War on Christians: The Politics of Persecution

jordanian-church-ap

Breitbart, By Katie Gorka:

In Nigeria, 234 Christian schoolgirls abducted; a Jesuit priest shot in the head outside his house in Homs, Syria; a young Christian woman dragged from her car in Egypt and beaten to death… These are some of the latest stories of Christians being hunted, tortured, or executed at the hands of Islamists.

Stories such as these are increasingly finding their way into the American media, and Americans are showing a growing concern for the persecuted church, but policymakers seem slow to respond. Not only is the United States government virtually silent on the issue of the worsening plight of Christians globally, but in three countries where Christians are currently most under siege – Syria, Egypt, and Nigeria – U.S. policy is actually exacerbating the situation.

In Syria, what began as a popular uprising in March 2011 against the repressive policies of President Bashar al-Assad quickly escalated into a civil war fueled by Islamists. The U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, took an active and early role in working with opposition leaders. He convened and hosted numerous meetings with the self-appointed front-men. But what began as well intentioned support eventually crossed the line into king-making.

The U.S. played an increasingly active role in determining who could and could not be at the table. Today, the U.S. policy imperative is that Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad must resign. All U.S. activity in Syria is directed toward that end, which the White House deems non-negotiable. To be sure, most Syrians want to see reform, but many now fear an Islamist takeover spearheaded by al Qaeda affiliates and the ensuing chaos more than they do the continued rule of a secular dictator.

Rather than bring resolution of the civil war any closer, U.S. policies are making matters worse.  According to international sources, arms intended for rebels are getting into the hands of extremist groups such as the Al Nusra Front, and Assad shows no sign of surrendering. The Geneva Talks on Syria have failed to stop the fighting, and sources inside Syria say the opposition leaders invited to the talks do not truly represent the Syrians. They are unelected and have the backing only of outside powers, whether the U.S., Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Qatar, all of whom now have a national geopolitical stake in the conflict that has nothing to do with the plight of the Christians caught in the middle of the fighting.

One source inside Syria says the rebels have pushed so hard for arms from the United States and elsewhere because that is their only form of legitimacy. They are not elected leaders and do not have popular support.

In the meantime, a quiet experiment in democracy is underway in the northeast corner of Syria in the region around Hasaka. On the eve of the Geneva II talks, Kurdish, Arab, and Syriac Christian leaders came together to form a power-sharing government, one which, in their words, would respect ethnic and religious differences rather than ignore them. So far, the experiment has brought peace and security to a corner of this war-torn country. This may prove a far more successful model for guaranteeing stability as well as the rights and safety of Middle Eastern Christians than the U.S. government strategy of arming rebels and self-proclaimed opposition leaders.

In Egypt, where Christians make up about 10% of the population, tensions between Christians and Muslims have long simmered, with not-infrequent violent outbursts. When an Islamist government came to power in July 2012, with Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi as president, attacks on Christians, Christian churches, and Christian businesses quickly spiked. In spite of a series of violations of the democratic process by Morsi, as well as the sharp rise in terrorist activity, particularly in the Sinai, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged the continued support of the U.S. government along with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief, private investment, and aid.

However, when an estimated 30 million Egyptians came out into the streets to call for Morsi’s resignation in July 2013, the United States continued to support Morsi and condemned General Fattah el-Sisi, who was instrumental in Morsi’s ouster. Following the change in leadership, Gen. el-Sisi initiated a sharp crackdown on terrorist groups in Egypt, and particularly in Sinai. Yet the Obama administration suspended its $1.55 billion in annual U.S. aid to Egypt.

According to the Egyptian military, U.S. Apache helicopters were essential to fighting terrorism in Sinai.  Their more accurate sensors and weapons were a critical factor in helping prevent civilian casualties. But with aid suspended, replacement parts were withheld, and many of the helicopters were taken out of service. The U.S. continues to withhold support for the current reform process, paying greater lip service to the importance of inclusion of fundamentalist Islamist groups in the transition process and making little or no mention of the repeated attacks on Christians.

Nigeria is now the second most deadly country in the world for Christians, second only to Syria, in spite of the fact that Christians make up approximately 50% of the population. While Nigeria has seen waves of Islamist extremism over the past century, its latest incarnation, established in 2002, is Boko Haram (which translates as “Western ways Forbidden”).

The U.S. government has consistently taken the position that the conflict is not religious in nature but is rather a function of the poverty and lack of opportunity in the Muslim-majority north. However, Boko Haram describes themselves as deeply Islamic and the nature of the conflict as fundamentally religious in nature. In June 2012, Boko Haram issued the following statement:

The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state.

Because the United States government interprets the problem as a sociological one, under which Boko Haram’s violence is seen as being fuelled by lack of economic opportunity and a feeling of political disenfranchisement, one policy solution has been to spend millions of U.S. aid dollars on Koranic schools in northern Nigeria. So not only has the United States repeatedly distorted the nature of the conflict, it may be actively fueling it by funding the institutions where Islamist doctrine is taught.

Persecution of Christians is on an upward trajectory that runs parallel to the Islamist awakening and has accelerated under the so-called “Arab Spring.” Yet it has not made it to the top-ten list of priorities for American policymakers, which is ironic, given that our nation was founded on the principle of religious freedom. Reports from North Africa and the Middle East attest to the fact that at least one side of this conflict sees it as a religious war.

Katharine Cornell Gorka is President of the recently-established Council on Global Security and contributing co-editor of the book Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism. This article is the first in a series on the religious war against Christians worldwide.

The Ultimate Source of Islamic Hate for Infidels

stop christian genocideBy Raymond  Ibrahim:

Who is ultimately responsible for the ongoing attacks on Christians and their churches throughout the Islamic world?

Focusing on one of the most obvious nations where Christians are regularly targeted—Egypt’s Coptic Christians—one finds that the “mob” is the most visible and obvious culprit.  One Copt accused of some transgression against Muslim sensibilities—from having relations with a Muslim woman, to ruining a Muslim man’s shirt—is often enough to prompt Muslim mobs to destroy entire Christian villages and their churches.

Recently, for example, after her cross identified Mary Sameh George as a Christian, a pro-Muslim Brotherhood mob attacked, beat, and slaughtered her.

However, a recent Arabic op-ed titled “Find the True Killer of Mary” looks beyond the mob to identify the true persecutor of Christians in Egypt. According to it:

Those who killed the young and vulnerable Mary Sameh George, for hanging a cross in her car, are not criminals, but rather wretches who follow those who legalized for them murder, lynching, dismemberment, and the stripping bare of young Christian girls—without every saying “kill.”  [Islamic cleric] Yassir Burhami and his colleagues who announce their hate for Christians throughout satellite channels and in mosques—claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for God—they are the true killers who need to be tried and prosecuted…  The slayers of Mary Sameh are simply a wretched mob, with the body of a bull but the brain of a worm.  It’s not the puppets on the string who need punishing, but rather the mastermind who moves the puppets with his bloody fingers behind closed curtains that needs punishing.

One fact certainly validates this Arabic op-ed’s assertions: the overwhelming majority of attacks on Christians in Egypt and other Muslim nations—including the slaughter of Mary Sameh George—occur on Friday, the one day of the week that Muslims congregate in mosques for communal prayers and to hear sermons.

The significance of this fact can easily be understood by analogy: what if Christians were especially and consistently violent to non-Christian minorities on Sunday—right after they got out of church?  What would that say about what goes on in Christian churches?

What does it say about what goes on in Muslim mosques?

The Arabic op-ed also does well to name Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami as one of those who “announce their hate for Christians throughout the satellite channels and in mosques, claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for God.”

For example, Dr. Burhami—the face of Egypt’s Salafi movement—once issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, forbidding Muslim taxi- and bus-drivers from transporting Coptic Christian priests to their churches, which he depicted as “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar.”

As for hating non-Muslim “infidels,” many Islamic clerics, especially Salafis, believe that the doctrine of “Loyalty and Enmity” (or wala’ wa bara’) commands Muslims never to befriend or be loyal to non-Muslims.

Burhami himself appears on video asserting that if a Muslim man marries a Christian or Jewish woman (known in Islamic parlance as “People of the Book”)—even he must still hate his wife, because she is an infidel.

Burhami

When asked at a conference how Islam can allow a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman and yet expect him to hate her, Burhami expounded as follows:

Burhami even said that the Muslim husband cannot initiate greetings to his non-Muslim wife when he comes home—according to the teachings of Islam’s prophet as recorded in the hadith.Where’s the objection? Do all men love their wives?  How many married couples live together despite disagreements and problems? Huh? That being the case, he [Muslim husband] may love the way she [non-Muslim wife] looks, or love the way she raises the children, or love that she has money. This is why he’s discouraged from marrying among the People of the Book—because she has no [real] religion. He is ordered to make her hate her religion while continuing marriage/sexual relations with her. This is a very standard matter….  Of course he should tell her that he hates her religion. He must show her that he hates her because of her religion, and because she is an infidel. But if possible, treat her well—perhaps that will cause her to convert to Islam. He should invite her to Islam and call her to Allah….  In fact, let me tell you: whoever rapes a woman, does he necessarily love her? Or is he just sleeping with her? He’s sleeping with her for her body’s sake only, and he does not love her in reality, because if he loved her, he wouldn’t have hurt her. Therefore it is possible to have sexual relations [between a Muslim man and a Christian or Jewish woman] without love. This is possible, but as we said, he is commanded to hate her (emphasis added).

Like all other Islamic clerics, Burhami justified “infidel-wife-hating” by quoting some of the Koran verses that form the cornerstone of the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity:

Otherwise what do you do with the undisputed texts [of the Koran], such as “Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist [or reject submission to] Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred… “O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors…”  [Koran 58:22 and 5:51, Yusuf Ali translation].  What do you do with such a verse? What do you do will all these verses?

Indeed, what does a Muslim do with all these Koran verses and sayings attributed to Islam’s prophet Muhammad?

Such is the dilemma.

From here it becomes clear that the aforementioned Arabic op-ed discussing the slaughter of Mary Sameh George is only partially correct.  It is true that behind the mindless mob stand Islamic clerics like Burhami, inciting hatred for Christians and other infidels.  But that is not the complete picture; for behind all these clerics stand Islam’s scriptures—the Koran and hadith—commanding enmity for the infidel.

In short, it’s not just a few “radical clerics”—a few “rotten apples”—that incite mobs to attack Christians, but rather the core texts of Islam itself.

Voices for the Voiceless

voicelessGates of Vienna, March 31, 2014, by Baron Bodissey:

Everyone who labors in the “Islamophobia” business has to contend with the same issue: a lack of effectiveness in the wider world. As has often been pointed out, this website and others like it constitute for the most part an echo chamber. We are addressing an audience that is already familiar with the issues surrounding Islamization and largely agrees with what we say.

There are intramural battles, to be sure — some of them quite fierce. Does the “moderate” Muslim exist? Can the advance of Islam be stopped without first addressing the issue of globalist socialism? Does the welfare state have to collapse before the cultural enrichment of the West can be turned back? The intensity of the arguments over these questions masks the fact that most of the people engaged in the debate already agree with most of what the Counterjihad stands for.

How do we force the same issues into the attention span of the average uninformed low-information voter? This is the essential problem.

My approach is to pursue multiple tracks, mostly Europe-related, since that’s where the center of gravity for this blog may be found. The Brussels Process is one such track. The involvement of the International Civil Liberties Alliance in fighting creeping shariah through theOrganization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is another.

Dr. Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam has developed his own ingenious approach to the same problem. He employs the methods of the Left — simplified emotion-based arguments targeting the ill-informed — to shame previously uninvolved people into paying attention to the worldwide persecution of religious minorities by Islam. He uses the same “lefty-speak” as his opponents to occupy the moral high ground in the discussion.

In the following video Dr. Warner provides some specific advice and examples of his approach:

 

A couple of days ago we mentioned the Religious Communicators Council (RCC) meeting in Nashville later this week. Bill Warner and other activists from Voices for the Voiceless are planning a silent demonstration at the event:

RCC is Training Writers to Deny the Persecution of Christians

We will hold a silent demonstration on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 11:15 am to protest the Religious Communicators Council (RCC) meeting in Nashville. It will besilent to demonstrate their lack of reporting persecution of Christians. We will invite the media and issue a press release.

The protest will be held rain or shine. Further details about how to park, signs, etc. are posted at voices4voiceless.org

Why We Are Demonstrating

On April 3-5 the RCC will hold a national convention at The Inn at Opryland, 2401 Music Valley Drive, Nashville, TN 37214

There is not ONE RCC speaker who will deal with the persecution of Christians. They support the oppressors, and deny the victims.

Why This is so Important

 

Those who attend the RCC convention are the major voices in the suppression of the news about the murder of religious minorities. They have no opposition and dominate the media. The RCC shapes the agenda and message that religious communicators use to deny the suffering of the victims, their brothers and sisters.

We need a show of force. The Muslim Brotherhood has stated that they’ve made their greatest gains in the apologist pulpits. Now is the time to resist their dominance.

You Are Not Powerless — What You Can Do

All we ask is that YOU SHOW UP and stand together in silent protest. If you can take part, send us an email to: info@voices4voiceless.org

Spread the word on social media, email, friends. Be sure to contact us at info@voices4voiceless.org and let us know you will attend. We need help with signs and other details.

Additional Info

The general philosophy of this protest can be found here.

Here is the website about this protest.

****************

Bill Warner will be a guest on the Lisa Benson Radio Show on Sunday with Cathy Hinners, a retired police officer in Tennessee (DailyRollCall.com)

Canada Confronts Pakistan on Bleak Human Rights Record

Pakistan Christian pers.

Canada also demanded that Pakistan address mistreatment of minorities such as Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis

BY TAHIR GORA:

The Pakistani Consul-General in Toronto, Muhammad Nafees Zakaria, was not happy when he had to listen to Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander. The Minister’s message was clear: Pakistan must address its human rights violations and mistreatment of minorities such as Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis.

Alexander was speaking to the International Christian Voice’s event in memory of Pakistani parliamentarian Shahbaz Bhatti, who was assassinated by the Taliban three years ago for demanding an end to the country’s blasphemy law. The blasphemy law is like a black sword hanging over the heads of Pakistan’s minorities. There is even a shameful declaration form for Ahmadi Muslims that declares them to be non-Muslims at the Consul-General’s Toronto office.

Alexander mentioned the Pakistani state authorities’ bleak record on free press. He talked about a journalist, Saleem Shahzad, who was allegedly killed by the notorious intelligence agencies.

Pakistani Consul-General Zakaria did not say a single word about repealing the blasphemy law. He didn’t even say he’d deliver the message to the Pakistani government. He couldn’t even bring himself to tell Canadian parliamentarians that he’d pass on their concerns to Islamabad, even if he doesn’t agree with Alexander.

Instead, Zakaria blamed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan for the problem of the Taliban in Pakistan. He framed the Taliban as a product of the covert U.S. effort against the Soviets, leaving Pakistan innocent and noble. This is a common excuse used by the Pakistani establishment that doesn’t want to take responsibility for their involvement in creating the problem of the Taliban and other extremists.

Read more at Clarion Project

Also see:

Muslim Brotherhood Slaughter Christian Woman

by :

On Friday, March 28, in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, including by opening fire on it and setting parked cars aflame.  Four people died.

One of the slain, a young Coptic woman, was savagely mauled and molested before being murdered—simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to the Brotherhood rioters.

According to an eyewitness who discussed the entire event on the Egyptian program, 90 Minutes, Mary Sameh George was parking by the church to deliver medicine to a sickly, elderly woman:

Once they saw that she was a Christian [because of the cross hanging on her rear view mirror], they jumped on top of the car, to the point that the vehicle was no longer visible. The roof of the car collapsed in.  When they realized that she was starting to die, they pulled her out of the car and started pounding on her and pulling her hair—to the point that portions of her hair and scalp came off.  They kept beating her, kicking her, stabbing her with any object or weapon they could find….  Throughout [her ordeal] she tried to protect her face, giving her back to the attackers, till one of them came and stabbed her right in the back, near the heart, finishing her off.  Then another came and grabbed her by the hair, shaking her head, and with the other hand slit her throat.  Another pulled her pants off, to the point that she was totally naked.

The eyewitness, as well as many others who have since appeared on videos, complained about Egyptian State Security and how it did not intervene—just like under Morsi, when St. Mark Cathedral was besieged, even as security stood by—how it knows exactly who the murderers are, and how one of Mary’s murderers, whom “everyone reported to Security,” was simply relaxing in his home, not even hiding.

Added the eyewitness: “Let me tell you, here in Ain Shams, we [Christians] know that every Friday is a day of death; that the day after Friday, Saturday, we’ll be carried to the morgue!”

In fact, the overwhelming majority of attacks on Egypt’s Christians occur on Friday—the day when pious Muslims meet in mosque for prayers and to hear sermons.

The significance of this fact can only be understood by analogy: what if Christians were especially violent to non-Christian minorities on Sunday—right after they got out of church?  What would that say about what goes on in Christian churches?

What does it say about what goes on in Muslim mosques?

A video of Mary’s family members has one woman screaming out the following words—which may be of interest to some Americans:

A message to [U.S. President Barack] Obama, who is calling for the Brotherhood to return to power again.   I want to tell him, have mercy, enough is enough!  His brother is in the al-Qaeda organization!  Why do you want to destroy Egypt?….Egypt will remain whether you, the Brotherhood, or anyone else likes it or not!

She was referring to something that is as well known in Egypt as it is little known in the United States:  that the Obama administration is a sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood, which itself is connected to al-Qaeda.

The rest of the video portrays some of Mary’s other family members—many in tears and near hysteria—prompting one to wonder: where is the U.S media?  I have not seen a word on this latest Islamic attack on a church and Christians on BBC, CNN, or any of the so-called “mainstream media”?  Why is that?  They had no problem constantly showing us (over and over again) a video clip of a hysterical female relative of a member of Malaysian flight MH370.

Mary’s family members mourn during church funeral

The mainstream media is silent because Muslim persecution of Christians in general—Obama-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood in particular—throws a huge wrench in that narrative.

After all, how many Americans ever heard of the largest massacre of Syrian Christians by U.S.-supported Islamic rebels?

Read more

Unprecedented Christian Persecution in Iran: UN Report

Pastor Saeed Abedini

Oppression under the “moderate” President Rouhani is even greater than under the more vocally extreme President Ahmadinejad.

BY RYAN MAURO:

A new United Nations report concludes that the persecution of Christians in Iran is at unprecedented levels. A minimum of 50 Christians are in prison, with the most famous inmate being American Pastor Saeed Abedini. Evangelical ministries see the regime as trying to suppress a rising tide of conversions to Christianity.

The report states that 35 of the 42 Christians arrested last year were guilty of forming “house churches,” where church services, Bible studies and even baptisms happen in someone’s home. The punishment for this crime against Iran’s theocracy is one to 10 years behind bars.

The U.N. report shows that the oppression under the “moderate” President Rouhani is even greater than what it was under the more vocally extreme President Ahmadinejad. That is because every Islamist believes in sharia governance, so any increase in Christian numbers will lead to an increase in arrests of Christians.

The number of Christians in Iran was miniscule before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, by some accounts numbering in the low hundreds. Amazingly, the takeover of oppressive theocrats acted like a growth hormone for the faith. By claiming to represent Islam, the mullahs made many Muslims second-guess their faith.

Now, it is relatively easy to find atheist or agnostic Iranians or those who practice a reformist, liberal interpretation of their faith compatible with secular democracy. Others turn to other faiths, most commonly evangelical Christianity.

Operation World says that evangelical Christianity is growing faster in Iran than anywhere else in the world, with an estimated annual growth of 19.6%. Todd Nettleton, Director of Media Development forVoice of the Martyrs told me that the church in Iran is “growing at an absolutely phenomenal rate.”

Read more at Clarion Project

Why the Media Doesn’t Cover Jihadist Attacks on Middle East Christians

cufiThe Torch (Christians United for Israel’s Magazine, Winter 2014) by Raymond Ibrahim:

“To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace”—Hebrews 6:6

The United Nations, Western governments, media, universities, and talking heads everywhere insist that Palestinians are suffering tremendous abuses from the state of Israel.  Conversely, the greatest human rights tragedy of our time—radical Muslim persecution of Christians, including in Palestinian controlled areas—is devotedly ignored.

The facts speak for themselves. Reliable estimates indicate that anywhere from 100-200 million Christians are persecuted every year; one Christian is martyred every five minutes. Approximately 85% of this persecution occurs in Muslim majority nations. In 1900, 20% of the Middle East was Christian. Today, less than 2% is.

In one week in Egypt alone, where my Christian family emigrated, the Muslim Brotherhood launched akristallnacht—attacking, destroying, and/or torching some 82 Christian churches (some of which were built in the 5th century, when Egypt was still a Christian-majority nation before the Islamic conquests).  Al-Qaeda’s black flag has been raised atop churches.  Christians—including priests, women and children—have been attacked, beheaded, and killed.

Nor is such persecution of Christians limited to Egypt.  From Morocco in the west to Indonesia in the east and from Central Asia to the north to sub-Saharan Africa to the south; across thousands of miles of lands inhabited by peoples who do not share the same races, languages, cultures, and/or socio-economic conditions, millions of Christians are being persecuted and in the same exact patterns.

Muslim converts to Christianity and Christian evangelists are attacked, imprisoned, and sometimes beheaded; countless churches across the Islamic world are being banned or bombed; Christian women and children are being abducted, enslaved, raped, and/or forced to renounce their faith.

Far from helping these Christian victims, U.S. policies are actually exacerbating their sufferings.  Whether in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, or Syria, and under the guise of the U.S.-supported “Arab Spring,” things have gotten dramatically worse for Christians.  Indeed, during a recent U.S. congressional hearing, it was revealed that thousands of traumatized Syrian Christians—who, like Iraqi Christians before them are undergoing a mass exodus from their homeland—were asking “Why is America at war with us?”

The answer is that very few Americans have any clue concerning what is happening to their coreligionists.

Few mainstream media speak about the horrific persecution millions of people are experiencing simply because they wish to worship Christ in peace.

There, is of course, a very important reason why the mainstream media ignores radical Muslim persecution of Christians: if the full magnitude of this phenomenon was ever know, many cornerstones of the mainstream media—most prominent among them, that Israel is oppressive to Palestinians—would immediately crumble.

Why?  Because radical Muslim persecution of Christians throws a wrench in the media’s otherwise well-oiled narrative that “radical-Muslim-violence-is-a-product-of-Muslim-grievance”—chief among them Israel.

Read more at Raymond Ibrahim’s blog

Voices for the Voiceless

Bill Warner promotes a new approach to counter jihad activism.

Here is the website where you can download the religious persecution brochure: http://a-voice-for-the-voiceless.com/

America is Complicit in the Murder of Religious Minorities

complicity-350wBill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam:

Christians and other religions are persecuted around the world and America plays a role. Our government, churches, media, universities and others stand by silently as innocents die. We are complicit in our silence in the face of evil.

Syrian Christian Leaders Show Hope in the Face of Despair

In this exclusive report to the Religious Freedom Coalition Andrew Harrod reveals the feelings toward Muslims and the Assad government in Syria by  high ranking members of the Syrian Christian clergy. Christians in Syria refer to the “golden age” of freedom they have had since 1970 that now is threatened by the installation of a Saudi style regime by the United States government. – Editor

By Andrew E. Harrod

“There will come a time when there will be no more Christians in Syria,” the Syrian Presbyterian Rev. Dr. Riad Jarjour, former General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches, warned recently onJanuary 27, 2014, at Washington, DC’s Heritage Foundation.  Jarjour explained Syrian Christians’ “stage of hopelessness” while “boxed in” by Muslim sectarian fighting in Syria’s civil war during two successive presentations by a Syrian Christian delegation.

Syrian clergy visiting the United States speak favorable of the government of Bashir Assad (YouTube)

Syrian clergy visiting the United States speak favorable of the government of Bashir Assad (YouTube)

The Heritage event and the previous day’s panel at McLean, Virginia’s St. John the Beloved Catholic Church clearly showed the “tragedy of the church in Syria” described at St. John by Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo.  Sookhdeo, chairman of the Westminster Institute and international director of Barnabas Aid, the Syrian delegation’s sponsors, described a “Gethsemane that leads to a potential Calvary.”  One-third of Syria’s two million Christians had fled the country during “perhaps the single greatest humanitarian disaster in the world today.”  During a slide show, Syrian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Bishop Dionysius Jean Kawak at St. John noted United Nations estimates of ten million Syrians needing assistance by the end of 2013.  Food, water, and electricity shortages afflicting the Syrian population marked a “lost generation.”

Jarjour at Heritage, meanwhile, discussed how Syrian Christians are “pressured to leave” by Sunni jihadist groups fighting for the overthrow of Syria’s Shiite-backed dictator Bashir Assad.  Jarjour recalled one funeral of a Christian beheaded by such jihadists as well as the severed heads of two Armenian Christians sent to children as a threat.  Jihadists also used Christians as human shields in the Syrian town of Homs.  Kawak at Heritage also referenced the kidnapping by jihadists of Syrian nuns and bishops.

Such “very radical Islamist groups” entering Syria meant that local Christians had abandoned their support for opposition groups initially given when protests for reform of the Assad regime began in March 2011.  Many of these groups were linked to Al Qaeda that, “contrary to popular opinion…is alive,” Sookhdeo noted at Heritage.  Jarjour at Heritage saw a worrying precedent in Syria’s neighbor Iraq, where Muslim intimidation had expelled 70% of that country’s Christian population following Saddam Hussein’s overthrow.

Rev. Adib Awad, General Secretary of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, explained at St John how such Muslim repression of Christians is not new.  Jews and Christians are “second-class citizens in a religious state” under orthodox Islamic laws, he explained.  While not always enforced in the past, these laws mandated distinctive clothing for Christians and low door construction in Christian dwellings so that Christians would humiliatingly bow upon entering.  Muslim repression also resulted in destroyed churches while Ottoman Empire rule in Syria enslaved Christian youth as soldiers in the Janissary Corps or as haram concubines.

While non-Muslims have had some freedoms under past Muslim rule, “it can change anytime,” Adib said to this author at Heritage.  Christians in the region have thus endured “different periods of fear for their future,” Kawak observed at Heritage.  As a result of such centuries-long repression, modern Syria’s population is only 10% Christian while the region was essentially completely Christian before Islamic conquest in the seventh-century.

Yet the Syrian church is “one of the oldest in the world,” Sookhdeo at St. John noted.  Christians are not “outsiders” in Syria, Damascus Armenian Church Primate Bishop Armash Nalbandian similarly affirmed at St. John.  Rather “Christianity belongs to Syria,” a “cradle of Christianity.”

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition with video

Also see:

Confirmed: U.S. Chief Facilitator of Christian Persecution

EGITTO_f_0114_-_Cristianiby :

Prominent indicators confirm that the U.S. is the chief facilitator of the persecution of Christians around the world today.

According to the recently released 2014 World Watch List, which ranks the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted, Syria is the third worst nation in the world in which to be Christian, Iraq is fourth, Afghanistan fifth, and Libya 13th. All four countries receive the strongest designation, “extreme persecution” (other designations are “severe,” “moderate,” and “sparse” persecution).

Aside from being so closely and harshly ranked, these four nations have something else in common: heavy U.S. involvement. Three—Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya—were “liberated” thanks to U.S. forces, while in the fourth, Syria, the U.S. is actively sponsoring “freedom fighters” against the regime, many of whom would be better labeled “terrorists.”

The Syrian situation alone indicts U.S. foreign policy. According to Reuters:

Open Doors, a non-denominational group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, said on Wednesday it had documented 2,123 “martyr” killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012. There were 1,213 such deaths in Syria alone last year, it said. “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 Christian groups put the annual figure as high as 8,000.

While most Americans are shielded from the true nature of the war by the U.S. media’s reluctance to report on it, Arabic media, websites, and activists daily report and document atrocity after atrocity—beheadings and bombed churches, Christians slaughtered for refusing to convert to Islam, and countless abducted for ransom or rape—at the hands of those whom the U.S. supports.

It’s enough to point out that “the largest massacre of Christians in Syria,” to quote a top religious leader, was left wholly unreported by any major U.S. news network.

At any rate, the statistics speak for themselves: Syria, which used to be religiously tolerant, is now, in the context of the United States’ trying to bring “democracy” to it, the third worst country in the world in terms of “extreme persecution” of Christians.

The Blaze reports that Dr. David Curry, president of Open Doors,

charged that the Obama administration has essentially declined to make the protection of religious minorities a priority . . . “There are many instances where the vacuum of leadership and spokesmanship has created a real problem,” said the human rights leader. “I would say that every significant data point on this year’s ‘2014 Watch List’ is worse—and I think a factor in it is a lack of leadership from Western governments including . . . the U.S. in terms of religious freedom.”

But it’s worse than that. Far from taking any action or providing leadership—or simply ceasing to support the terrorists responsible—the Obama administration recently tried to go to war with Syria on behalf of the “freedom fighters,” amazingly, in the name of “human rights” (Apparently theunsubstantiated rumor that Assad massacred people is enough for the U.S. to go to war, but the ongoing and well-documented massacres of Christians and other civilians at the hands of the opposition is not enough for the U.S. to stop supporting them.)

What’s worse, even the most misinformed mainstream-media-watching American today knows that the so-called “Arab Spring,” which was hailed to justify U.S. support for “rebels” of all stripes—in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood (which months ago destroyed some 80 churches); in Libya, al-Qaeda, which has turned Benghazi into a terror zone; and now the “freedom fighters” in Syria—is not what it was touted to be.

In other words, at this point, whenever the U.S. intervenes in an Islamic nation, Islamists come to power. This is well demonstrated by the other three nations to which the U.S. brought “democracy” and where Christian minorities suffer “extreme persecution”:

Read more at Front Page

More Slaughter in Muslim Lands; Media, Governments Silent

Muslim Persecution of Christians: October, 2013

By Raymond Ibrahim:

811 (1)Two of the most tragic Islamic attacks on Christians, killing several women and children, took place in the month of October, one in Syria another in Egypt.

On October 21 in Syria, the U.S.-supported Islamic rebels invaded and occupied the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad for over a week, till ousted by the military.  During that week, “the largest massacre of Christians in Syria,” in the words of Orthodox Archbishop Alnemeh, took place.  Among other things, 45 Christians—including women and children—were killed, several tortured to death; mass graves were discovered; all of Sadad’s 14 churches, some ancient, were ransacked and destroyed; the bodies of six people from one family, ranging from ages 16 to 90, were found buried at the bottom of a well (an increasingly common fate for “subhuman” Christians).

The jihadis even made a graphic video (with English subtitles) of those whom they massacred, while shouting Islam’s victory-cry, “Allahu Akbar” (or “Allah is greater,” which John McCain equated to a Christian saying “thank God”).  Another video, made after Sadad was liberated, shows more graphic atrocities.

The day before rebels invaded Sadad, on Sunday, October 20, the Church of the Virgin Mary in Warraq near Cairo, Egypt, was attacked during a wedding ceremony, leaving four dead and nearly two dozen wounded.  According to a report issued by forensics, two of those murdered were young girls, each named Mary:  12-year-old Mary Nabil Fahmy, who took five shots in the chest, and 8-year-old Mary Ashraf Masih (“Masih” meaning “Christ”), who took a bullet in the back which burst from the front.

As happens frequently in Egypt and other Islamic nations, the security forces charged with protecting the church were seen leaving their posts immediately before the massacre began.  Similarly, in the words of Asia News, “Eye-witnesses of the al-Warraq attack confirm that despite numerous distress calls, police and ambulances only arrived on the scene two hours after the shooting.”

Both the massacres in Syria and Egypt received scant attention and even less condemnation by Western media and government.  Instead, people like Mohamed Elibiary, an Obama administration Homeland Security advisercondemned Copts who raise awareness of anti-Christian violence in Egypt as promoting “Islamophobic” bigotry.

Similarly, although Christians are habitually killed in Muslim countries—as this monthly series attests—with little condemnation or even acknowledgment by the U.S. government, when five Muslims were killed in western Burma,  the United States, according to Voice of America, formally condemned it, “urging authorities to do more to address the long-standing sectarian tension there.”

The rest of October’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:

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Falsely Accused of Blasphemy, Source of Islamist Outrage: Just Another Pakistani Christian’s Story

Twenty-six year old Adnan Prince (Adnan Masih), falsely accused of blasphemy and imprisoned in Pakistan. (Photo credit: The Voice Society via World Watch Monitor)

Twenty-six year old Adnan Prince (Adnan Masih), falsely accused of blasphemy and imprisoned in Pakistan. (Photo credit: The Voice Society via World Watch Monitor)

by  (@Cuchulain09)

World Watch Monitor (WWM), a service that provides news on worldwide persecuted church, on December 16, 2013 reported on a visit with Pakistani Christian Adnan Prince (or Adnan Masih) at his jail cell in Lahore.

Prince, aged 26, was arrested under the dreaded charge of blasphemy, Pakistan Penal Code’s Section 295, parts A, B and C – for allegedly outraging religious feelings, defiling the Koran and defaming Mohammed. This easily-manipulated charge, under which so many Pakistani Christians (not to mention many Muslims) have suffered, carries a sentence of either life imprisonment or execution.

LeT flagWWM reported that the accusation came when Prince found a copy of a book written by Maulana Ameer Hamza, the leader of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a political arm of the jihadi organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, which claimed responsibility for the Mumbai bombings, while he was filling in for his brother at the Diamond Glass shop in Lahore on October 7, 2013.

Prince, who has a Master’s degree in English literature and training from United Pentecostal seminary, began to read Hamza’s book entitled  I asked the Bible why the Qur’ans were set on fire (Urdu: Mein ney Bible sey poocha Qur’an kyun jaley), and take notes inside it.

Literature majors the world over will know the impulse to underline and take notes while reading a book. If, however, one is in Pakistan, and particularly if one is Christian, one should be very circumspect about writing in any book, let alone a book with the word Qur’an in the title.

Sure enough, a Muslim co-worker saw him, and, says WWM – using the phrase repeated o’er and o’er — “took offense.” The man, Abid Mehmood, reported Prince to the local police station for marking the book with “abusive words against the Prophet of Islam,” Prince recounted to WWM. Morning Star Newsanother Christian news service, reported that Mehmood also notified the JuD, who issued a fatwa against Prince.

The young Christian, who is married and the father of two little girls, told WWM that he had done nothing wrong. He explained, “I found the book quite erroneous, giving incorrect information about Christianity. So I wrote comments with Biblical references in several places, but no abusive language was used.”

Once the declaration of blasphemy has been made in Pakistan, no amount of factual evidence, rational thought, or logic ever seems to make a difference in how things play out. Prince fled for his life, but returned to Lahore on November 6, after police arrested his mother, brother, aunt, and uncle and warned they would not be released until he turned himself in.

Read more at Juicy Ecumenism

Gohmert on Religious Persecution: It’s Time We Stand Up for Christians

217709_167870656601694_55452_aRep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) spoke on the House floor about religious persecution, namely Christian persecution in the Middle East. He read tragic stories of Christians, murdered, trying to peacefully assemble at church. He also noted a startling statistic: Every 11 minutes, 1 Christian is killed because if their faith.

The Most Despised People in the World

By Bill Warner:

The most persecuted group in the world today is Christians. Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Syria and other nations are murdered, raped, kidnapped, enslaved and persecuted on a daily basis. The reason for the vast majority of all of this violence is that they are Christian among Muslims.

But their abuse does not stop with the violence. The perpetrators of violence are measured in the thousands, but the greatest abuse is at the hands of those who should demand that the violence stop. The silence in the face this persecution is denial and justification. The persecutors are few, but the deniers are in the billions.

Christians are enjoined to care for all persecuted people, but in particular, they are to care for their own brothers and sisters. They manage to ignore the persecution by doing good works, such as care for the poor. Christians have compassion but no courage to face the enemy who kills them. In Nashville, TN (the buckle on the Bible belt) the favorite indoor sport for those who should be dealing with the enemy, Islam, is going to Family of Abraham events and bridge building dialogues where they dance to the tune of Muslims. There is no problem of meeting with Islam, but the rules of engagement are that nothing will be said that offends Islam.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, an injured man is on the side of the road. Two religious leaders pass him by on the other side of the road. They don’t harm the injured man, they just ignore him. This is the same thing that Christian leaders do at dialogues such as Family of Abraham. They meet with Muslims who adhere to a doctrine that includes killing Christians. But, the leaders will not bring up the Islamic persecution to them. The Christian leadership response to murder of their brothers and sisters is silence. They pass by on the other side of the road. Their silence is consent.

But Christians are not the only deniers. Normally, Jews are quick to step forward in the area of charity and support of victims, but not so with persecuted Christians. Some of this denial may be due to a dislike of Christianity, but Jews are no quicker to help their own.

If you go to thereligionofpeace.com you will find an amazing data base of jihad attacks since 9/11. The current number of attacks is in excess of 22,000 attacks. It is very instructive to parse the data and see what are the top four nations of jihad attacks. When you put the data on a per capita basis, you get the following countries: Israel, Thailand, Philippines and India. Or by religion: Jews, Buddhists, Christians and Hindus. So Jews are the victims of violence by Islam, but the Jews of America love to go to Family of Abraham events and be as silent as the Christians.

But what about the most sensitive victim group – the black American? Victim-ology is the dogma of a myriad black “civil rights” groups with their high priests of race hustles such as Al Sharpton. The most persecuted Christians are in Africa. But the civil rights hustlers of America just love to hang with Muslims as their brothers. All of those dead Africans? Not a problem for African Americans.

It is surprising how many Buddhists are being killed in jihad, but is it a surprise that Buddhists never talk about it? And aside from a few Hindu activists, never a word is heard from the Hindu community about their deaths by jihad.

gty_pope_francis_ll_130313_ssh-450x348The deaths in the Philippines are Catholics and what does Pope Francis say about Islam? He says,

Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.

Oh, I see. Over 1400 years of Christian deaths at the hands of jihadists means that they were not true Muslims and that the 22,000 jihadic attacks since 9/11 are not authentic. The annihilation of Christianity in Turkey, Middle East and Africa is not the result of “proper reading of the Koran”. The Pope is the perfect candidate for magical thinking and idiot compassion. And notice the little hate speech riff: “avoid hateful generalizations”. Pope Francis, do you mean generalizations such as conclusions that result from reading the Koran, the Sunna, the Sharia and a 1400 year history of the murder of all kinds of Kafirs (non-Muslims)?

But, in his own way, Pope Francis is the leader of all Christians. He just happens to have on more elaborate clothing as he practices denial.

So, it turns out that Christians are not the most despised group of people in the world. They just happen to be the largest subgroup. The most despised group in the world is the victim of Islam. And whether it is a dead Christian congregation, a murdered apostate, a sad Muslim woman with FGM, or any other victim of jihad, no one will speak out for the victim and against the perpetrator. All leaders share in the shame of being ignorant cowards practicing idiot compassion.

How is this to stop? Well, being polite won’t help, because if polite worked, the problem would be solved. The key to our response is that we have the high moral ground. We must oppose the oppressor, Islam, and stand with the oppressed – Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and all others who are oppressed by jihad. Our opponents, the deniers, support the oppressor, Islam, and ignore and suppress the fate of the victims. The deniers are evil, period.

If you are a Christian, get some allies, and come up with a program about the persecuted church. The program could be bringing in some persecuted Christians, such as Copts, to speak to Sunday school classes or doing a long term study of the Armenian holocaust in 20th century Turkey. When you go to leadership, do not ask permission or make a request. Make demands and if those demands are not met, then some form of protest inside your church must be launched.

Stand up at services and protest, hand out brochures, do whatever it takes until “leadership” agrees to not pass by on the other side of the road and neglect the dead Christians. Point out their moral position is wrong and evil. Do not be shy. Ask them to use scripture to morally justify their denial and ignorance. Be respectful, but firm and do not stop until good prevails.

This is a moral battle and if you are not a Christian, you should do the same in other venues. A possible venue is the local media. Make demands to recognize the victims of jihad and if they are not met, make a protest. Public protest is a powerful tool for change. We must acknowledge the world’s largest human rights tragedy. Being nice is the road to civilizational annihilation.