It’s About Time: Newsweek Acknowledges a Systematic Persecution of Christians in the Muslim World
I’m not sure that I should cheer or be worried. A major U.S. based news magazine has recognized widespread persecution of Christians by Muslims in Muslim majority countries. I am glad that it is finally getting the notice it deserves. However, I fear the reason may be that it is now at such an alarming rate that it is undeniable.
The author of the piece is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Her personal story is amazing and difficult to summarize. Suffice it to say that she was raised in a radical school, subscribed to a very conservative form of Islam including being supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and the fatwa on Salman Rushdie. Her faith in Allah and Islam suffered a death blow due to the 9-11 attacks and the justifications given for them by bin Laden from the Koran which she discovered were accurately quoted by him. I would love to say that she converted to Christianity but she has instead become an atheist.
While enclosing the link so you can read the story yourself, I will offer you a synopsis, country by country:
Of the countries cited, Nigeria has the largest population of Christians in proportion to its overall population. 40% of the country’s 160 million citizens are considered Christian. Particularly alarming is the rise of Boko Haram, a radical Muslim group whose aim is to bring about Sharia law in Nigeria and the death of all Christians living there. 54 were killed by them in January 2012, in 2011 they murdered 510 and destroyed over 350 churches.
The Sudan’s persecution has gone on for decades most notably the genocide in Darfur. Aerial attacks, targeted killings, kidnappings and the like have taken their toll. Between fifty and seventy-five thousand citizens have been displaced with homes and other buildings looted or destroyed.
After the removal of the Mubarak regime in Egypt, Coptic Christians have seen their already bad situation take a more ominous turn. The Copts are 11% of the population and experienced a series of attacks by Islamists after the Arab Spring there. Churches were burned, people were raped, mutilated and/or killed. The Christians marched in protest and Egyptian security forces acted with excess killing about 24 and injuring another 300. By the end of 2011, over 200,000 Copts fled their homes in fear. Recent electoral victories in parliament for radical Islamic parties give Coptic Christians reason to be afraid that the worst has not yet come.
Since the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, Americans have had increasing doubts about the Pakistanis willingness to side with the U.S. versus the extremists. Christians there only represent 1.6% of the population. Not only do they have to worry about Islamic terror perpetrated against them but also the severe nature of the country’s blasphemy laws.
A shocking incident regarded a woman who was falsely accused and sentenced to death for insulting the Prophet Muhammad in Pakistan. When the Punjab governor sought ways to obtain her freedom, he was killed by a bodyguard who was subsequently celebrated as a hero. That murderer was sentenced to death by a judge who now hides for fear of his life.
Even World Vision experienced the wrath of Islamic radicals two years ago when 10 gunmen armed with grenades killed six people and wounded four. The reason given was that the Christian relief organization was subverting Islam. Instead, World Vision was helping victims of a major earthquake.
These stories and others cited by Ayaan Hirsi Ali demonstrate that something big is happening in Muslim countries worldwide. The United States has plenty of leverage to bring pressure to bear upon these countries and others where persecution is happening including Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Indonesia. The question is whether the political will is there, with or without European partners, to say enough is enough and these outrages need to stop.
Read more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/02/05/ayaan-hirsi-ali-the-global-war-on-christians-in-the-muslim-world.html
Also, other resources to learn about persecution and the persecuted church worldwide include:
International Christian Concern -- http://www.persecution.org/
Voice of the Martyrs -- http://www.persecution.com/
Open Doors -- http://www.opendoorsusa.org/persecution/