Persecuted Iraqi Christian
Christianity will soon become extinct in its ancient homelands because of a global massacre of Christians throughout the world. The British are now speaking openly about it, but the U.S. has remained largely silent on the issue, with newspapers glossing over it or even denying it is anything more than isolated incidents.
The British House of Parliament recently debated the plight of Christians around the world, with one Christian being killed every 11 minutes somewhere simply for being a Christian. They concluded it is the “most persecuted religion globally”.
Syria, North Korea, Eritrea, Nigeria, Iraq and Egypt are among those that are most dangerous for Christians.
MP Jim Shannon said the persecution of Christians is “the biggest story in the world that has never been told”. He said that more than 200 million Christians will be persecuted this year alone. Syrian Christians have been cleared out of Homs, Sada and Maaloula, and 2 million Christians have been killed in the Sudan over the past 30 years. Hundreds have been imprisoned in Nigeria, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Moroccco, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Congo, Somalia, and China.
In Iraq, Christians are “frightened even to walk to church because they might come under attack. All the churches are targets… We used to have 1.5 million Christians, now we have probably only 200,000 left… There are more Iraqi Christians in Chicago than there are here [Iraq]”, said MP Shannon.
The former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali said ”… the persecution of Christians was taking place in more than 130 of the 190 countries in the world at the moment”.
Sayeeda Warsi, a minister for faith in David Cameron’s government, said that violence by religious fanatics against Christian worshippers is a ‘global crisis’ and is the most grave challenge facing the world in this century. “A mass exodus is taking place, on a Biblical scale. In some places, there is a real danger that Christianity will become extinct,” Ms. Warsi said during a speech at Georgetown University.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev. Justin Welby, said that Christians are now suffering mass martyrdom. In September, he said that there had been more than 80 Christian “martyrs” in the last few days alone. He was speaking about the bombing of All Saints Anglican church in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 85 were killed and more than 200 injured.
Christian communities, which have existed “in many cases since the days of Saint Paul”, are now under threat in countries such as Syria and Egypt, he said.
Prince Charles said Christians are being persecuted by Islamists. It isn’t only Islamists.
British legislator Fiona Bruce has talked about the increasing reports of “extreme persecution”, especially in the Middle East. Bruce said that Christians in the region “have suffered from a domino effect of violence that began in Iraq, spread to Syria and overshadows Egypt, leaving the survival of the Church in jeopardy.”
“We should be crying out with the same abhorrence and horror that we feel about the atrocities towards Jews on Kristallnacht and on other occasions during the Second World War,” she said. Bruce made these remarks leading a Westminster Hall Adjournment Debate on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
In Malaysia, said Tom Geatrex MP, the Bible has been “effectively outlawed,” especially in the eastern part of the country. He also spoke about “the recent decision in Malaysia to ban Christians from using the word ‘Allah”, which has been used in Malay as a term for God for centuries.”
It is the crisis people do not hear about in the United States. President Obama hasn’t appointed a Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. It took two years to appoint the woman who was in the position and who has since resigned. Obama has not been out front on this issue and has barely acknowledged what amounts to a pogrom. Five days ago he said that religious freedom is a tenet of our constitution, avoiding mentioning the gravest problem confronting the right to practice one’s religion is against Christians.
Newspapers have avoided reports on the persecution and have mocked conservative outlets for reporting it, claiming it is blown out of proportion or that it’s not just of Christians or aimed specifically at Christians though the massacres do often include those practicing other religions. A recent Fatwa authorized the rape of of all non-Sunni women.
Yet Christians are being persecuted in China, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Algeria, Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, Tanzania, Uzbekistan and Russia (particularly the North Caucasus, where the Tsarnaevs trace their heritage).
“From Boston to Zanzibar, there’s a worldwide war on Christianity,” said Senator Rand Paul at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 12. “Christians are being attacked around the world, but you won’t hear much about it on the evening news because the answer’s not convenient. It doesn’t fit the narrative we have been told about radical Islam.”
“The president tries to gloss over who’s attacking and killing Christians,” said Paul. “The media describes the killings as ‘sectarian.’ But the truth is, a worldwide war on Christians is being waged by a fanatical element of Islam.”
Arutz Sheva reported that the reach of this silent tragedy is sweeping – a global religious genocide on “slow burn” with occasional conflagrations that make it into the mainstream media. There are an estimated 100 million persecuted Christians.
There is a mass exodus of millions of Christians throughout the Middle East.
In October 2012 the last Christian in the city of Homs–which had a Christian population of some 80,000 before jihadis came–was murdered.
Iraq, Syria, and Egypt are the Arab world. But even in “black” African and “white” European nations with Muslim majorities, Christians are fleeing.
In Mali, after a 2012 Islamic coup, as many as 200,000 Christians fled. According to reports, “the church in Mali faces being eradicated,” especially in the north “where rebels want to establish an independent Islamist state and drive Christians out… there have been house to house searches for Christians who might be in hiding, church and Christian property has been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Christian relatives.” At least one pastor was beheaded.
Even in European Bosnia, Christians are leaving en mass “amid mounting discrimination and Islamization.” Only 440,000 Catholics remain in the Balkan nation, half the prewar figure.
Christians are being persecuted throughout the mid-East, Asia and Africa. The regions’ Christian population is down from 20% to 4% in the last century. It is the smallest minority population in the region. Christianity is all but eradicated.
The mass exodus of Christians from the Middle East post-Arab Spring is the largest reported and is being ignored or barely touched upon by the media.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reported that “the flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year.” In our lifetime alone “Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.”
The Arab Spring has accelerated Christian and Jewish flight, what few Jews were left.
In European Bosnia, no permits for Christian churches have been approved in Sarajevo while dozens of Mosques have been built. The writing is on the wall. More than 400,000 Christians have fled the Balkans. History is repeating itself.
In Iran, Saeed Abedini, an American-Christian pastor, has been tortured and jailed for “preaching.” The U.S. State Department’s “virtual embassy” to Iran, which highlights that country’s human rights abuses, has a site listing those jailed for dissent or religious beliefs. They have not listed Pastor Abedini.
Jihadist militias in Syria have been kidnapping, torturing, maiming and murdering Christians. The jihadists, whom we are backing in the Syrian civil war, are blocking the exodus of Christians. As twenty-five thousand recently tried to flee, their path was blocked by militia.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va) traveled extensively through the region and released a 14-page report warning of the oppression and the mass exodus of Christians. The report is titled, “First the Saturday People, Then the Sunday People: The Exodus of Jews and Christians from the Middle East.” It’s worth reading.
“Over the span of a few decades, the Middle East, with the exception of Israel, has virtually been emptied of Jews,” the congressman said in the report.
“While it remains to be seen whether the historic exodus of Christians from the region will prove to be as dramatic as what has already happened to the Jewish community, it is without question devastating, as it threatens to erase Christianity from its very roots,” he cautioned.
“Christian leaders in the West must begin to speak out about what is happening not only in Syria but in the Middle East and other parts of South Central Asia.”
He called for a special envoy at the State Department to protect and preserve religious minority communities in the mid-East and South Central Asia. He also asked for a relief fund to address their economic hardships.
Listen to testimony from Tuesday’s hearing in this clip: