives and children and shot them dead on the spot after ordering the women and children into their homes” to be enslaved.

The bishop added that, “government should show more concern, like it has always done when Muslims are affected; I have not seen that in the case of Christians—that 13 Christians were killed in one straight attack and nothing is heard from the government reflects selective justice because we are aware of compensation paid to Muslim families in situations of this nature.”

However, the Nigeria government recently did go on the offensive to try to contain the jihadis in northern Nigeria—only to be chastised by the Obama administration, in the person of John Kerry, who recently warned the Nigerian government not to violate the “human rights” of the jihadi mass murderers.

Categorized by theme, the rest of March’s Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Church Attacks

Egypt: According to El Watan News, three Christian brothers were shot dead at their home by automatic weapons a few weeks before two were set to have their weddings. The victims’ family was earlier accused of trying to build a church on land they owned because they purchased building material to build a house on that land. The rumors about the building of a church spread during the Friday sermon at the mosque, following which 2,000 Muslims stormed the land and tried to destroy the house, car and tractor, resulting in the murder of the three Christian brothers.

Indonesia: Authorities demolished a church building with a bulldozer in West Java, even as Muslim bystanders cheered and denounced Christians as “infidels.” According to Pastor Leonard Nababan, the government is “criminalising our religion.”  The congregation had gathered around the church in an effort to save it; so did Muslims, shouting, “They’re infidels and they’ve built their church without permission,” “Knock the church down now” and “Allahu Akbar.”

Iraq:  According to Fox News, before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there were more than 300 Christian churches.  Today, a decade after the jihad was unleashed on Christians and their churches, only 57 Christian churches remain in the nation.  And “The churches that remain are frequent targets of Islamic extremists, who have driven nearly a million Christians out of the land…”  An Iraqi-based human rights organization said that “The last 10 years have been the worst for Iraqi Christians because they bore witness to the biggest exodus and migration in the history of Iraq….  More than two-thirds [of Christians] have emigrated.” One of the most dramatic cases of Christian persecution came in late October of 2010, when Al Qaeda members laid siege to Our Lady of Deliverance Church in Baghdad, killing 58 and wounding 78.  According to an AP report “Iraq’s Catholic Christians flocked to churches to celebrate Easter Sunday [in March], praying, singing and rejoicing in the resurrection of Christ behind high blast walls and tight security cordons… [emphasis added].”

Libya:  A Coptic Christian church located in Benghazi was attacked by armed Muslims.  The jihadis severely beat and shaved the beard and mustache of Father Paul, the priest of the church, as a sign of humiliation.  They also beat the deacon and nine attendees.  Meanwhile, because Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-led government had done little regarding the systematic abuse of Egyptian citizens in Libya, including the murder of one under torture, Copts demonstrated in front of the Libyan embassy in Cairo—prompting yet another attack on the Benghazi church, which was set on fire.

Pakistan: In response to one Christian man accused of blaspheming Islam’s prophet thousands of Muslims attacked the Christian Joseph Colony of Lahore, burning two churches, one Catholic, the other a Seventh Day Adventist, as often happens in Pakistan in the context of collectively punishing Christians.

Sudan:  According to Morning Star News, Khartoum’s jihad continues to “rid the area of non-Arabs and Christianity”: the Evangelical Church in the Nuba was “reduced … to ashes” after an aerial bombardment.  Days later, another bombing campaign left two dead and twelve injured, in the Christian-majority region. “These bombardments are major sources of fear among the people in South Kordofan,” said a church leader.

Turkey: The 5th century Studios Monastery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is set to go from being a branch of the Hagia Sophia—Christianity’s grandest cathedral, which was transformed into a mosque, after the Islamic conquest and is currently a museum—to being an active mosque.  Many Turkish Muslims continue calling for the return of the Hagia Sophia itself to a mosque.

Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism

Holland: A 43-year-old Iranian Muslim convert to Christianity was found murdered.    According to the Farsi Christian News Network, the victim went to church the afternoon he was killed: “The shocking news of this senseless murder has brought grief and sorrow to the local Christians, Iranian-Christian community, and asylum seekers across the country.” Christians constitute a large percentage of the Iranians seeking asylum in Holland.  (Islamic Sharia law calls for the killing of apostates, and converts to Christianity are regularly targeted in the Islamic world.)

Iran:  During a major conference, a Shi’ite leader claimed that Islam was under attack by Christianity in Iran: “Christian booklets and brochures are being sent to people’s doors for free in many areas… Christianity is being preached in many shops in the Islamic city of Mashhad. Also Christian booklets are sent to people’s addresses without restrictions.”  But a Mohabat News spokesperson said “Of course, the Islamic cleric did not provide any supporting evidence for his claim. However, it seems their sole purpose in bringing up and repeating these claims is to provoke security authorities against, and provide the means for increased pressure on Iranian Christians converts.”

Kazakhstan: Vyacheslav Cherkasov , a Christian street evangelist, was detained for offering Christian literature to passersby and fined the equivalent of one month’s wages on charges of “violating the rules” regarding “importing, publishing and distribution of religious literature” which came into force in 2011.  The court ordered the destruction of his 121 pieces of Christian literature, including Bibles and children’s Bibles, in the first such ruling since the nation gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Local Council of Churches Baptists said in published remarks: “We were shocked—this is sacrilege and illegality.”

Pakistan: The blasphemy case against Rimsha Masih, the 14-year-old Christian girl who was earlier arrested for “blasphemy” when a Muslim cleric falsely claimed that she burned a Koran, has been reopened.  According to a BosNewsLife report, “A police investigator asked the Supreme Court in Islamabad to reopen the case” against the Christian girl, “saying he was pressured by the government to drop charges against her after an international outcry.” She and her family are currently in hiding. A court is also considering a death sentence against 47-year-old Martha Bibi, a Christian and mother, due to alleged “derogatory remarks” about Muslim prophet Muhammad.  Another Christian man was arrested after a Muslim accused him of blasphemy.  But his arrest was not enough to appease the 3000 strong mob that went on to collectively punish the nation’s Christians, burning two churches, some 200 Christian homes, and stealing their property.

Somalia:  Muslim militants murdered yet another Christian.  Ahmed Ali Jimale, 42, was killed by two men as he stood outside his house, near a police station.  Among other things, the man was accused of apostasy—on the widespread assumption that all Somalis are born Muslims—and, because he worked as a teacher, of “introducing the children to foreign Christian religion”; Muslim militants had warned him that “we shall come for your head.” A friend of the slain said “Jimale was a good man who helped our community.  His widow is very scared and afraid, not knowing what will happen.”  He also leaves behind four children, ages 10, 8, 6, and 4.

Dhimmitude

[General Abuse and Suppression of Non-Muslims as "Tolerated" Citizens]

Egypt: Muslim rioters in town of Kom Ombo threw firebombs and rocks at police after Friday mosque prayers in an effort to storm a church where they claimed a Muslim woman who converted to Christianity was hiding.  Violence began when a 36 year-old Muslim woman, who had been missing for five days, was allegedly seen outside the church with a female Christian friend. Days later, hundreds of Muslims marched in the town of al-Wasta, to protest the disappearance of another young Muslim girl and accuse the priest of St. George’s Church of using “black magic” to lure her to Christianity.  They hurled stones at the church; Coptic shops were forced to close down; Salfis threatened to kidnap a Christian girl if their Muslim girl did not return.  However, Watani newspaper had already reported that the Muslim girl sent an open letter to her family, posted on the Internet, saying that she ran away because she was sexually abused by her uncles, was forced to marry a man she did not want, and that she had left Egypt and was married to a Muslim man.  Unrelatedly a Fox News report states that “Islamic hard-liners stormed a mosque in suburban Cairo, turning it into [a] torture chamber for Christians who had been demonstrating against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in the latest case of violent persecution that experts fear will only get worse.”  And according to a Voice of Russia report, “up to 100,000 Christians have left Egypt since the Muslim Brotherhood came to power. Some of those have arrived in Moscow.”

Iran:  According to Fox News, a UN report indicates that “Iran’s hard-line regime has intensified its violent crackdown on Christians and other religious minorities, even imprisoning nursing mothers for practicing their faith…”  The March report provides a “rare, detailed view into the shocking treatment of Christians in Iran, where American Pastor Saeed Abedini is serving an eight-year sentence for his alleged work with Christians.”  According to a UN expert on human rights in Iran, “The persecution of Christians has increased.  It seems to target new converts and those who run house churches…. more than 300 Christians have been arrested since June 2010, according to the report.”  Most recently, Five members of the Church of Iran denomination appeared before a judge and “charged with disturbing public order, evangelizing, action against national security and an internet activity against the system.”

Pakistan: After 3,000 Muslims attacked a Christian village—burning two churches and some 200 homes—the government punished Christians for protesting.  According to the Daily Times, “Christians around the country are incensed by the recurring theme of blasphemy allegation followed by attacks and burning down of their vulnerable communities. They have held protests across the country in a concerted effort to vent their disgust at the recent incident and to show solidarity with the victims…  Lahore police used the opportunity to beat the innocent Christian protesters. They shot tear gas shells at them and beat them with sticks. Yet when the Muslim attack took place they stood back and watched till the town had been razed to the ground…Muslims of Jhelum city have threatened to burn Christians home in response to the protests. Now the community is living in fear of reprisals for their simple act of condemning violence and the blasphemy laws of Pakistan.”

Sweden: According to Charisma News, “Christians in Iran face arrest, torture, even death. But that doesn’t seem to matter to Swedish immigration officials.  Sweden wants to send Iranian Christian asylum seekers, who left Islam, back to Iran where they could be killed. Iran is one of the most dangerous places in the world for Christians. As apostates from Islam, they face grave danger in this country. But their requests for asylum status that could save their lives have been denied.”

Syria:  According to a Catholic leader, up to 30,000 Christians have fled the city of Aleppo, and two priests were abducted and held for a ransom of 15 million Syrian pounds each.  Christians are regularly kidnapped and beheaded by jihadi rebels.  Also, a short English-language video appeared where Fr. Fadi al-Hamzi told of how his uncle was recently murdered: “They killed him because he is Christian, they refuse to have any Christians in Syria. … I’m not afraid; my uncle died, he’s immortal now.  I can be like him.” When asked if he was worried if Christians would be massacred if the U.S.-supported jihadis overthrew the government, the priest said , “Yes, yes, this will be… they don’t want us here.”  Christians were in Syria 600 years before Islam conquered the nation.

About this Series

Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching pandemic proportions, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:

1)      Intrinsically, to document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, increasingly chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.

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

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy and blasphemy laws; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (tribute); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed “dhimmis” (barely tolerated citizens); and simple violence and murder. Oftentimes it is a combination thereof.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the west, to India in the east, and throughout the West, wherever there are Muslims—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.

Previous Reports: February, 2013January, 2013December, 2012November, 2012October, 2012September, 2012August, 2012July, 2012June, 2012May, 2012April, 2012March, 2012February, 2012January, 2012December, 2011November, 2011October, 2011September, 2011August, 2011 -

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  • Texas Patriot

    Great story. Obviously one of the great human catastrophes of the modern era is taking place throughout the Muslim world, and Western politicians and mainstream media want nothing to do with it. The truth is that the pendulum is swinging hard against Christians in Muslim majority countries today, and it is difficult to imagine any way that the ongoing genocide can be stopped. But as we saw with the genocidal massacre of the Jews in WWII by Nazi Germany, pendulums have a way of swinging hard in the other direction as well. Keep up the great work. Fantastic journalism.

  • truebearing

    This stuff makes me sick, and incredibly angry. These Muslims are forcing a solution that can only be their total and utter destruction.

  • Mekus Milkdud

    when you have a diverse culture and people that just will not get along with others then you are going to see this type of cleansing , that will never end and you have people like the panthers , preachers like wright , sharpton, farrakhaun and some others that continue to program their youth to hate others you will always have an issue.

    • Well Done

      “diversity” is a buzzword being used by the left to destroy Western civilization. whether it means “no religion in schools, but Moslems get a prayer room” or “no logging because a sockeye salmon from Skeena has different DNA than a sockeye from the Fraser”, it has become a code word, a “front” if you will, for the left to pretend science and objectivity are their goal. Those are NOT their goal.

  • Arf

    This is a war on unarmed non-combatant Christians. It is outrageous that Western churches offer absolutely no sympathy or support to the victims. Money trumps everything I suppose. Even “faith”.

  • george mack

    It’s the sheer irrationality of these people – read this from Indonesia!

    http://rossrightangle.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/islamist-scholars-violence-if-you-dont-knuckle-under/

  • Smote

    Thank you, Mr Ibrahim. Another sad tale.

    I had to stop reading before the end of the article, because I found it so sad and upsetting. However, I will read on. Why? Because we are witnesses to this horror and we must DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    One thing I always tell people about past and current events is that it is NOT facts and figures, it is ABOUT PEOPLE. History is about people.

    The late Archbishop Woods of Melbourne, Australia once said that Christians will one day be martyrs again. He was right.

  • Jonwards

    [Ever seen a world history like this? It was spotted on the worldwide web.]

    THE BACKGROUND OBAMA CAN’T COVER UP

    (Each human is part of this “River.” Are you an “oxbow lake”?)

    Islam, part of the Living River of History, affected even the 2012 US election!
    The “headwaters” of this River was Adam, according to Judaism, Christianity, Islam etc.

    In the OT (Deut. 28), “tributaries” wanting to join the River are
    blessed while “distributaries” wanting to flow away from it are cursed.
    Those wishing to totally separate from the fresh Living River become
    polluted, dying “oxbow lakes.”
    In the OT we see Israelites
    repeatedly flowing away from God, then repenting and returning to Him;
    we also see heathen “oxbow lakes” creating their own little “gods” and
    being allowed by God to plunder and kill the erring Israelites.
    Then, at the right time, the Living River took on new life with the arrival of the Promised One who offers “living water.”

    In the 7th century Islam, drawing from both OT and NT, chose to be a
    distributary away from this River. Many scholars have viewed it as the
    final Antichrist: note “scourge” (Isa. 28), “Assyrian” (Mic. 5),
    “Euphrates” (Rev. 9) etc. (Google “Prof. F. N. Lee’s ISLAM IN THE BIBLE
    [PDF].” Dr. Lee, BTW, has nine (!) earned doctorates in various fields.)

    God will allow this “scourge” to temporarily persecute and kill
    apostate Jews (JINOs) and Christians (CINOs). Jews, especially in
    “entertainment,” seem more expert in apostasy than Christians since Jews
    have been at it 2000 years longer than Christians have (Google
    “jewishfaces.com/porn.html”) – but Christians apparently want to catch
    up to the Jews!
    It’s apparent that others will join Islam in its
    end-time inquisition; its great oil wealth can captivate many leaders
    and already we’re seeing apostate American leaders being bribed into
    turning against true American patriots.
    Those who ignore (or try
    to dilute or destroy) the God-ordained Living River of History will be
    swept down it to an ocean made by their own never-ending tears of agony
    and despair.
    The good news is that American JINOs & CINOs
    can overcome the “scourge” discussed above. The secret is found by
    checking out “II Chronicles 7:14″ & “John 3:16″ on the web.

    There’s still time – and freedom – to Google or MSN “Obama Promotes
    Public Sex,” “Obama a Black-Slavery Avenger?,” “Dangerous Radicals of
    the Religious Right,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Mikey Weinstein,
    Jesus-Basher,” “Christ’s return is NOT imminent,” “Pretrib Rapture
    Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Pretrib Rapture Pride,” and
    (for dessert) “Pretrib Rapture Stealth.”
    In light of Matthew
    7:2, if we tolerate Christian leaders who lie to us and steal from us,
    we shouldn’t be surprised if God allows us to have political leaders who
    lie to us and steal from us!

    A Kansas Patriot (who won FIRST PLACE over 2200 entrants in a nationwide Americanism essay contest)

  • Irv Spielberg

    CALLING ALL CHRISTIAN WOMEN – Tired of the war on women? Ready to flex
    your beautiful muscles? You can show your power after you Google “The
    Male-Dominated Pretrib Rapture Cabal” (on Joe Ortiz’s blog dated Mar.
    6)!