As in former years, Easter was under attack in various Muslim nations, most spectacularly in Egypt. On April 9, two Coptic Christian Orthodox churches packed with worshippers for Palm Sunday Mass, which initiates Easter holy week, were attacked by Islamic suicide bombers. Twenty-seven people—mostly children—were killed in St. George’s in Tanta, northern Egypt. “Where is the government?” an angry Christian there asked AP reporters. “There is no government! There was a clear lapse in security, which must be tightened from now on to save lives.” Less than two hours later, 17 people were killed in St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria. Since the original building, founded by the Evangelist Mark in the first century, was burned to the ground during the seventh century Muslim invasions of Egypt, the church has been the historic seat of Coptic Christianity. Pope Tawadros, who was present—and apparently targeted—emerged unharmed. About 50 Christians were killed in the two bombings, 126 wounded and many mutilated. (Graphic images/video of aftermath here.)
A few days earlier, on April 1, 3,000 fatwas [opinions by Islamic authorities] inciting the destruction of churches in Egypt had been circulated throughout Egypt. A number of Egyptian Christians interviewed after the twin bombings said that government-funded mosques regularly incite hatred and violence for Christians over their loudspeakers. In other mosques, according to Michael, a middle-aged Christian, “there are prayers to harm Christians. They incite to violence, youths are being filled with hatred against us and acting on it. It concerns us all. It leads to terrorism and to Christians being targeted.” Separately a Christian woman said, “The problem starts at school where children are treated differently. In school some refused to speak to me because I was a Christian.”
In Nigeria, Muslim Fulani herdsmen randomly opened fire on a Christian village. According to Bishop Bagobiri, “The attack came when the people were in the church for the Easter Vigil celebration.” The Muslim gunmen killed “at least 12 persons on the spot, with many injured,” including women and children. Instead of celebrating Easter Sunday, the bishop and a local priest presided over the burial of “at least ten Catholics.” The bishop publicly accused the local governor, a Muslim, of complicity with the perpetrators and bias against their victims.
In Pakistan, a “major terrorist attack” targeting Christians during Easter celebrations was foiled, according to the nation’s military. An Islamic militant was killed and four soldiers injured during the raid. Among the Muslim terrorists arrested was a female second-year medical student who said she was preparing to “martyr” herself as part of a suicide attack on a church during Easter Sunday. Last year in Lahore, an Easter Day Islamic attack left more than 70 people dead.
In Indonesia, 300 Christians from two churches that remain sealed by authorities in West Java, celebrated their fifth Easter by protesting outside the presidential palace in hopes that the president lifts a banning order preventing them from holding services in their own houses of worship. Both churches are legally registered but “are being persecuted by local authorities who refuse to allow them to worship in (more…)
Detroit (Agenzia Fides) – A judge Mark Goldsmith in Detroit has temporarily halted the deportations of Chaldean Christians and other Iraqi immigrants ordered last June by virtue of the new immigration rules implemented by the Trump Administration. The measure had already been temporarily blocked by the same judge for shorter periods, and all the suspensions ended yesterday, Monday 24 July. Yesterday’s new ruling by Judge Goldsmith also took note of Iraqi citizens who referred of the risk of being subjected to violence and persecution once back in the country of origin. Goldsmith also pointed out that the criminal and judicial cases weighing on many of the Iraqis threatened with deportation were actually “dormant” cases. The judge declared that the constitutional rights of Iraqi immigrants, many of whom have long been resident in the United States, have been violated, and that guarantees for the protection of fundamental freedoms can be suspended only in rare cas es of foreign invasion or internal insurgence.
The Iraqis already arrested on June 12 at the disposition of the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE, US Federal Agency responsible for border control and immigration) were 114, but potential expulsion measures threatened about 1,400 immigrants from Iraq. Most of the Iraqis already arrested (see Fides 11/7/2017) lived in the area of Detroit and belonged to Chaldean Christian families. The operation was implemented after the agreement between the United States and Iraq with which the government of Baghdad had agreed to host a number of Iraqi citizens subjected to the expulsion order, while being removed from the black list of affected nations from the so-called “Muslim ban”, wanted by President Donald Trump to prevent access to the United States for citizens from six Muslim majority countries considered as potential “exporters” of terrorists. Even some of the arrested Christians had in the past had problems with justice.
Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako also intervened on the case: in a letter to Chaldean Bishop Frank Kalabat, at the head of the Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle in Detroit, the Primate of the Chaldean Church expressed solidarity and closeness to Iraqi families affected by the provisions of expulsion, and hoped for an adequate solution to the humanitarian emergency caused by the expulsion measures, also directed against family men with small children.
Now Iraqi immigrants, at risk of deportation, have three months to arrange their legal strategy with their lawyers to render ineffective the expulsion orders issued by the ICE. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 25/7/2017)
In June, protesters against federal agents’ rounding up more than 100 Iraqi-American immigrants told local media that those who were detained had no prior warning that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would be arresting them.
The report shared that U.S. Democratic Reps. Sander Levin and Brenda Lawrence of Michigan joined members of the Chaldean Christian community gathered in front of the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building. They held up signs, crosses and American flags, venting their frustration against federal authorities who detained their father, brothers and uncles, many of whom have been in the community for decades.
Late June 20, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington released a letter that conference officials sent to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, urging him from a moral perspective to defer deportation of the individuals apprehended by ICE, particularly Christians and Chaldean Catholics, “who pose no threat to U.S. public safety” and would be sent back to a region where the persecution of religious minorities continues.
VOP note: Please speak out and pray for our Iraqi brothers and sisters to remain safe in our country.
This is the story of Amani Mustafa, a Egyptian women who left her country and moved to the US. In this video she explains the danger and abuse she was faced with in Egypt and about her conversion to Christianity.
The Oxford Eagle reported that a secularist legal organization that seeks to separate church and state has complained to Ole Miss that head football coach Hugh Freeze and an assistant football coach are wrongly using Twitter to promote religious beliefs.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter this week to Ole Miss Chancellor Jeff Vitter questioning what it calls “overly religious social media postings of football coaches at the University of Mississippi.”
“A concerned citizen reported to FFRF that University of Mississippi head football coach Hugh Freeze regularly promotes religion on his Twitter page,” the foundation attorney wrote in a letter sent to Chancellor Vitter.
“Recently, Freeze has tweeted statements such as ‘Lead us by your truth and teach us 2day, for you are the God who saves us! All day long I put my hope in you. Ps 25:5 – be a blessing 2day’ and ‘Here’s the best news ever, your eternal standing with God doesn’t depend on your goodness, but on God’s unshakable faithfulness’ via his twitter handle @CoachHughFreeze. Read more
The Oxford Eagle also wrote an opinion piece encouraging the coach to keep on tweeting.
DALLAS (Christian Examiner) – Christian leaders are pushing back against a Buzzfeed article that questioned HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines for attending a church that opposes same-sex marriage. The Gaines are the hosts of HGTV’s highest-rated program, Fixer Upper.
The Nov. 29 story quickly was labeled a “hit piece” by critics, who questioned why it was newsworthy that a famous couple’s church holds to traditional beliefs that have been affirmed by Christians for 2,000 years.
The story carried the headline: “Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage” and said in a subhead: “whether the Fixer Upper couple agrees is unclear.” It has been read more than 500,000 times.
Glenn T. Stanton, director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family, said such accusations should be answered “bluntly.” READ MORE
(Voice of the Persecuted) received an update on American Christians, Andrew Brunson and his wife, Norine’s situation as of late Friday, October 21. Turkish officials arrested and detained the couple on October 7 in the coastal city of Izmir on grounds of conducting activities constituted as “national security risks”.
Norine and Andrew have been living in Turkey for 23 years, running a church with the full knowledge of the local authorities. They were summoned to the police department on Friday, October 7, for what they assumed would be questions about their recent residency application. Upon their arrival they were presented with a letter from Ankara labeling them a threat to national security and ordering their deportation. They were immediately detained, their phones were confiscated, and they were completely isolated from the outside world.
The authorities denied repeated requests from their lawyers, the US State Department, and friends to see them or communicate with them in any way. They were explicitly forbidden from having a Bible, and were not allowed to receive books or any change of clothes. Andrew’s glasses and watch were taken away. They were told that their government had forgotten about them and that “hopefully” they would be deported, suggesting that they might simply disappear and never be heard from again.
Norine was released after 12 days (Oct. 19) and verbally told that all charges against her were dropped, but her lawyer has told her that is almost certainly not true given that nothing was put in writing. She was allowed to see Andrew for half an hour on October 20, but was denied any access on October 21. Apart from Norine, Andrew has had no contact with the outside world since October 7.
Norine and Andrew explicitly waived their right to protest the deportation, and yet there has been no deportation to date. The right to legal counsel is guaranteed under Turkish law, and the right of the US State Department to visit detained US citizens is guaranteed by 36(1)(c) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which Turkey has ratified. Both of these rights have clearly been violated.
At this point, the priority is to get Norine and Andrew safely out of Turkey, something entirely in keeping with the deportation order. Norine’s current visa expires on November 10, and though she might be forced to leave at any time, she really does not want to leave the country without Andrew. Norine is also concerned that her husband might be transferred from the current immigration center to a prison. Prison in that environment is entirely different from prison in the United States, and often includes people disappearing and without ever being heard from again.
There are far more serious charges supposedly brought against them, but none of it in writing, and none of it with any semblance of transparency or accountability. Those charges cannot be discussed openly, but Norine indicates that it’s difficult to overstate how dangerous the situation is.
The new objective is to see Norine and Andrew safely released from Turkey. They are willing and ready to comply with the deportation order, and yet the authorities continue to hold Andrew. Very little progress has been made through normal channels, so we will now start pressing the issue through Congress, through the media, and through the Turkish embassy.
It is time to press Turkey for Norine and Andrew’s rights to be restored. If the objective was to deport them, why detain them and deny them rights guaranteed under both Turkish and international law? Where are they being held and why have the charges not been stated in writing? Why hold them in isolation and confiscate things like Andrew’s glasses?
As always, your continued prayers are much appreciated, and we know that God will cause good to come from this.
ACT NOW by
PRAYING and sharing this urgent prayer request:
- Pray that Andrew would be released from detention
- Pray that the authorities would not discriminate against Christians in Turkey;
- Pray for religious freedom in Turkey.
(11/11/16 UPDATE:) At this time, due to ongoing negotiations, we are only sharing that Turkish authorities have released Norine Brunson. We request that prayer and fasting continue for her husband, Andrew who is still being detained. The Brunsons have been residents of Turkey for the past 20 years. Pastor Andrew Brunson had been leading the Izmir Resurrection Church, a small Protestant congregation averaging 30 to 40 worshipers, in Turkey. We will share further updates, including how you can get involved if further action becomes necessary.
As always, your continued love, concern and prayers are much appreciated. We know that God will cause good to come from this. Andrew’s wife, Norine told Voice of the Persecuted that she is tremendously blessed to hear that a large network of prayer warriors are lifting her and husband in prayer, each day.
“Amazing. Humbling. Please pass on our gratefulness,” she added.
Your prayers are such an encouragement and make a difference to those suffering for Christ. Please continue to press in for this couple and their family.
- Pray for Andrew and peace for his wife, Norine.
- Pray the authorities would not discriminate against Christians in Turkey.
- Pray for religious freedom in Turkey.
Muslim Persecution of Christians: July, 2016
- The Obama administration has taken in 5,435 Muslim refugees, but only 28 Christians — even though Christians are approximately 10 percent of Syria’s population and are classified as experiencing a genocide there.
- The logic of the pope’s statement seems to be that violence done that contradicts the Judeo-Christian God’s commandments — such as the murder of wives and mothers-in-law — is identical to violence done in accord with Allah’s commandments to wage jihad on “infidels.”
- One million Christian children whose families have been displaced or affected by the violent activities of Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen are starving. Boko Haram’s seven-year rebellion has left 20,000 people dead and more than two million displaced. — Nigeria.
- One social media posting by the Islamic State showed a picture of a young girl with the caption: “Virgin. Beautiful. 12 years old… Her price has reached $12,500 and she will be sold soon.”
- Countless reports continued to appear indicating that non-Muslim students, most often Christians, are being forced to convert to Islam through the public school system. Teachers force them to recite the shahada — which when said before Muslim witnesses makes them a Muslim. — Pakistan.
- The government is trying to “cleanse” the nation of Christians and create a homogenous Muslim state. — Sudan.
As the Muslim persecution of Christians continues to reach critical proportions around the world (see report below), the average American shows much more concern than the current administration. Soon after it was revealed that the Obama administration has taken in 5,435 Muslim refugees, but only 28 Christians — even though Christians are approximately 10 percent of Syria’s population and are classified as experiencing a genocide there. A poll found that more than three-quarters of American respondents agreed with the statement: “It is important to me that the next US President be committed to addressing the persecution that some Christians face around the world (e.g.: imprisonment, beheadings, rape, loss of home and assets).”
The deliberate targeting and killing of Christians in Europe also reached unprecedented levels in modern times. Most notably, on the morning of July 26, shouting Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is the Greatest”] stormed a small church in France during morning mass. They forced 85-year-old Father Jacques Hamel to his knees, slit his throat, and “critically injured” a nun, before being killed by police. (It was later revealed that police had known that church was being targeted and had even been monitoring one of the murderers for at least a year and a half.)
Later, when a journalist asked Pope Francis if Fr. Jacques was “killed in the name of Islam,” the pope disagreed. He argued that he hears of Christians committing violence every day in Italy: “this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law… and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics! If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.” The logic of the pope’s statement seems to be that violence done in direct contradiction of the Judeo-Christian God’s commandments — such as the murder of wives and mothers-in-law — is identical to violence done in accordance with Allah’s commandments to wage jihad on “infidels.”
In ISIS-controlled territories in Iraq and Syria, reports continued to emerge of Christians being tortured to convert, sold into sex slavery, maimed, crucified, burned alive or beheaded. In Iraq, a report says that:
“Christians and other minorities in Iraq are facing persecution at unprecedented levels and are at the verge of extinction …. The Christian population has dwindled from 1.4 million to 300,000 in the last decade, according to some estimates. However, Minority Rights Group put that the number at anywhere between 50,000 to 250,000.”
A former ISIS member exposed some of the atrocities the group commits in Syria. “They were extremely brutal, killing women and the elderly who did not obey them. They abused and mutilated their dead bodies. They cut up the corpses, tied them to the back of the cars and dragged them along. They would find them and publicly execute them. I witnessed many executions.”
The remainder of July’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians — most of which was not committed by ISIS — includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Muslim Slaughter of Christians
Two armed Muslim tribesmen murdered Rev. Joseph Kurah, an evangelical pastor, while he was working on his farm. They repeatedly hacked him to death with machetes. A local Muslim reportedly hired the assassins after he got into an argument with the Christian leader. Since 2001, Muslim Fulani have murdered thousands of Christians and destroyed hundreds of churches. According to a separate report, in just June and July, Muslim Fulani tribesmen targeted and invaded several Christian-majority villages. They killed 133 people, destroyed 76 churches, and countless Christian properties and farms.
Muslims hacked a female Christian preacher to death in the outskirts of Abuja. Eunice Elisha, a minister from the Redeemed Church of God, was found dead in a pool of her own blood after she went out to preach in the streets. A month earlier, on June 2, a Muslim mob beat Bridget Agbahime, the wife of a Christian pastor, to death with iron rods on the accusation that she had blasphemed against Muhammad.
About one million Christian children whose families have been displaced or affected by the violent activities of Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen are starving. Churches, which are currently the primary supporters of these children, have gone beyond capacity and tens of thousands of children are expected to die of starvation and disease if they do not receive aid from elsewhere. According to the report, Boko Haram’s seven-year rebellion has left 20,000 people dead and more than two million displaced.
Philippines: Attacks and murders of Christians around Mindanao Island, which has a large Muslim population, are on the rise. Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, who has lived in the region for 40 years, is calling on authorities to “find proper solutions” to stop “the agony of the Christian community.” He said, “A Christian was killed in Jolo a few days ago. A reliable source told me that 20 Christians have been targeted to be killed or kidnapped soon…. the Christian community is suffering a form of persecution from those who are guided by bad elements who claim to do it in the name of Islam.”
Kenya: Muslim gunmen from Al Shabaab murdered Pastor John as he was returning home from facilitating a peacemaking training seminar. The jihadis ambushed the bus he was in, killing the pastor and six other people including children.
Democratic Republic of Congo: Suspected Muslim militants armed with guns and machetes slaughtered nine Christians in the North Kivu region. They also looted homes, seizing food and cattle as plunder. The area, which is 96% Christian, has seen more than 1,100 killed over the last year and a half.
Pakistan: The 2013 Muslim bombing of the All Saints Church in Peshawar, which killed more than 100 Christian worshippers, claimed its latest victim. After battling internal injuries, Cecilia, a 42-year-old Christian nurse, had received three years earlier from the attack, died from bomb fragments that had turned cancerous while embedded in her body. According to the report, “With tearstained eyes,” her husband noted that “We are still losing loved ones [after the attack].
Forced Conversion, Rape and Murder of Christians
Libya: A report documents the sufferings that Christians experience at the hands Muslim militants when they migrated through Libya in an effort to reach Europe. In one instance 11 women were abducted, kept as sex slaves underground and repeatedly raped by various jihadis for almost a year. One of the Christian women, Amal, 21, said: “They took [the Christians] to Tripoli and kept us underground – we didn’t see the sun for nine months…. Sometimes we didn’t eat for three days. Other times they would give us one meal a day, half a piece of bread.” The Christian woman described how they were pressured into converting to Islam under threat of death and beaten with hoses or sticks. “Sometimes they would frighten us with their guns, or threaten to slaughter us with their knives.”
Islamic State: ISIS has been making use of social media—including Facebook, and mobile applications, such as WhatsApp, and Telegram—to sell enslaved Christian and Yazidi girls to a wider network of sadists and pedophiles. One Telegram posting showed a picture of a young girl with the caption: “Virgin. Beautiful. 12 years old,” the posting states. “Her price has reached $12,500 and she will be sold soon.”
Nigeria: Another report says that the Muslim terrorist group, Boko Haram, has murdered 466 people, almost all of whom were Christian, for refusing to convert to Islam; they also forced 218 women and young girls to “marry” their fighters.
Muslims kidnapped and forced a 14-year-old Christian girl to convert to Islam last May. Her father pled with them for weeks to release his daughter. They eventually pretended to relent, told him to meet them somewhere so they could return his daughter; once he arrived, shot him dead. The girl remains with the rapists, the slain father’s widow and three other daughters are hiding in their home in fear of further reprisals from the kidnappers. According to Najma Bibi, the girl’s mother: “several months after my daughter’s kidnapping, the police have not done anything because we have no money to defend our rights. We live in a hopeless situation, we need help. I pray that my daughter will continue to place hope and faith in Jesus Christ.”
Muhammad Iqrar, a Muslim man, assaulted and raped Sonia Nasar, a 16-year-old Christian girl. Although the rapist fled when her father rushed to the scene after hearing the cries of his daughter, Sonia, she was left in “critical condition.” He said that he expects no justice or follow up from local authorities, some of whom are associated with the rapist.
Sobia Nadeem, a Christian girl studying for a Master’s degree in physics, was abducted by a group of Muslims, forced to convert to Islam, and forced to marry—at gunpoint—a man named Mohammad Hamza in Lahore. Although the girl managed to escape back to her parents’ home, she was taken to court where her family had to prove that her conversion and marriage were performed under force.
Countless reports continued to appear indicating that non-Muslim students, most often Christians, are being forced to convert to Islam through the public school system. Teachers force them to recite the shahada—which when said before Muslim witnesses makes them a Muslim. Teachers also force them to study Muslim beliefs and practices. This often occurs in conjunction with denigration of the Christian faith. Due to ongoing Christian protests, the Punjab government said it would launch an inquiry.
Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches and Symbols
Turkey: During the July 15 failed coup attempt, at least two churches were attacked. “One of the attacks happened in Trabzon. A group of 10 people attacked Santa Maria Church with paving stones and hammers to smash the windows” said the report. One church leader in Istanbul said, “I’m not optimistic about the plight of Christians in Turkey. Bear in mind we’ve had a Roman Catholic Bishop murdered, we’ve had clergy threatened, we’ve had one priest murdered 10 years ago. Any Christian leader, if they’re being honest, would say that some of what’s going on is quite alarming.”
Nigeria: On Friday, July 15, Muslims attacked a Catholic church. They said they were angered that Christians were praying in the church on Friday, Islam’s “holy day,” when Muslims congregate and pray in mosques. According to a Christian church leader, “Sometime around 2pm, some Muslim youths in their [sic] hundreds left their mosque after their Friday Jumat prayer and rushed to the church premises, climbed the wall and destroyed everything in the church: the windows, the altar, musical instruments, the chapel. The security man in the church premises was beaten to a pulp. Some women holding a prayer meeting were chased away. The seminarian, who is resident in the premises, was also beaten up and chased away.”
Iraq: According to a new report, “All 45 churches and monasteries inside Mosul are reportedly now occupied by ISIS, who have looted, burned and destroyed property, in addition to removing the building’s crosses.” Christians unable to flee are forced to pay huge extortion money (jizya) or risk instant execution.
Sudan: A report notes that by continuously bombing Christian and non-Muslim indigenous regions near South Sudan, and targeting churches and pastors’ homes for destruction, the government is trying to “cleanse” the nation of Christians and create a homogenous Muslim state. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the violence, their homes, crops, churches, schools and hospitals destroyed.
Indonesia: Despite receiving all legal documents and permits, a Catholic family trying to construct a shrine to the Virgin Mary on their own land since 2009 continued to face growing threats from local Muslims. In 2012, a Muslim mob set fire to the shrine site and brought construction to a halt. Most recently in July, Muslims stormed the house of a Catholic leader and ordered him to stop the work, even though he has a building permit issued by the authorities.
Muslim Attacks on Christian Apostates, Blasphemers, and Preachers
Egypt: According to a report, “Just like the biblical character Daniel in the lions’ den, an Egyptian Muslim who converted to Christianity found himself at the mercy of ferocious attack dogs that were unleashed by his jailers to torture and possibly kill him. However, the law student, Majed El Shafie, must have had God on his side and, just as in the story of Daniel, the savage animals miraculously did not harm him—to the utter astonishment of his prison guards.” He was, however, tortured by the Muslim guards.
Uganda: Another Muslim convert to Christianity has lost his family, home, and business, and now lives in a tiny shanty. As a result of his apostasy, the extended family of the 53-year-old man, a former Muslim imam stormed into and eventually appropriated his ancestral home in after an attempt on his life. Of that night, he said: “I heard people talking outside my house around 8 p.m., saying that they wanted to take away my life and, ‘We cannot watch the whole family turning to Christianity.'” He complained to the local council after his relatives also destroyed his business, but their intervention had no effect. He now lives without any means to provide for himself.
Nadeem James, a 27-year-old Christian man and father of two, was arrested in Gujarat district after a Muslim angry with him accused him of texting a poem deemed “blasphemous” toward Muhammad. According to James’s brother: “We were not at home when the police raided our house to arrest Nadeem. However, when the cops couldn’t find any of us in the premises, they took away two women of the family – my wife and the wife of my elder brother, Faryad.” Around the same time, local mosques began calling on megaphones that if he did not surrender himself, Christian homes would burn. Nadeem surrendered himself and the women were released.
“The charge against my brother is completely baseless. Nadeem is uneducated and could not have possibly sent that text message. I’m certain that Yasir Bashir [Muslim accuser] downloaded the supposedly blasphemous text onto Nadeem’s phone and then forwarded it to his cell number to build a case against my brother.”
In Hyderabad, Yaqoob Masih, 56, a Christian sanitary worker, was accused of committing blasphemy against Islam. According to the report:
“Masih collected waste from the streets and dumped it at a specific [location], however Bakash [the Muslim accuser], without verifying what had happened, tortured Masih with a stick, accusing him [of] committing blasphemy by burning pages of a book which [reportedly] carried Islamic verses. Masih was packing the garbage and waste in a trunk when Bakash accused him [of] blasphemy.”
Masih had to be hospitalized.
A Muslim doctor who treated a dying Christian man with medicine donated through Islamic charity, zakat, received death threats. The Christian was on the verge of dying without treatment. In his defense, the Muslim doctor said he did not know the man was a Christian, or that it was against some interpretations of Islamic law to use Muslim charity money to help non-Muslims.
Iran: Three Azerbaijani pastors were arrested in Tehran during a visit. No reason was given to family and local legal experts. According to the report, “This is the latest in a succession of pastors who have been imprisoned by Iranian authorities over many years for accusations ranging from apostasy to evangelism.” And Ebrahim Firouzi, who has been under arrest since 2013 under vague charges “suffered physical abuse at the hands of prison guards when he was forced to attend an appeal hearing.”
Dhimmitude: The Condition Muslim Contempt and Hostility for Christians
Bangladesh: Christian and Hindu businesses received notices from a banned Islamic organization ordering them to uphold a number of Islamic customs or be killed. These include hanging banners with Allah’s name, keeping copies of the Koran, putting pictures of the Kaba in Mecca, removing pictures or statues of their own religions, creating a place for Muslims to pray, and banning music and female workers.
Pakistan: The government in the Raiwind district flooded a Christian graveyard with sewage water and desecrated all the graves. In response, protesting Christians complained that even in the grave they can receive no peace in Pakistan.
Sudan: Authorities insulted, forcefully arrested and jailed 14 Christians when they attempted to stop the authorities from seizing an evangelical school on church property, which the authorities apparently plan on giving to Muslim businesses. Later, the authorities returned to the same Christian school, gave letters of dismissal to the Christian headmistress, vandalized her office, and replaced her with a teacher of their own choosing.
Egypt: After a Christian man was stabbed to death and many Christian homes and a church burned by angry Muslims because of a rumor that a church was going to be built, Coptic Christian Bishop Makarious of al-Minya was interviewed on television. Church authorities in Egypt are regularly diplomatic and sensitive to what they say, but Makarious made many revealing comments. Although only Christians, no Muslims, were killed and hurt, he wondered why the government and media continue to describe these incidents as “clashes”—which suggests two quarrelling parties—when the reality is always that one side attacks the other:
“Within minutes [of the start of one of the attacks], 100 Muslims instantly appeared, fully armed, as if ready for war. … As long as the attackers are never punished, and the armed forces are portrayed as doing their duty, this will just encourage others to continue the attacks, as, even if they are arrested, they will quickly be released.”
When the host asked questions about who is released and why, suggesting that perhaps those released are in fact innocent of any wrongdoing against the Christians, the bishop replied:
“Well what do you think when the actual attackers themselves are arrested, with complete proofs and evidences against them, but then are still declared innocent and released?… this happens every single time.”
By Raymond Ibrahim (Gatestone Institute)
About this Series
While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by Muslims is growing.
The report posits that such Muslim persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place in all languages, ethnicities, and locations.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Middle East and Islam specialist and author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and
Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow, David Horowitz Freedom Center; a CBN News contributor; a Media Fellow, Hoover Institution (2013); and a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum . Ibrahim’s dual-background — born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East — has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED
Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in places such as Nigeria and Thailand aiding Christians fleeing violence, languishing in refugee (IDP) camps or seeking asylum from persecution. Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Donations are always desperately needed.
Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also send your gift to:
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183
“The U.N.’s next secretary-general, António Guterres, says that persecuted Christians shouldn’t be resettled in the West.”
“the Obama administration’s expanded refugee program for Syria depends on refugee referrals from the UNHCR. Yet Syria’s genocide survivors have been consistently underrepresented.”
By Nina Shea (WSJ) — Six months ago, Secretary of State John Kerry officially designated Islamic State as “responsible for genocide” against Christians, Yazidis and other vulnerable groups in areas under ISIS control in Syria and Iraq. So why has the Obama administration entrusted the survival of these people—and so much valuable American aid—to a troubled office at the United Nations, which, like its parent organization, has never even acknowledged that the genocide exists?
The State Department says it is helping religious minorities who have fled, along with millions of other displaced Syrians and Iraqis, primarily through the U.N. America has sent over half of $5.6 billion in humanitarian aid earmarked for Syrians since 2012 to the U.N.
Yet the U.N.’s lead agency for aiding refugees, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), marginalizes Christians and others targeted by ISIS for eradication in two critical programs: refugee housing in the region and Syrian refugee-resettlement abroad. Voice of the Persecuted recommends that you continue reading here. Afterward, please contact your elected officials asking them to quickly bring to a vote the bipartisan H.R.5961 – Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2016, introduced Sept. 8 by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). Please share this story and encourage many to action and PRAYER.
We’ve seen rising discrimination against Christian refugees and asylum seekers in UNHCR offices, even outside of the Middle East. Please keep them in your prayers and ACT, today. Be their VOICE!
HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED
Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also send your gift to:
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183
Donations always desperately needed