Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.
U.S.-backed rebels are committing Christian genocide in Syria, where they are sacking churches and issuing threats that all Christians will be cleansed from rebel-held territory. A mass exodus of thousands of Christians is taking place, even as mainstream Western reporters like Robert Fisk demonize those same Christians for being supportive of the secular regime.
The bloody jihad waged against Nigeria’s Christians, which has seen hundreds killed this year alone, now includes plans to kill Christians with poisoned food, as part of the Islamic organization Boko Haram’s stated goal of purging Nigeria of all Christian presence.
During Egypt’s presidential elections, Al Ahram reported that “the Muslim Brotherhood blockaded entire streets, prevented Copts from voting at gunpoint, and threatened Christian families not to let their children go out and vote” for the secular candidate.
Meanwhile, under President Obama, the U.S. State Department, in an unprecedented move, purged the sections dealing with religious persecution from its recently released Country Reports on Human Rights. Likewise, the Obama administration insists that the Nigerian crisis has nothing to do with religion, even as Obama offered his hearty blessings to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, in the midst of allegations of electoral fraud.
Categorized by theme, June’s assemblage 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.
Egypt: Because many visitors were in attendance, Muslims surrounded a Coptic church during Divine Liturgy “demanding that the visiting Copts leave the church before the completion of prayers, and threatening to burn down the church if their demand was not met.” The priest contacted police asking for aid only to be told to comply with their demands, “and do not let buses with visitors to come to the church anymore.” Christian worshippers exited halfway through liturgy to jeers outside. As they drove away, Muslims hurled stones at their buses. Also, repairs to a Coptic church that was torched and gutted a year ago by rioting Muslims were woefully inadequate, leaving the congregation with a staggering debt from further necessary repairs.
Indonesia: A Muslim mob of 300 wrecked a store that was being used for a Sunday church service on the pretext that it had not obtained “permission to hold Mass.” The mob wrecked the first floor of the store, breaking windows and damaging furniture. Police stopped them before reaching the third floor, where some 60 Christians had congregated. None of the Muslims were arrested, although 12 Christians were taken into custody for questioning. Separately, in compliance to calls by Islamic clerics, authoritiesordered 20 churches to be torn down, following the closure of 16 smaller Christian places of worship in the same district last month. The congregations continue to hold services inside their sealed-off buildings as other members stand guard outside.
Iran: Authorities ordered the closure of yet another church in the capital, Tehran, “amid a government campaign to crack down on the few recognized churches offering Farsi-speaking services,” according to a human rights group. The church originally served Assyrian background Christian members; however, “due to an increasing number of Farsi-speaking believers—mostly MBBs [Muslim Background Believers]—it [the church] has become a cause of concern for the authorities and they now ordered it to shut down.”
Kashmir: A 119-year-old church was torched by Muslims. The local bishop “said that the Muslim fundamentalists want Christians to leave the state… He said that the church had filed a case with the police but had been advised not to ‘play up’ such incidents.” Christian minorities “are coming under growing threat from Kashmir’s Muslim majority. A Christian human rights group in India said that over 400 Christians have been displaced as a result.”
Kazakhstan: Land use regulations are being exploited “as a means to prevent religious communities and their members exercising freedom of religion or belief.” Most recently, authorities “forced a Methodist church to ‘voluntarily’ close and fined the wife of the Church’s Pastor, who further paid for an announcement in newspapers saying the church was ‘liquidating itself,’” simply because “We do not want more punishment from the authorities.”
Nigeria: Islamic militants attacked several churches during every Sunday of the month with bombs and guns killing dozens of Christian worshippers, and critically wounding hundreds, including many children. Growing numbers of Christians “dare not” attend church services anymore, even as reports suggest that some police are intentionally abandoning their watch prior to such attacks.
Sudan: Authorities bulldozed two church buildings to the ground and confiscated three Catholic schools, as a response to the secession of South Sudan in July 2011, saying that such buildings are associated with now unwelcome, largely Christian South Sudanese in the Islamic-ruled country. Another church building belonging to the Full Gospel Church was destroyed in the same area two months ago, also on the claim that it belonged to South Sudanese.
Turkmenistan: An Evangelical church in the Muslim-majority nation was raided by authorities: “All adult believers at the meeting were questioned about their faith and all of their Christian literature was confiscated.” Their literature was returned two weeks later.
Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism
Egypt: A Christian student handing out Christian literature in Assuit University “raised the ire of Muslim students,” resulting in clashes on campus, “amid shouts of sectarian chants,” leading to many injuries. Likewise, a Salafi leader declared on Egyptian TV that Muslims have no right “to convert to Christianity.”
Iran: Five months after five Christian converts were arrested, their condition and fate remain unknown. They are accused of “attending house church services, promoting Christianity, propagating against the regime and disturbing national security.” Being imprisoned for 130 days without word “is an obvious example of physical and mental abuse of the detainees…. one of the prison guards openly told one of these Christian detainees that all these pressures and uncertainties are intended to make them flee the country after they are released.” Also, a young Iranian woman, who recently converted to Christianity and was an outspoken activist against the Islamic regime, was found dead, slumped over her car’s steering wheel, with a single gunshot wound to her head.