‘They Are Slaughtering Us Like Chickens’

islam_2024369cOriginally published by the Gatestone Institute.

As happens at Christmas every year throughout the Muslim world, Christians and their churches were especially targeted—from jihadi terror strikes killing worshippers, to measures by Muslim authorities restricting Christmas celebrations.  Some incidents follow:

Iraq:  “Militants” reported the Associated Press, “targeted Christians in three separate Christmas Day bombings in Baghdad, killing at least 37 people, officials said Wednesday.  In one attack, a car bomb went off near a church in the capital’s southern Dora neighborhood, killing at least 26 people and wounding 38, a police officer said. Earlier, two bombs ripped through a nearby outdoor market simultaneously in the Christian section of Athorien, killing 11 people and wounding 21.” 

Iran:  Five Muslim converts to Christianity were arrested from a house-church during a Christmas celebration. Plain clothes Iranian security authorities raided a house where, according to Mohabat News, “a group of Christians had gathered to celebrate Christmas on Tuesday, December 24.” Before arresting the five apostates, authorities “insulted and searched those in attendance, and seized all Christian books, CDs, and laptops they found. They also took the Satellite TV receiver.”  The original report received by Mohabat stated: “These Christians had gathered to worship and celebrate [the] birth of Jesus.”

Indonesia: Muslims in the Aceh province protested against Christmas and New Year celebrations and called on authorities to ban them. Days earlier, an influential Islamic cleric organization, the Ulema Consultative Assembly, issued a fatwa, or edict, “prohibiting Muslims from offering Christmas wishes or celebrating on New Year’s Eve,” said the Associated Press.  Aceh is the “only province in predominantly Muslim Indonesia that is allowed to implement a version of Islamic Shariah law.”

Kenya: “Youths,” reported Reuters, “threw petrol bombs at two Kenyan churches on Christmas day … in the latest bout of violence against Christians on the country’s predominantly Muslim coast.”  The attacks occurred “in the early hours of December 25 after churchgoers held services to usher in Christmas.”  The churches were located in Muslim-majority regions. One church was “completely destroyed.”

Somalia: The more “moderate” government—as it is often portrayed in comparison to Al Shabaab (“The Youth”) opposition—banned Christmas celebrations. Hours before Christmas Day, the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs released a directive banning any Christian festivities from being held in the east African nation.  In the words of one ministry official: “We alert fellow Muslims in Somalia that some festivities to mark Christian Days will take place around the world in this week. It is prohibited to celebrate those days in this country.”  All security and law enforcement agencies were instructed to quash any Christian celebrations.

Pakistan:  During Christmas Eve services, “Heavy contingents of police were deployed around the churches to thwart any untoward incident.”  In some regions, “prayer service at major churches focused on remembering the Pakistani Christians who lost their lives in terror attacks.” For example, three months earlier, Islamic suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church compound in Peshawar following Sunday mass and blew themselves up in the midst of some 550 congregants, killing some 130 worshippers, including many Sunday school children, women, and choir members, and injuring nearly 200 people.

Even in Western nations like Denmark, Christmas Eve witnessed Islamic demonstrations and cries of “Allahu Akbar” (or “Allah is greater”).

Also in December, Syria’s Greek-Catholic Church declared that it had three “true martyrs”—men from the small town of Ma’loula, an ancient Christian site where the inhabitants still spoke the language of Christ.  According to Asia News, “When the town fell [in September, to al-Qaeda linked rebels], a climate of fear was imposed… When three men refused to repudiate their religion, they were summarily executed in public, and six more were taken hostage. This was followed by a failed attempt by Syrian government forces to retake the town.”  In the words of Patriarch Gregorios III to Pope Francis in a meeting: “Holy Father, they are true martyrs. Ordered to give up their faith, they proudly refused. Three others however gave in and were forced to declare themselves Muslim, but later returned to the faith of their ancestors.”  According to the families who fled from Ma’loula, “some of their Muslim neighbors took part in the attack that devastated this historic village where people still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Muslims are approximately one third of the population of the village…”

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

Islamic Attacks on Christian Places of Worship 

Egypt: After a Coptic Christian priest from the village of Tarshoub, Upper Egypt, left to service a new location and a new priest was sent to Tarshoub, Muslim Brotherhood supporters rioted and attacked the village Christians, including by throwing stones at their homes, burning property, and calling for the closure of the village church, which has been in existence for 40 years.  The church was subsequently closed and the priest prevented from entering the village.   The Christian Post reported that Christian villagers were “getting close to the New Year celebrations and Christmas, and yet they are not able to open the church….  security authorities have not arrested the aggressors, while Copts were forced to close the church for fear of more attacks, especially in light of continued incitement by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Indonesia: Five more churches were closed by authorities, leaving thousands of Christians without a place of worship.  First, claiming that the existence of a Protestant church in North Sumatra was illegal, hundreds of Muslims belonging to the Islamic Defenders Front attacked and disrupted its Sunday services, creating so much havoc that police had to escort Christians home.  Then, two new churches—one in West Java, the other in South Sulawesi—were sealed off.  The Sulawesi church was subsequently demolished by authorities.  A few days later, two more churches near Jakarta were forced to stop holding services. According to International Christian Concern, “The reason behind this month’s rash of church closures, especially after seven months of relative quiet, is not exactly clear. It may be that the coming Christmas holiday has ignited always simmering anti-Christian sentiment among radical groups. In 2000, 16 were killed by bomb attacks on churches over the Christmas holiday.”

Russia: In December it was revealed that seven Christian churches were torched in 2013 in a Muslim-majority republic in Russia, according to Asia News: “Churches burned, attacks foiled and increased pressure on Christians to convert to Islam. In Tatarstan—autonomous republic of the Russian Federation, with a Muslim majority—the extremism alarm is increasing.”  Although the culprits setting fire to churches are “unidentified extremists,” Father Dmitri Sizov, pastor of Pestrechinsky, said that “the whole community knows that it is the work of the Wahhabis [Islamic literalists]” who “roam, inviting the faithful to convert to Islam.” But “the priests remain silent because they are afraid of being accused of incitement to religious hatred,” added Fr. Dmitri.

Syria: Islamic rebel forces fired multiple mortar shells on a church in the southern province of Daraa, killing 12 people and injuring many others, including church volunteers who were there distributing charity aid to the locals. Separately, five young children were killed when rebels fired two rockets at a Christian school.  According to the Patriarch of the Church of Antioch, more than 450,000 Christian Syrians have been displaced from the conflict, and more than a thousand have been killed.

Islamic Attacks on Christian Freedom: Apostasy, Proselytism, and Dhimmitude

Cameroon: David Dina Mataware, a Christian missionary, was slaughtered by neighboring Nigeria’s Islamic group Boko Haram.  On the same day and in the same area that the missionary’s murder took place, a French priest, Father Georges Vandenbeusch, was also kidnapped. The slain missionary, whose throat was slit, had worked in a Nigeria-based mission agency in Cameroon for some fourteen years, bringing the Gospel to remote tribes.

Egypt: “The nation’s most well-known convert from Islam” to Christianity was arrested, including for allegedly inciting “sectarian strife,” and “is likely being tortured,” reported Morning News.  Bishoy Armia Boulous, 31—popularly known by his former Muslim name, Muhammad Hegazy—was arrested while in a café.  Authorities claim that he was working with a Coptic satellite station to create a “false image” of violence against Christians in Minya, Upper Egypt, where attack on Copts are most common. However, human rights activists close to Bishoy say “his arrest had nothing to do with any reporting work but constituted retaliation for becoming a Christian” and possibly for evangelizing to Muslims.

Iran:  While raiding their home, the Islamic republic’s feared secret police assaulted the wife and children of jailed evangelical Pastor Behnam Irani.  According to a source assisting the family with advocacy, “They confiscated her laptop computer and Christian materials… While the secret police were in her home they were yelling at her and doing their best to scare her.  This really frightened the children, Rebekah and Adriel” and was apparently meant to create enough “fear to silence them.”  The raid came after the imprisoned evangelical leader—and former Muslim—was told by a court to remain behind bars because he “did not change.”

Syria:  The anti-Christian strictures of Sharia, or Islamic law, continued to be applied onto Christians by Islamic rebels.  According to Agenzia Fides, “Kanaye [a Christian region] has been invaded by Islamist militants that terrorize the population, threaten a massacre and have imposed the Islamic law…  This has become a pattern that repeats itself and that in recent weeks has focused on a number of Christian villages: armed guerrillas penetrate into the village, terrorize civilians, commit kidnappings, kill, sow destruction.”  Father George Louis of the village of Qara, which has been devastated and burned, explained: Maalula [the aforementioned Ma’loula], Sednaya, Sadad, Qara and Deir Atieh, Nebek: armed jihadists target a village, they invade it, kill people, burn and devastate it.”

Turkmenistan: Police and Secret Service agents in Dashoguz, a northern city, raided a group of believers of the Church of the Light of the East, a Protestant community.  Forces raided two houses of prayer, seizing religious materials, including Bibles. An official of the Department of Religious Affairs, who is also an imam at the local mosque, went on to inform the pastor that his faith “is wrong” and warned him to convert to Islam, adding “Christianity is a mistake … it’s not a religion, but a myth.”  Moreover, Christians practicing hymns for Sunday service were told by officers that “the songs of praise to God are banned here.” Adds Asia News: “Meanwhile, an increasing number of people are being incarcerated for crimes of opinion and defense of religious freedom.”

Carnage of Christians

Central African Republic: In just two days of violence, at least 1,000 people were killed in Bangui, CAR’s capital, following the chaos that has engulfed the nation after Seleka, a coalition of Muslim militia, whose members include many foreigners, ousted the Christian president—the nation is Christian-majority with a significant Muslim-minority—and installed a Muslim ruler.  Because some Christians tried to resist with violence, killing some 60 Muslim males in combat, the Islamic group “retaliated on a larger scale against Christians in the wake of the attack, killing nearly 1,000 men over a two-day period and systematically looting civilian homes. A small number of women and children were also killed,” reported Amnesty.  Tens of thousands of Christians fled from machete-wielding Muslims, many now living in desperate conditions around churches and bishoprics. “They are slaughtering us like chickens,” said one Christian.  “We have had enough of Seleka killing, raping and stealing,” said another, adding that he was not sure whether he could ever go back and live among Muslims. “We are angry,” he said.  “The Muslims should go back where they came from.”

Nigeria: Islamic Fulani herdsmen killed at least 205 Christian farmers in the latter half of 2013, while ten thousand more Christians were displaced and many of their churches destroyed or closed.   As for motive, Christian leaders, “had no doubt the Muslim assailants aimed to demoralize and destroy Christians,” said Morning Star News. Several of the attackers appear to be mercenaries from outside the area, explaining how the Fulani farmers became so heavily armed.  “Life has become unbearable for our church members who have survived these attacks, and they are making worship services impossible,” said a Roman Catholic bishop.  Another area Christian leader said that “Many of our Christian brethren have been killed. The Muslim gunmen that are attacking our Christian communities are numerous; they are so many that we can’t count them. They are spread across all the communities and unleashing terror on our people without any security resistance.”

About this Series

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching pandemic proportions.  Accordingly, “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)    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 Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws that criminalize and punish with death those who “offend” 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.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to India 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.

Previous Reports:

November, 2013

October, 2013

September, 2013

August, 2013

July, 2013

June, 2013

May, 2013

April, 2013

March, 2013

February, 2013

January, 2013

December, 2012

November, 2012

October, 2012

September, 2012 

August, 2012

July, 2012

June, 2012

May, 2012

April, 2012

March, 2012

February, 2012

January, 2012

December, 2011

November, 2011

October, 2011

September, 2011

August, 2011

July, 2011

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  • AugustineThomas

    America is too busy murdering babies to protect innocent Christians.

  • Harry_the_Horrible

    So, is there any chance of someone starting a charity that sends weapons and ammo to oppressed Christians? I got $100 right now for it and would make it a monthly donation.

  • BS77

    One day the sheeple will awaken…..one can only hope.

  • Gee

    My oh my Christians in the Middle East are getting treated almost as bad as Christians have treated Jews for nearly 2,000 years.
    Must be karma

    • Habbgun

      I have to disagree with there. We live peacefully in their midst in America and that is entirely due to their attitudes not Jewish strength.

      To believe that things won’t get worse for Jews if this continues is to have serious blinders. If Christians won’t stand up for Christians they certainly will allow Moslem predations against the Jews. The Inquisition under which Jews suffered so much in Spain was also an outcome of the Christian war against the Islamic invaders. It was a cruel time and of course the Jews were not spared the barbarity. There is nothing to gain by seeing whole populations slaughtered. Jews should not be taking the lead. We have our own nation but we should hope Christians stand up for their helpless populations. It will make the world a safer better place.

      • Shel_Zahav

        Christianity has a long history of turning its back on its own. The Byzantines were left to face the Ottomans alone even after assurance from the Western Church. Christians in the Middle East and North Africa were abandoned to their fates under the “religion of peace” that decimated Christian populations and confiscated their wealth, not to mention stole their churches.

        • truebearing

          Jews have a history of doing the same. Some of the most virulent enemies of Israel are jews. Most of Israel’s supporters are Christians. There are turncoats and frauds in every religion. Our enemy now is not each other but the Muslims.

          • Shel_Zahav

            My point is that the Christians of the Middle East are not getting the support of Christians from the West. Tiny Israel is the only haven for Christians in our region, but this is minor compared to the enormity of the problem. Christians in Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and everywhere else are under siege.

            Yes, the enemy now is the Muslim. We have a tiny land that takes in Christians and treats them as equals. Where are the American and European Christians? Your countries are catering to the Muslims instead of helping the Christians. Get them out before it is too late.

          • truebearing

            The United States is in the middle of a Marxist/Muslim coup. We can’t do anything on a large scale because Imambama is on the side of the Muslims. Europe is worse.

            My point is simply that Christians and Jews shouldn’t be fighting with each other over the past. I totally agree that there have been evil persecutions of Jews by Popes and Kings posing as Christians, but they never followed the teachings of Jesus to begin with. They persecuted their own people as well.

        • Softly Bob

          Really? The Crusades were started because the Byzantine Emperor asked the Pope for assistance and he got it.

          • Shel_Zahav

            Yes, he got it alright.

            The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, in April 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and sacked the Orthodox Christian city of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. This is seen as one of the final acts in the Great Schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church, and a key turning point in the decline of the empire and of Christianity in the Near East.

            The crusaders established the short-lived Latin Empire (1204–1261) and other “Latin” states in the Byzantine lands they conquered. Byzantine resistance in unconquered sections of the empire such as Nicaea, Trebizond, and Epirus ultimately liberated the capital and overthrew the crusader states. The Fourth Crusade is considered to be the last major campaign in the Crusades, and marked an end to any further serious attempts at conquering the Holy Land.

          • Softly Bob

            The Muslims conquered Jerusalem and decimated two-thirds of the Christian World, over 400 years before the First Crusade. The Christians finally decided enough was enough and decided to retaliate.
            The Muslims started it, but I suspect you believe that the U.S. were vicious warmongers because they retaliated against the Japanese after Pearl Harbor was attacked.
            BTW the Crusaders who attacked the Byzantine Empire were not Christians. They were Pagans hired by the Pope to support the Christian cause.
            Nice try but you get a ‘F’ for fail.

          • Shel_Zahav

            You get an F in comprehension.

            I am the most pro-support the Christians in the Middle East that you are going to find. You missed my point completely. Again, my point is that Christians are neglecting their own while Israel is defending them.

            I am a lover of the greatest republic in the history of the world, the United States of America. I am saddened to see it falling apart now under socialist intolerance.

          • Softly Bob

            I agree with you that today Christians are failing to give support to other Christians, but are the ones who are failing, really Christians?

            Many Christians are unaware of what is really happening in the Middle East because it is under reported. The ones that do know are trying their very best to shout this from the roof tops but the message is falling on deaf eras.

          • Shel_Zahav

            Too many are asleep at the wheel as they have always been.

    • Wolfthatknowsall

      The only problem with your statement is that there is no one in the Middle East who is two thousand years old. So, it’s acceptable, to you, for Christians to be persecuted and killed for things that happened in the Middle Ages?

      If you can find a two thousand year old Christian who participated in Jewish persecutions, by all means, arrest him and send him to the Hague …

      • Gee

        No you misunderstand. The Arab Christians of today are just as anti-Semitic as their Muslim neighbors and have actively supported the ethnic cleansing of Jews from those countries and advocate for the genocide of the Jews in Israel

        • Shel_Zahav

          This is not true. The Old World churches are still anti-Semitic, but the New World (mainly evangelical) churches tend to be philo-Semitic.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            I agree with this statement. And like you said in your next comment, I don’t wish to argue with you over this. I’m a member of The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and we’ve got to stick together in these perilous times.

            Gee is correct that there is some irony involved, but the animosity between Arabs … both Christians and Muslims … and Jews is thousands of years old, and is, quite frankly, Biblical. But Christians in the United States who are not leftwing tend to be strong supporters of Israel, and is mostly among evangelicals and fundamentalists.

      • Shel_Zahav

        I don’t want to have a fight over this, but your logic makes no sense. The Church oversaw the kidnapping of Jewish children as well as the decimation of Jewish communities, not 2000 years ago, not in the Middle Ages, but as recently as only 75 years ago. Look up Eduardo Mortara for an example of the Pope himself kidnapping a Jewish child in Italy in the 1800s.

    • Softly Bob

      What do you mean almost as bad, you worthless lump of dirt? You make it sound as if Muslims sat around doing nothing for hundreds of years, while Christians just spent all their time murdering Jews. Muslims were murdering both Jews and Christians 1400 years ago and still are today. You’re a revisionist history freak and a disgustingly, slanderous one at that!

      • Gee

        No moron I am not whitewashing the genocidal actions of the Islamofascists. Revisionist? LMAO!!! more like realist.
        I also refuse to ignore the actions of the Christians like you are attempting to suppress. I do not ignore the actions of the Vatican either.
        None of them have clean hands, and so long as they leave us alone I will do the same. But I will not allow their actions to be ignored regardless of their current situation.

        • Shel_Zahav

          God eventually rights the wrongs.

          • Drakken

            No, God helps those who help themselves.

      • timeaftertime

        Jews had the best of times under the Ottomon Empire ruled by the Muslims. Check out the glorious era of Jews where they flourished economically & intellectually under the Muslim rulers. In return look what they are doing to Muslims & Christians in Palestine.

    • Drakken

      Soon you Jews will be completely surrounded by the savage muslims who won’t have a problem killing every bloody one of you. What happens to Christians and Jews by the muslims harkens in a new age that makes the nazis look like amateur hour, sooooooo my friend, as a Prussian/Austrian/American/Catholic, we are all on the same goddamn boat, so you had better get used to us, as we to you, because this is about to get really nasty and bloody.

    • truebearing

      Frankly, I am disgusted by your attitude and expected better from you. Yes, there were many who called themselves Christians who persecuted Jews, but they didn’t do it in accordance with the teachings of Jesus. They did it for political gain, land, or money. Those who followed the Gospel, ie true Christians, did not engage in the persecution you cite.

      There are Leftists who have argued that Hitler was a Christian because he was born in a Christian nation, yet he exterminated millions of Christians, many of whom risked their lives to save jews.

      You are apparently enjoying feelings of revenge as the Muslims butcher innocent Christians. Do you have a functioning conscience?

      • Chavi Beck

        Noting the irony of a situation does not equate to approval of the situation.

  • Mickey Oberman

    It seems as if the Christians have switched place with us Jews.
    There are, however, very few Jews left in Muslim countries.
    WARNING! Beware of easter. That used to be the Christians favourite time for slaughtering Jews.
    Interesting. The Christians in Muslim landz showed little concern for the Jews when they were being persecuted and murdered.

  • wileyvet

    The periodical episodes of Jewish persecution within Christendom, is indeed a lamentable chapter of history, but it is a recognized and acknowledged history. Many such incidents were isolated and sporadic, due to local views of Kings or Princes rather than full on assault from the church. There is much evidence to show support for the Jews from various Popes and Monarchs in order to protect them. Persecution of Jews by Christians is NOT sanctioned by tenets of Christianity, but rather by perversion of scripture. The same cannot be said for Islam, where the Koran explicitly calls for the jihad against, followed by the submission of both Jews and Christians. From the outset of Islam’s founding, both religions rejected Muhammad as a prophet, and have earned the eternal enmity of Muslims ever since. There is no Muslim equivalent of Vatican II. There is no acknowledgement by Muslims of 1400 years of Dhimmitude. Rather it is all part of their proud Islamic past, that brought them glory and honour. It is this long term, systemic subjugation over centuries, codified in the Koran and Hadith, that contrasts the difference of Muslim over Christian persecution of Jews. This need not be an argument of who has suffered more or less throughout history, but rather an understanding that both Jews and Christians today, have shared a common fate under Islam, and together are still the enemy of Islam, because they had the effrontery to reject Allah and his prophet.

    • Shel_Zahav

      Sorry, but there were many full-on assaults from the Church. It is nice to see that the Church (and Protestant churches) have moved beyond their dismal past behavior toward Jews, but let’s not whitewash the evil and murderous past.

      • wileyvet

        I am not whitewashing anything as my first sentence indicated. As I also mentioned the Islamic world does not acknowledge their past of conquest and subjugation, destruction of cultures, religions, languages etc., but colouring it as a glorious age. There are no apologies from the Muslim world for their aggression. No “Brown Man” guilt on their part. They are unabashedly proud, because Muslims are meant to be supreme. To them it is all part of Allah’s will. So what evil then is being whitewashed today, considering any examination or criticism of Islam is dismissed with shouts of bigotry and “Islamophobia” from the media, academia, and the political sphere? Islam is given cover everywhere and I would like to know why. Do you have the answer?

      • truebearing

        ” Persecution of Jews by Christians is NOT sanctioned by tenets of Christianity, but rather by perversion of scripture.”

        You missed that sentence, apparently.

        • Shel_Zahav

          Though the boys throw rocks in jest, the frogs they die in earnest,

          • truebearing

            Tell that to George Soros.

  • Shel_Zahav

    It’s the religion of peace.

    • Dan Borden

      Yes, and we are all going to die from global warming next year.

    • JacksonPearson


    • Drakken

      You want peace? Kill every goddamn muslim and be done with it. Then you will have peace.

  • Shel_Zahav

    Israel has become the only haven for Christians in the Middle East.

    • Dan Borden

      Unless said Christians happen to access to a big supply of plastic explosives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 aemoreira81

    This is where asylum has to be considered by the USA…reason being: the USA cannot protect them in their native lands without engaging a Russian proxy. That leaves evacuation as the other viable option.

  • Drakken

    If the Christians want to stop the slaughter by muslims, time to get Old Testament on the muslims, because turning the other cheek isn’t going to cut it, and if I fight back and that makes me a bad Catholic? So be it.

    • kevinstroup

      What has happened to the West? I was surprised when I found out how many people in high school had never been in a fist fight. I asked this to a college class I was in. When I was in school I spent so much time in the principles office for fighting that I thought he was another class. Mostly lost, but I never let that slow me down. The West is headed for extermination if we do not change.

  • kevinstroup

    And just like chickens the Christians stand around looking stupid while they are being slaughtered. Why aren’t the Christians arming themselves and fighting like mad dogs? The weak will be exterminated.