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Christian convert killed in Bangladesh

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(Voice of the Persecuted) In the latest attack on minorities in the country, Hossain Ali (68), a Christian convert was brutally hacked to death by suspected Islamic militants in the northern Bangladesh town of Kurigram. Witnesses claim during his regular morning walk, attackers jump out at Ali and slashed his neck. Law enforcement reported 3 unknown assailants fled the scene on motorbikes and that Ali died on the spot. They also reported that there had been disputes in the family and he may have been murdered for religious reasons.

Ali converted to Christianity in 1999. He had recently retired from government service. Locals also claim Hossain Ali was a pastor at a neighborhood church, although autorities have denied this claim. He was also a 1971 liberation war veteran.

In January, the Islamic State claimed the murder of Samir al-Din because he converted from Islam. Their statement, “Soldiers of the caliphate were able to eliminate the apostate, named ‘Samir al-Din’, by stabbing him with a knife,”

Despite ISIS claiming responsibily for a number of attacks, the government denies the presence of ISIS in Bangladesh and attributes the murders to the banned Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh. The nation seen a surge in Islamist violence as activists and religious minorities have been targeted.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh. Pray endurance for the many who have converted to faith in Jesus across the globe.

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Muslims Attack Christian Village Celebrating Easter, Stab Priest, Destroy Bibles and Crosses in Bangladesh

bangladesh-wikicommons

During last Easter, a Catholic Christian village made up of tribal Khasia people living in Bangladesh was attacked by Muslims.

Syed Ara Begum, a Muslim owner of a tea plantation, along with a Muslim mob,  attacked the Christian village as its population was celebrating Mass for Easter Monday.   The plantation owner reportedly seeks to seize the Christians’ land.  Hearing the cries of his flock, Fr. James Kiron Rozario ran to the site of the attack.  Once there, the crowd of Muslims attacked him with a knife, seriously wounding him and threatening to kill him.

The Muslim mob went on to steal items worth 33,900 taka (4,134 EUR).  They also destroyed Bibles, crosses, holy pictures, musical instruments and homes — and slaughtered goats and chickens.

According to Msgr. Bejoy N. D’Cruze OMI, Bishop of Syleht, “We live in fear….  We want justice and security for our priests and our faithful. We hope that the government will find a peaceful solution and that our people can live free from tensions…. They [Catholic Khasia] are a very peaceful community but often fall victims of the Bengali [Muslim] majority.”

Raymond Ibrahim

Christians Burned Alive: Muslim Persecution of Christians, November 2014

crownthornPersecution

Both in the Islamic world and the Western world, Muslims continued to attack and slaughter Christians.

In Pakistan, “A mob accused of burning alive a Christian couple in an industrial kiln in Pakistan allegedly wrapped a pregnant mother in cotton so she would catch fire more easily, according to family members who witnessed the attack,” reported NBC News:

Sajjad Maseeh, 27, and his wife Shama Bibi, 24, were set upon by at least 1,200 people after rumors circulated that they had burned verses from the Quran, family spokesman Javed Maseeh told NBC News via telephone late Thursday. Their legs were also broken so they couldn’t run away.

“They picked them up by their arms and legs and held them over the brick furnace until their clothes caught fire,” he said. “And then they threw them inside the furnace.”

Bibi, a mother of four who was four months pregnant, was wearing an outfit that initially didn’t burn, according to Javed Maseeh. The mob removed her from over the kiln and wrapped her up in cotton to make sure the garments would be set alight.

Discussing this latest atrocity against Pakistan’s Christian minorities, an AFP report states:

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in the majority Muslim country, with even unproven allegations often prompting mob violence.

Anyone convicted, or even just accused, of insulting Islam, risks a violent and bloody death at the hands of vigilantes.

A Christian woman [Asia Bibi] has been on death row since November 2010 after she was found guilty of making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed during an argument with a Muslim woman.

An elderly British man with severe mental illness, sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan in January, was shot by a prison guard last month.

Two days after the Christian couple were burned alive, a policeman in Pakistan hacked a man to death for allegedly making blasphemous remarks against Islam.

Shazad Masih and his wife Shama Shazad Masih

Shazad Masih and his wife Shama Shazad Masih

Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti, President of the Pakistan Christian Congress, wrote a letter to U.S. President Obama expressing surprise that the U.S. did not even bother to condemn the crime against the murdered Christian couple:

It is surprising that neither US Administration under your honor nor US State Department even bothered to condemn this horrific crime of burning live of Christian couple by a mob living in country named Islamic Republic of Pakistan which is receiving billions of aid of US taxpayers.

I would appeal your honor to put pressure on government of Pakistan to end misuse of blasphemy laws against Christian, Ahamadiyyia and other religious minorities and condition US Aid to Pakistan on human rights and repeal of blasphemy laws.

Meanwhile, in America itself, in Oklahoma, Jimmy Stepney, a Muslim, stabbed Jerome Bullock, a Christian, after Stepney had said that Muslims need to “step up” beheadings. According to Koco5 News:

The [police] report went on to say Stepney had been making comments about beheading people.

“We were watching the news,” said Bullock. “He said he felt like more Muslims need to step up to the plate and do certain thing. He was talking about beheading people.”

The severity of the plight of Christians in the Middle East was further underscored by Dr. Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, who wrote:

Russia is currently considering the possibility of initiating a draft decision of the UN Human Rights Council on the protection of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa. Russian experts are now working on this document.[…]

The scale of the problems demands the coordination of international efforts to protect Christians in the Middle East.

Further initiatives, new measures and relevant discussions aimed at finding durable solutions in this regard are strongly needed. Of course, we believe that Europe, including the UK, should make its contribution to these efforts, taking into account the Christian roots of the European civilization, which are now often forgotten for the sake of political correctness.[…]

The fate of the region’s religious minorities is of the greatest concern. The mass exodus of Christians, who have been an integral part of the Middle Eastern mosaic for centuries, is particularly troubling.

The rest of November’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:

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Bangladesh: Two Christian pastors from the Faith Bible Church of God were arrested for preaching the Gospel to Muslims . They could face two years in prison if convicted for “hurting religious sentiments” and luring Muslims to convert by offering them money. The pastors deny both charges. Police arrested the pastors and 41 other people, including Muslims, after a throng of Muslims disrupted a house meeting. According to a witness: “More than 100 Muslims headed by local Jamaat-e-Islami party members and Muslim clerics gathered at the house and started barking questions at the pastors—why did they propagate Christianity in the locality and convert some of them,” and who gave them permission to preach to Muslims. “The pastors replied that it did not take any permission from any authority to propagate any religion and convert people to any religion. Suddenly the Muslims became apoplectic with rage, tried to pick a fight and started jabbing the pastors’ faces.”

Egypt: Father Timothy Shakar, priest of St. Mina Church in Port Said, confirmed that two homemade bombs were planted near the St. Mina Church but caused no injuries, or losses of life or property. Police searched other churches in the region for more bombs.

Germany: Nine men who had earlier broken into, vandalized, and robbed several Christian churches in the Cologne area—including by stealing money from the collection boxes and liturgical vessels—were caught during a massive raid. Apparently, all of the arrested are German by nationality, but Muslim by background and heritage. Some were also identified as “Salafis”—especially fundamentalist Muslims—connected to international terrorist organizations. Some had even raised hundreds of thousands of Euros from native (and naive) Germans to support overseas “charities,” the proceeds of which actually went to terrorist groups such as ISIS.

Iraq: As cries of “Allahu Akbar” emanated from surrounding mosques, Islamic State militants blew up yet another Christian church – St. George’s Church and its associated nunnery in the city of Mosul — along with other non-Sunni sites. Separately, after breaking the cross from off the dome of the St. Ephrem Church dome (before and after pictures here) and selling its pews and other furnishings, IS transformed the church into a mosque and council seat for the jihadis.

East Jerusalem: Despite constant and ever bolder attacks on a church, police refuse to respond to pleas for help from the Christian congregation. According to Morning Star News, “The attacks, driven by both intent to seize property and opposition to Christianity, have been mounted by young men with ties to Palestinian militants who for more than three months have been trying to force Living Bread Church from its rented building. Church pastor Karen Dunham and others have filed at least eight police reports about the assaults.” The most recent incident took place on November 5, when the gas tank of a car owned by a church volunteer was filled with sugar. On November 2, a car owned by one of the pastor’s relatives was stolen. And on October 16, three American Christians were injured while trying to repair a metal security door: A crowd of Palestinian men attacked them with box cutters, sticks, clubs and pepper spray.  According to the church’s attorney, authorities “have their [the assailants’] pictures, they have their names, they even have their national ID numbers, and still they do nothing…. The level of brute force compared to the level of lack of response of the police force there is pretty shocking…. It almost seems like if someone is going to go in and murder her [Dunham], that no one is going to lift a finger.”

Malaysia: Approximately 70 local residents in Petaling Jaya protested the construction of a church. They claimed the growing number of Christian places of worship in the area is part of an attempt to evangelize and convert Muslims to Christianity. An NGO, the local branch of Pertubuhan Sahabat, supported the claims of the Muslims. They argued that there are three churches in the vicinity, although close to 70 percent of the residents in the area are Muslims. According to a spokesman, “Even before the church is built, flyers on Christianity have been distributed to our homes, and this could confuse our children and divert them from the path of Islam.” The vacant plot was previously occupied by squatters, a car park and several food stalls. Another local Muslim added “None of our neighbours are Christians, we can vouch for that… it is an insult to Muslims to allow a church to be built here, but none of our representatives seem to have the time to listen to us.” One demonstrator hurled large rocks at the temporary steel fence around the vacant plot.

Jihadi Slaughter of Christians

Kenya: Members of neighboring Somalia’s Islamic group Al Shabaab—”the Youth”—hijacked a bus carrying 60 passengers in the town of Mandera, near Kenya’s border with Somalia. They singled out and massacred 28 non-Muslims, the overwhelming majority of whom were Christian. According to an eyewitness, “When we got down, passengers were separated according to Somali and non-Somali. The non-Somalis were ordered to read some verses of the holy Koran, and those who failed to read were ordered to lie down. One by one they were shot in the head at point blank range.”

Nigeria: On November 10, a suicide bomb attack on a Christian secondary school as students gathered for morning assembly killed at least 47 people. The Islamic group Boko Haram—meaning: “Western education is forbidden”—is believed to be behind the blast. In a separate incident, Christians from the predominantly Christian city of Mubi in Adamawa state were tortured and killed after Boko Haram took control of the town. Churches and homes were torched throughout the city, which was renamed Madinat al-Islam, or “the City of Islam.” In yet another separate incident, Boko Haram militants raided the mostly Christian town of Shani. According to a resident speaking to Reuters, “They rode on motorcycles and were more than 30 men. They started throwing bombs into houses… then the Boko Haram fired shots at people fleeing. They set ablaze the police station, houses and a telecom mast… I saw people fleeing, some bodies on the ground.” Reuters continues: “The Sunni jihadist movement is fighting to revive a medieval Islamic caliphate in Nigeria’s north.”

Pakistani Persecution

A few days after the Christian couple, mentioned earlier, was burned alive, a 35-year-old Christian father of five known as “Mithu” was arrested on false charges by police and tortured to death in prison. According to the deceased’s brother-in-law: “It was a fake allegation, because the raiding party failed to recover any contraband from Mithu’s person and his house… On the morning of Nov. 22, we were informed by Ilyas Gill, a local councilor, that Mithu had died in police custody because of heart failure…. Young Christian men are made scapegoats to show police performance while the real culprits are carrying out their illegal activities right under the police’s nose.” Morning Star News adds: “Area police routinely round up young, impoverished Christians on false charges of drug peddling and bootlegging, and then force their families to pay heavy bribes in return for their release… family elders had seen signs of torture on the body…”

Christian families in a Punjabi village were forced to flee after a Christian man married a Muslim woman—an act forbidden by Islamic law. According to the Pakistani report, “The Muslims in this village became enraged when this occurred and began threatening them…. When the news of the marriage was learned, the Muslims in Sahiwal attacked Shahab’s [the Christian husband’s] family as well as other Christian families in the village. The Muslims demanded that Ruksana [the Muslim wife] be returned immediately, according to Sharia which prohibits Muslim women from marrying a man from another religion…. the entire Muslim community was threatening to kill Shahab’s father and all of the village’s Christians…. The Christians’ pleas for help from the local police were all in vain.”

And Qaiser Ayub, a 40-year-old professor of Christian background, was arrested and charged with insulting Islam’s prophet Muhammad. The computer science professor had been a fugitive avoiding the police since 2011, when he was first accused of having written blasphemous comments on his blog.

Dhimmitude: Generic Contempt and Hostility

Denmark: In an apparent replication of the Islamic world’s modus operandi, Muslim refugees in the European nation are persecuting Christian refugees. According to 10news.dk, “Christian asylum seekers are repeatedly exposed to everything from harassment to threats and physical abuse by other refugees in the asylum centers, simply because they have converted from Islam to Christianity.” According to Niels Eriksen Nyman, who led the study, “There are certainly many more cases around the country than the ones we hear about in the church. I hate to say it, but I’m afraid that on some of the asylum centers there are some very unhealthy control mechanisms when the staff turns their back… I refuse to support Islamophobia, but we have a serious problem here.” Two recent examples: “An eight year old Christian at the Center Sandholm was bullied and beaten by the larger Arab boys on their way to school. Now the boy nolonger [sic] dares to go to school. On the island Bornholm, somebody had tampered with a Christian asylum seeker’s bike so that he crashed and broke both hands.”

Egypt: The Islamic State called on its followers to take the jihad to Egypt. Abu Mus’ab al-Maqdisi, a leader in the Islamic State, said in a statement titled “Advice to Egypt’s Mujahidin” that “It is necessary to take the battle to Cairo, until the Sinai is safeguarded from the apostates [reference to Egyptian government] and becomes a rear base [qaeda] from which to expand the jihad.” He also called on the jihadis in Egypt to “target the Copts,” the nation’s indigenous, Christian minority: “For targeting them, following them, and killing them is one of the main ways to serve the cause of our virtuous male and female hostages of the tyrants.”

Iraq: Christian homes in Tel Isqof were looted by Kurds who, after fighting the Islamic State, took control of the area on August 17. According to Agenzia Fides, “The city of Tel Isqof was occupied on August 7 by jihadist militias who already in June had conquered Mosul. Faced with the advancing of jihadists, the civilian population, mainly Christians, had fled to the autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan, leaving the city deserted. Ten days later [on August 17], with a counter-offensive the Kurdish Peshmerga had regained control of the city. But it is precisely since then that [Christian] residents periodically return to the city to check the status of their homes, and acknowledge that the doors of a growing number of homes and businesses have been forced and property looted: money and jewelry, technical equipment and electronic instruments.” As in the Islamic State, most Kurds are Sunni Muslims.

Islamic State: IS issued a document breaking down the purchase prices of Christian and Yazidi women being sold as sex-slaves. Apparently these enslaved unfortunates are priced based on age— the youngest being the most expensive. The breakdown is as follows (with USD equivalency in brackets): 40-50 years old: 50,000 dinars [$43]; 30-40 years old: 75,000 dinars [$64]; 20-30 years old: 100,000 dinars [$86]; 10-20 years old: 150,000 dinars [$129]; 9 years old: 200,000 dinars [$172].

Spain: Real Madrid, a professional football (soccer) team, stripped the traditional Christian cross from its club crest as part of a deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. “It is believed the European champions’ new crest, minus the Christian cross, was created so as not to offend Muslim sensibilities in the United Arab Emirates, where a marketing drive will take place,” wrote the Telegraph. Club president Florentino Perez said, “This agreement will help the club to keep conquering the hearts of followers in the United Arab Emirates.”

Syria: As of November, Raqqa, which once had approximately 1,500 Christian families, had only 23 Christian families remaining in it—the others were driven out or killed by the Islamic State. Those few remaining were unable to leave the city for lack of resources or for reasons of age and health. On November 16 they were told that they must pay $535, an exorbitant sum (as seen above, human sex-slaves are being sold for as little as $43). “In all likelihood Christian families, impoverished by the war, will not be able to pay the tax and will have to leave their homes” or convert to Islam, as many elderly, debilitated Christians unable to flee have already done.

About this Series

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic.  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 Islamic Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy, blasphemy, and proselytism laws that criminalize and sometimes punish with death those who “offend” Islam; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam;  theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or third-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination thereof.

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

Raymond Ibrahim

Two Pastors in Bangladesh Face Charges for Proclaiming Christ to Muslims

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(Morning Star News) – Two pastors in northwestern Bangladesh could face two years in prison if convicted for “hurting religious sentiments.”

Police on Nov. 9 arrested the pastors and 41 people, including Muslims, who were listening to proclamation of Christ at a rented house in Nabinagar village in Lalmonirhat District, 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Dhaka, after at least 100 Islamists disrupted the meeting and began “jabbing” at the church leaders’ faces, sources said.

The 41 people who were detained along with their children were released that night; the pastors of Faith Bible Church of God were not released on bail until Nov. 17, charged with “hurting religious sentiments” and luring Muslims to convert by offering money. The church leaders deny both charges.

“We did not tell anything to anyone that might hurt religious sensibility,” one of the released pastors, Arif Mondol, told Morning Star News. “We did not offer any money to anyone to be converted to Christianity.”

An area source told Morning Star News on condition of anonymity that the incident caused a sweeping furor among local Muslims.

“More than 100 Muslims headed by local Jamaat-e-Islami party members and Muslim clerics gathered at the house and started barking questions at the pastors – why did they propagate Christianity in the locality and convert some of them,” the source said.

The Islamist leaders asked the pastors who had given them permission to spread Christianity in the area.

“The pastors replied that it did not take any permission from any authority to propagate any religion and convert people to any religion,” the source said. “Suddenly the Muslims became apoplectic with rage, tried to pick a fight and started jabbing the pastors’ faces.”

Police arrived and detained all 41 people, along with their children, and the two pastors, and took them to the Lalmonirhat police station at noon.

Local imams filed a case against the pastors the following day. Police told Morning Star News they were investigating.

Nazrul Islam Mukul, an attorney who helped the two church leaders to obtain bail, told Morning Star News that the pastors told those in attendance that Jesus Christ was alive and would return, and that as the living one everyone should come to Him for salvation.

“If the allegations of the case are proved and if they are found guilty, they will be put in jail for maximum of two years according to Article 295/A,” Mukul said. “People of the locality were very angry with the pastors. If police had not come timely, they would have faced severe consequences.”

A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 21.

Nirmol Rozario, secretary general of Bangladesh Christian Association, told Morning Star News that the charges went against the spirit of the country’s constitution.

“I demand that the case against the pastors should be dismissed, since the grounds of the case are contradictory to our constitution,” Rozario said. “This is the act of the communal and religious fanatics.”

Sunni Muslims constitute 90 percent of Bangladesh’s population, according to the 2011 census, with Hindu making up 9.5 percent of the total population, which the U.S. government estimates at 163.7 million people . The remainder of the population is Christian (mostly Roman Catholic) and Theravada-Hinayana Buddhist. There are also small numbers of Shia Muslims, Bahais, animists, and Ahmadiyya Muslims.

Convent attacked in Bangladesh: first such violence in country

bangladesh-wikicommons

A massive attack by armed men on a Catholic convent in Bangladesh happened on July 7, reports Aid to the Church in Need.

The attack, by 50 to 60 men, was the first such instance of violence against a Catholic institution in Bangladesh. Authorities have arrested 12 Muslims in connection with the incident.

“It’s unprecedented because nuns are highly respected in Bangladesh,” said Bishop Sebastian Tudu of Dinajpur. He reported that the pastor was robbed and the nuns were brutally beaten and there were instances of attempted rape.  He claimed the violence only ended when police arrived.

The attackers came to loot the mission.. They may also have been looking for land-ownership deeds, which poor and illiterate members of the community may have left to be kept safely at the mission. According to the Bishop the Diocese of Dinajpur had already been the scene of a number of attacks against Christian villages last year.

The Bishop said,

“It’s unprecedented because nuns are highly respected in Bangladesh. The attack is obviously a targeted and planned attempt at intimidation.”

“Nuns and priests are being attacked because they stand up for the disadvantaged and minorities.”

“The police are now investigating the case. They have promised to clear it up.”

He also relayed the the priests(45) and nuns(100) working in the diocese, and they now live in fear.

sources

Church in Need

Catholic Culture

War On Christians, Those Martyred Doubled in 2013

the-persecuted-church

An annual survey reported cases of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013 from the previous year. Syria had the highest number of deaths, more than the entire global total in 2012. In the list of killings, Syria was followed by Nigeria with 612 cases last year after 791 in 2012. Pakistan was third with 88, up from 15 in 2012. Egypt ranked fourth with 83 deaths after 19 the previous year.

“This is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm,” said Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors. Estimates by other groups put the figure as high as 8,000.

Christianity is the largest religion in the world with 2.2 billion followers, or 32 percent of the world population, according to a survey by the U.S.-based Pew Forum on religion and Public Life. But they are also the most persecuted.

Open Doors published the 2014 World Watch List of the top 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution. You can view the list here. Woefully, persecution is increasing in many of the countries on the list.

For the twelfth consecutive time, North Korea retained they’re spot as the most difficult country in the world to be a Christian. Christians found with Bibles or Christian related material are at risk of execution or life in the prison camps. Many have been separated from their loved ones never to be heard from again. Solely for their faith in Jesus Christ, up to 70,000 Christians have been imprisoned.

Somalia ranks behind North Korea and is now #2 on the list. Converts are policed and for fear of persecution, must secretly worship ‘undergound’ keeping their faith hidden. They are also under attack by extremists of al-Shabaab, a terrorists group trying to force Sharia law in the country.

Violence against Christians in Syria has seriously increased moving them from #36 in 2012 to #3 on this year’s list. The report claims more Christians have been martyred(at least 1213) in Syria than any other country.

The cause of persecution against Christians in 36 of the 50 countries on the list, is said to be from Islamic extremism.

This year, Central African Republic #16, Sri Lanka #29 and Bangladesh #48 have all been added to the list. Violence in these nations surged against Christians. Extremism and the advancement of Sharia law again relating to the increase.

Open Doors says,

Though these facts and figures are absolutely devestating, we know that our hope is in Christ and that He his faithful to hear the prayers of His people, says.

Islamist extremism is the worst persecutor of the worldwide church.

Your prayers and VOICE for persecuted Christians are needed more than ever. Inform others, ask you pastor to pray weekly with the church for our Christian family suffering for their faith in Christ.

Thank you for your prayers and interest in those being persecuted!

100,000 Christians killed per year over faith, Vatican says

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(FoxNews) A staggering 100,000 Christians are killed annually because of their faith,  according to the Vatican — and several human rights groups claim such anti-Christian violence is on the rise in countries like Pakistan, Nigeria and  Egypt.

On Tuesday, Vatican spokesman Monsieur Silvano Maria Tomassi said in a radio address to the United Nations Human Rights Council,

“Credible research has reached the shocking conclusion that an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year.”

“Other Christians and other believers are subjected to forced displacement, to the destruction of their places of worship, to rape and to the abduction of their leaders, as it recently happened in the case of Bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, in Aleppo [Syria],” Tomassi said.

While several human rights groups could not comment specifically on the Vatican’s number, organizations like Persecution.Org said the persecutions of  Christians have been on the rise in places like Africa and the Middle East over the last decade.

“Two-hundred million Christians currently live under persecution. It’s absolutely on the rise,” Jeff King, the group’s president, told FoxNews.com.

It’s easing in the old Communist world and it’s rising in the Islamic world,” King said, noting in particular countries like Egypt, Pakistan and  Nigeria. King said that the first major killing spree in recent years happened between 1998 and 2003, when he claims 10,000 Christians were murdered in  Indonesia,” Credible research has reached the shocking conclusion that an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year,” alone during those years.

Last March, a Nigerian Christian leader was killed when suspected Muslim militants burst into his home and shot him. Two members of Islamic militant  group Boko Haram shot Faye Pama Mysa, a Pentecostal pastor and secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, in his home Wednesday, according to multiple reports. The killing happened just after President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency because of ongoing attacks in Africa’s most populous nation.

King spoke of another example in which young Christian girls were forced into sex slavery in Bangladesh. More than 140 children were rescued from Islamic training centers over the last year — with the majority of girls being targeted because of their religion, according to King.

John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International, has raised grave concerns over what he calls “religious cleansing” in Syria.

anti_christian“Religious minorities are under constant threat in Syria,” Eibner told  FoxNews.com. “If things continue as they have been for the past two years in Syria, with an increase in religious cleansing, it’s reasonable to think that there will be no more Christian communities or other religious minorities in the near future.”

“Anti-Christian violence is on the increase throughout the world, especially  throughout North Africa and the Middle East,” he added. “It’s hard for me to say  with precision what the numbers are, but without doubt anti-Christian violence is on the increase.”

Dinah Pokempner, general counsel for Human Rights Watch, was not able to independently verify the Vatican’s figure, but said, “I think there’s little doubt that every week, every day, someone in the world is being persecuted –  even to the point of losing their life – based on their religion.”

“Persecution is a daily event on the basis of religion,” Pokempner said. “This persecution affects Christians just as it does Muslims, Jews, Bahá’ís and people of other faiths.”

A spokesman with the Vatican could not be immediately reached for comment.

Jane Zimmerman, the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, said in a statement that: “While I’m unfamiliar with the methodology that  was used to reach that number, we have certainly followed numerous cases in recent years in which Christians and others of many faiths have been attacked or killed on account of their religious beliefs.”

“Whatever the numbers, no one should die for professing or practicing their  faith, whatever that faith is,” Zimmerman told FoxNews.com. “The United States  firmly supports the freedom to profess and practice one’s faith, to believe or  not to believe, and to change one’s beliefs. As Secretary Kerry said on May 20, religious freedom ‘is a birthright of every human being.”

 

 God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians and yet did, or do nothing to intervene.

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