U.S. Becomes Chief Enabler of Christian Persecution

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). 


ObamaOriginally published by the Gatestone Institute

Human rights organization Open Doors published its 2014 World Watch List in January, highlighting and ranking the top 50 nations that persecute Christians.  The overwhelming majority of countries making the list—and nine of the top ten worst offenders—are Muslim, and include nations from among America’s allies (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait) and its contenders (Iran); from among economically rich nations (Qatar) and poor nations (Somalia and Yemen); from among “Islamic republic” nations (Afghanistan), “democracies” (Iraq), and “moderate” nations (Malaysia and Indonesia).

The report also indicates that every Muslim nation that the U.S. has helped “liberate,” including in the context of the “Arab Spring,” has become significantly worse for Christians and other minorities. Previously moderate Syria is now ranked the third worst nation in the world to be Christian, Iraq fourth, Afghanistan fifth, and Libya 13th. All four receive the worst designation in the ranking process: “extreme persecution.”

Three of these countries—Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya—were “liberated” in part thanks to U.S. forces, while in the fourth, Syria, the U.S. is actively sponsoring “freedom fighters” against the regime, many of whom have been responsible for any number of atrocities—including massacres, beheadings, and the crucifixion of Christians and others.

Despite this track record of interfering in Islamic nations only for the human rights of minorities to plummet, and despite the fact that Syria has gotten dramatically worse for Christian minorities, Secretary of State John Kerry declared in January that, if only Bashar Assad goes away, “I believe that a peace can protect all of the minorities: Druze, Christian, Isma‘ilis, Alawites—all of them can be protected, and you can have a pluralistic Syria, in which minority rights of all people are protected.”

The same was predicted of Iraq over a decade ago, yet today, well more than half of the Christians are either dead or fled, after years of constant attacks on their churches and persons once Arab dictator Saddam Hussein was ousted.

Libya offers a more recent precedent.  Since U.S.-backed “rebels” overthrew Qaddafi, Christians—including Americans—have been tortured and killed (some for refusing to convert), their churches bombed, and their nuns threatened.

January’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.

Attacks on Christian Places of Worship 

Egypt: Christian churches were severely targeted during the first month of 2014.  Among other incidents, during New Year Eve church services, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked St. George Church in Ain Shams; one young Coptic man died from a bullet wound to the head.  International Christian Concern reports that on Friday, January 3, Muslim Brotherhood supporters also attacked an Evangelical Church in the Gesr El Suez area of Cairo, “pelt[ing] stones on the church and chanting slogans against Christians,” in the words of a local.  Reports indicate that “there was no security for the church building and that the attackers operated with impunity.”  On Sunday, January 5, security forces in Suez disrupted a terrorist cell belonging to the “Supporters of Jerusalem,” which was plotting to attack a nearby church during January 7 Orthodox Christmas celebrations.  Among other things, a bomb was found in the bathroom of the Three Saints Church in Beni Suef city, which was diffused by police. On January 10, security forces “arrested a bearded person in possession of four hand grenades in a handbag next to the Church of two Saints,” according to a local Christian. (In 2011, a suicide attack on the same church on New Year’s Eve resulted in the killing of over 20 Christian worshippers).  On January 24, authorities found explosives inside a car parked behind the Al Malak church, which was targeted, “to be exploded,” sources told International Christian Concern.  On Saturday, January 25, Security forces in Ismailia Security directorate found 26 Molotov Cocktails inside a bag next to the church of St. Bishoy in Ismailia city. Witnesses say that the person in possession of the bag of explosives was sitting in a car next to the church and that “he fled when he saw the policemen.”  On January 28, “A group of armed men,” reported Asia News, “attacked the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in the governorate of Giza. Police responded to gunfire and one officer died in the shootout, while two others were injured.”

Indonesia:   In the province of Aceh, where Sharia law holds sway, Christians, who make up 1.2 percent of the population, continue to be denied permits to build churches.   According to Agenzia Fides, “There are only three churches in the provincial capital Banda Aceh (one Catholic and two Protestant), and even though the Christian population in Aceh is increasing, the requirements to obtain permits and the pressures of radical Islamic groups on the civilian authorities have made it extremely difficult for non-Muslims to build new places of worship. Moreover, the current governor of the province, Zaini Abdullah, who was elected in 2012, promotes a declared program of islamization of society.”  A human rights leader was reported as saying that the laws that appear within Sharia districts “limit the freedom of minorities to practice their faith and are not coherent with the Indonesian Constitution.”

Malaysia: An unidentified assailant hurled two petrol bombs at a shrine fronting the Church of the Assumption.  Only one bomb ignited, causing minor damage to the structure.  This came in the context of anger at Christians using the word “Allah” to refer to the biblical God.  “But the incident,” said Sky News, “stirred memories of a wave of such attacks on places of worship—mostly churches—four years ago during an earlier bout of divisions over the dispute in the Muslim-majority country….  Conservative Muslims have raised pressure in recent weeks for Malay-speaking Christians to stop using the word ‘Allah.’”

Nigeria: On a Friday in the Muslim-majority north, gunmen suspected of being members of the Islamic organization Boko Haram burned down a church and the house of a National Assembly member. Separately, in the midst of several Sunday morning raids by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, at least fifteen Christians killed.

South Sudan:  During clashes between rebel groups and the recently formed government of South Sudan, Catholic and Protestant churches were attacked, priests forced to flee for their lives, and the whereabouts of a bishop who disappeared remain unknown.  Some 600,000 people, most of them Christian, have also fled their homes amid reports of mass slaughters and ongoing attacks on churches.

Zanzibar: More than 100 Muslims stormed a church following an evening worship service and beat the visiting preacher.  According to a church elder, “These rowdy Muslims were shouting and yelling, saying, ‘We are looking for the bishop of the church to slaughter him—we are tired of the existence of this church near our mosque and the noise they are making.’”  The Islamic mob fled when police arrived—but not before tearing the visiting pastor’s coat and shirt, and causing him to suffer multiple contusions requiring medication.  According to another church member, the “congregation has been living in fear for their lives…  At the moment we cannot worship freely because we are being threatened. The Muslims are accusing us of making a lot of noise while they themselves make a lot of noise.”

Attacks on Christian Freedom: Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism

Algeria: Ali Touahir, a 52-year-old Muslim convert to Christianity, is paying the price for apostasy: his Muslim wife has left him, taking their seven-year-old daughter, and is divorcing him in court.  One of his wife’s brothers has openly threated to kill him.  According to court documents, the wife’s lawyer wrote: “It is not possible that my client [the Muslim wife] still remain under the same roof with a man who has renounced his religion, as he became apostate; and we are not ignorant of the punishment that is due an apostate under sharia [death].”

Israel: Christians were warned against “slandering” Allah.  A large billboard was posted in Nazareth featuring a picture of an Israeli stop sign, along with Koran 4:171 which reads: “O people of the Scripture [Christians]! Do not exceed the limits of your religion. Say nothing but the truth about Allah (The One True God). The Christ Jesus, Son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God and His word conveyed to Mary and a spirit created by Him. So believe in God and His messengers and do not say: ‘Three gods (trinity).’ Cease! It will be better for you. Indeed, Allah is the One and the Only God. His Holiness is far above having a son.”

Kazakhstan:  A court fined two Protestant Christians for possession of Christian publications, which were defined as “extremist material.”  According to a note sent to Agenzia Fides, a “tough system of religious censorship imposed by the state” prevails in the nation.  Earlier, in October, 2013, Bibles and icons in a small shop were seized by police and the owner indicted for the sale of religious material without the permission of the state.  Similarly, a 67-year-old Christian Presbyterian Pastor has been under arrest since May 17, 2013, on charges of distributing “extremist material,” that is, leaflets on the Christian faith.

 

Lebanon:  After blasphemy allegations saying that a decades-old library owned by a Christian and church leader possessed “material deemed insulting to Islam and Muhammad,” the building was torched in an arson attack; two-thirds of its 80,000 books and manuscripts were destroyed.

Malaysia:  Christians using the word “Allah” for worship were again attacked by Muslim groups.  Similarly, the portrait of one Fr. Andrew Lawrence, Director of the Catholic weekly Herald, was burned, and threats to his life continue.  Msg. Murphy Pakiam, the region’s Archbishop Emeritus, in a letter asked authorities to “take the necessary measures to prevent further provocative acts of intimidation against minorities,” and concluded by saying “let us not forget to pray for our enemies, who have misunderstood our faith.”

Pakistan: Asia Bibi, a Catholic Christian wife and mother who has been on death row for over four years without trial for allegedly blaspheming Islam and/or its prophet Muhammad, sent a message to Pope Francis saying that “only God will be able to free me….  I also hope that every Christian has been able to celebrate the Christmas just past with joy. Like many other prisoners, I also celebrated the birth of the Lord in prison in Multan, here in Pakistan…  I would have liked to be in St. Peter’s for Christmas to pray with you, but I trust in God’s plan for me and hopefully it will be achieved next year.”

Dhimmitude and Murder

Bangladesh: Ovidio Marandy, a young Christian and brother of a Catholic priest, was murdered.  According to his brother and family, “Muslim radicals wanted to punish the young man, a well-known figure in the local Catholic community, because he had recently organised a demonstration in his village against Islamist violence,” and more generally was speaking for Christian rights in the Muslim majority nation.  According to the local Christian priest, “We are shocked by what happened.  Christians have the right to vote. Why are Islamists attacking us? We want peace.”

Egypt: Yet another Coptic Christian child was kidnapped in Egypt.  Thirteen-year-old Cyril Rif‘at Fayiz was abducted in the Minya district by “unknown persons” who later called the child’s parents demanding one million Egyptian pounds, nearly the equivalent of $150,000 USD, an exorbitant sum for Egyptian villagers.

Syria: Two Armenian families were compelled to convert to Islam at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and one man, Minas, a young Armenian, was killed for refusing. According to iNews, “Minas and his father were held in ISIL’s prison for 115 days, according to one activist, and his accusation was that he refused to submit [to Islam, i.e., convert].”  The same report mentions other Christian Armenians killed, including one who reportedly had “his head chopped off and placed in a biscuit box.”  Separately,  another Christian man, Fadi, was beheaded and his body stabbed with his own crucifix, which exposed him as a Christian to “rebels” who had stopped his car.

Turkey:  Protests against Christmas and New Year celebrations were described as “unprecedented” by Al-Monitor.  The campaign was led by the Anatolian Youth Association (AYA), the youth branch of the pro-Islamic Felicity Party.  In one instance, members displayed posters in various Istanbul neighborhoods that pictured a Muslim man punching Santa Claus with the slogan “No to New Year’s and Christmas celebrations.”  The group also distributed flyers stating, “We are crying out that the New Year’s and Christmas celebrations held in our country are wrong and constitute a blow dealt to our Muslim identity. “ On 26 December at Beyazit Square in Istanbul, the AYA stabbed an inflatable Santa while chanting against Christmas and New Year celebrations. One Christian bishop expressed concerns that the Santa parody was “like a rehearsal” for attacks on real people: “A handful of Christians are left in this country, and such incidents naturally cause fear… The savage murders of missionaries took place in the wake of similar hate campaigns.”

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.

*

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  • watsa46

    The President by stating more than a year ago that the country is not Judeo-Christian may imply that he fundamentally does not recognize himself as a true Christian?

  • liz

    “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”.
    That one statement says it all – He was declaring himself the “Dhimmi in Chief”, and his actions have backed it up 100%.

  • Habbgun

    Its said that conservatives can not appeal to minorities but conservatives will always be the hope of everyone when the persecution starts. Minorities can only look forward to be sold down the river and the rot within. Just like J Street in the Jewish community look for aggressive against their own kind dhimmitude groups to spring up in the name of inclusiveness. All through mutual support can we fight back. The Left will never provide that. The Left only feeds on weakness.

  • Davros11

    After reading this very well written article, I have come to the decision that all these people being killed by muslims or islamists (whatever?) need to fight back. I know that is hard when you live in a repressive country or you are the minority or you don’t think it is right to fight back (whatever?) but it needs to be done. And when you are called islamophobe or anti-muslim or racist you need to fight back. Everyone is appeasing or actually scared, this has to stop. I live in Chicago, and when anyone tries that point the finger yelling racism crap, I just point it right back and say the same thing. When I see an Islamist giving someone a hard time on the train, I push him and ask how he likes, or follow him and yell insults at him. Eventually they put up their hands and say they want no problems, that’s when you tell them they got a problem. We need to persecute the savage animals

  • wileyvet

    We know from the Hadith and Ishaq’s Sira, that the prophet personally ordered the assassination of no fewer than five critics of him and Islam after the Hijra.
    3:157. And if ye are slain, or die, in the way of Allah,
    forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than
    all they could amass. (Yusuf Ali)
    This Surah ( The Merciful ) is the second longest and was revealed after the Muslim defeat at Uhud. This verse explains that the reward for dying in Allah’s cause is greater than all the earthly accumulation of material wealth.
    There is no greater motivating factor in Islam than to Kill and be Killed in Allah’s cause. Surely the President understands this. For he is All Knowing, Wise.

    • 95Theses

      How dare you say such things of The Religion of Peace!

  • herb benty

    Thanks Mr. Obama, you’re doing a bang-up job!(Extreme sarcasm).

  • popseal

    I’ve been a Christian since age 25, 1970. It’s been open season for 2000 years against Christians. You just can’t keep Christ in the grave. His regenerated followers just don’t quit or go away. Sometimes we think we are surrounded and outnumbered and about to be over run. The beat goes on.

  • Ross

    Please not, it’s not just Christians who risk Islamist vilence, but decent people of all creeds, including Muslims – and it’s hard to fight back when the police (in an allegedly ‘pluralist’ country) won’t lift a finger. http://rossrightangle.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/cops-did-nothing-even-when-jihadis-threatened-to-behead-me/

  • InfidelAlliance

    Dear Frontpage Magazine and fellow readers,

    I have been commenting for years on this issue, beating the warning drum, alerting people to the true nature of this ‘terror’ century. What we are really facing is not a ‘War on Terror’. It is THE ISLAMIC WORLD WAR.

    THE ISLAMIC WORLD WAR, inspired by Allah, mandated by Muhammed, commanded in the Koran and Ahadith……slaughtering and subjugating Jews, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Baha’i, Ahmadiyya, Zoroastrians, atheists, gays, women and all non-Muslims in every corner of the globe.

    As a child I thought the world of the 21st century would be an era of peace, with science and space exploration, arts and music, a celebration of life after overcoming the evil of the 20th century. I was wrong. Meet the new evil, same as the old evil…no…..worse.

    Hitler created a terror civilization based on his own psychopathy. Fortunately, due to clear thinking and huge sacrifice, Hitlers evil civilization was destroyed after about 15 years in power.

    Muhammed created a terror civilization based on his own psychopathy too. Unfortunately, due to ignorance and capitulation, Muhammed’s evil civilization continues to grow after 1,400 years.

    When will it stop? How can it stop? For Islamic terror to end, we must first expose and utterly destroy the myth of Muhammed as a ‘holy’ man. It is Muhammed who is responsible for all of this evil.

    ~ The Infidel Alliance

    • 95Theses

      Well, let’s go back one step further and say that it was שָׂמָן who inspired Muhammad. Or, if you like, the Κατήγορος, Διάβολος, or Πλάνος.

  • Dyer’s Eve

    Barack Obama bin Laden (mabus); the chief turd polisher.

  • Drdetroitdanchap

    Israel has been seething with hatred of Christ for 2,000 years.
    Israel sent Saul of Tarsus AMONG OTHERS to hunt the first Christ followers.
    Israel instigated the POGROMS against early Christians throughout Rome.

    Israel is instigating the Arab attacks today.

    America, throw off the YOKE of Israel.
    America is like MASTER-BLASTER in “Thunderdome”. The dwarf Israel controlling the retarded giant:
    “christian-zionism” is today’s JUDAS ISCARIOT .
    America & Christians have been YOKED by those who crucified Our Lord.
    In the bible the Jews BRAG about how they parasitically controlled Egypt AND Babylon. The bible clearly tells how Abraham twice “pimped” his own wife for monetary gain from Kings of GOOD character. Then ignorant people say one is wrong to talk about Jews controlling things. TRY READING THE BIBLE, the jews BRAG about it, insinuating themselves into positions of power is part of their culture.
    The Jews want to rebuild their “temple” so they can return to ANIMAL/BLOOD sacrifices, where they smear the blood of the animal all over (the bible describes in detail how they should rub blood all over themselves) and burn the corpse for a “PLEASING ODOR onto “their” lord”. The first 9 chapters of Leviticus involve detailed instructions for sacrificing live animals to their god. The Jews worship a WAR god. The CRUCIFIXTION of JESUS CHRIST was the FINAL sacrifice. Or don’t any of you ever read the Bible?
    It is Israel through it’s Agent, the ACLU, that has used “tolerance, diversity, inclusion” to pollute the Christian culture even as Israel works to create a PURE JEWISH STATE in Palestine. CHRISTians should PAY for “holocaust museum/synagoges but are DENIED a Nativity on their own townhall lawn for a few days a year.
    Isreal worships a WAR god. Christians have no business supporting or associating with WAR god worshipers. The only Jews Christians should embrace are those Jews who see the LIGHT and convert. WAR god followers do not embrace PEACE.
    “Judeo-Christian” is an OXYMORON. WAR-God vs PEACE-God. The Old Testament followers worship a WAR GOD and spend their lives hating, reliving every imagined slight, and dreaming of VENGENCE ….. “NEVER FORGIVE and NEVER FORGET” …. they still go on about Egypt and Babylon after MILLENIA. New Testament followers (are supposed to) worship a loving, forgiving God, and to CLOSE the Old Testament, as it has been FULLFILLED by the Crucifixion of Jesus. If you are following the OLD Testament you ARE NOT and CANNOT be a CHRISTian.
    ISRAEL is the ANTI-Christ wearing the BLUE TURBAN of the United Nations that “CREATED” it.
    Israel has HATED Christ for 2,000 YEARS. First crucifying him, then attacking his followers and teachings.
    “ANTI-Christ” does not get any greater then to CRUCIFY HIM. There is a MYTH that attempts to shift blame for the crucifixion onto Rome but the Priests sending SAUL of TARSUS and others to HUNT His followers right after the crucifixion PROVES that that is a lie. The Priests also instigated POGROMS against the early Christians. Judaism IS the ANTI-CHRIST.
    “christian-zionism” is the modern day JUDAS ISCARIOT, attacking CHRISTianity while feigning to BE Christian. Kissing Christ on the cheek for the Temple Priests.
    Jews, even to this day, refuse to set aside 2,000 years of venomous hatred for Our Savior. Judaism is a HATE group.
    “Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is the spirit of Antichrist. He is the spirit of Antichrist who denies that Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah.” — (I John 2:22; 4:3)

    “My opinion of Christian Zionists? They’re scum. But don’t tell them that. We need all the useful idiots we can get right now.” — Benyamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister
    “Once we squeeze all we can out of the United States, it can dry up and blow away.” — A comment made by Benjamin Netanyahu to Jonathan Pollard (convicted traitor and spy) upon exiting Pollard’s jail cell.

    • Suelinn

      I feel sorry for you. You are seething with hatred for the Jews and the Jewish nation. Jesus was a Jew and He loved the Jews, even those who persecuted Him. The Jews are God’s chosen people and while they are blind to Jesus now, at some point they will not be and many will come into the Kingdom of God. ANY CHRISTIAN who hates the Jews is wrong and one who uses the scriptures to justify hating the Jews is misusing the scriptures and taking individual verses out of context to justify their hatred.

      Whether you call yourself a Christan or not, you need to get right with God, because it’s clear from this that you are not right with Him. Jesus calls us to love others, not hate them.

  • Libslayer

    The future belongs to those who utterly eradicate the deadly cancer of Islam.

  • Arizona

    IN all my memory,AMERICA has NEVER been a christian nation,THE CHURCHES were for a FASHION SHOW,and thats all they were,THE pastors lied and lied to everyone to get their money,THE LORD said that money was to go to the poor and homeless,widows,and crippled,NOT IN AMERICA,its used to MURDER CHILDREN,round up homeless and sacrifice their children to AMERICAS GOD “SATAN”,and government police gang thugs,who beat and murder defenceless families,homeless women and children,campers,travelers on the road are robbed by them,OH<whats coming for america BY THEIR GOD "SATAN",OH yea they'll be wishing they were never born,when hes done with them,MY GOD IN HEAVEN says AMERICANS ARE "VOMIT" IN HIS MOUTH……………….

  • Arizona

    OH,you guys at NSA,have fun ,you have ended you life,and you don’t have much time left…hahaha………..

  • Objective truth

    It seems like none of you seek the truth, but only what you want to believe. Try investigating the facts, and not simply what some guy writes in an article. http://www.factcheck.org/2009/12/truth-on-the-cutting-room-floor/

  • American1969

    Barack Obama is anti-American, Marxist, and hates Western Civilization. His actions support this.
    Where is his voice to speak out against the atrocities being perpetrated against Christians? *crickets*
    But a thug like Trayvon Martin gets shot, and he’s got something to say.
    He slaps allies like Israel across the face, and send arms to al-Quaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Obama is anti-American scum and a traitor.

    “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
    —Barack Hussein Obama
    UN Speech, 2012

  • Emery Richards

    Can’t change Biblical prophecy. Babylon the Great (including Christendom) will be attacked and destroyed. Read Revelation to John.

  • William Law

    The US under the pro Islamist administration of the most anti-Christian bigoted occupant ever to disgrace the office of President of the United States, has disgraced itself as a nation by becoming a true enabler of worldwide Christian persecution by Mohammedanism, the religion of Satan himself.

  • SantosGarcia

    There will be a fiery furnace for those who hold the true Gospel of the Kingdom of our LORD Jesus Christ! http://zionsgate.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/the-preeminence-of-christ-and-end-time-apostasy/