Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
A study from the Europe-based Center for Studies on New Religions recently confirmed that “Christians continue to be the most persecuted believers in the world with over 90,000 followers of Christ being killed in the last year ,” which computes to one death every six minutes. The study also found that as many as 600 million Christians around the world were prevented from practicing their faith.
And which group is most prone to persecute Christians around the world? The answer to this was made clear by another recent study; it found that, of the ten nations around the world where Christians suffer the worst forms of persecution, nine are Islamic.
What is it about Christians that brings the worst out of some, especially Muslims? Three reasons come to mind:
Of course, Islam’s anti-freedom laws target people of all or no religions. Many outspoken Muslim apostates in the West who never converted to Christianity must fear execution should they ever fall into the hands of their former coreligionists. However, they are here now, alive and well in the West and warning us, precisely because they were not challenging the spiritual truths of Islam then, when they were living under its shadow—and why should they have been? If life is limited to the now, as it is in the secular worldview, why risk it, especially when merely not rocking the boat, as many “moderate Muslims” do, will save it?
It is in fact Christianity’s penchant to refuse to toe the line that, from its beginnings till now, has caused fascists of all stripes—from the ancient Roman Empire (whence the word fascist is derived) to modern day North Korea—to persecute Christians. The latter have a long history of refusing to be silent and paying the sort of lip service that everyone else is willing to offer to get by. Just as Jesus irked Pilate by refusing to utter some words to save his life—“don’t you realize I have the power to either free you or crucify you?” asked the bewildered procurator (John 19:10)—his disciples and countless other ancient Christians defied the Roman Empire, prompting several emperors to launch what, at least until now, were deemed history’s worst persecutions of Christians; and today, countless modern day Christians continue grieving and thus being punished by their totalitarian overlords—from North Korea to every corner of the Muslim world—for the very same reasons.
[i] Samuel M. Zwemer, The Law of Apostasy in Islam: Answering the Question Why There are So Few Moslem Converts, and Giving Examples of Their Moral Courage and Martyrdom (London: Marshall Brothers, 1916), 25.