Take action!
How to Get Involved
 
 

Muslim Persecution of Christians: September, 2011

ICC Note:

Raymond Ibrahim reports in FrontPageMag that September was a “busy month in the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world.” Ibrahim’s series, titled ‘Muslim Persecution of Christians,’ is published each month to document cases of persecution – whether it be general discrimination, arrests, or murder – committed by Muslims in majority Islamic countries, Asia and the West.

By Raymond Ibrahim

10/12/2011 Islam (FrontPageMag) - An especially busy month in the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world, September also witnessed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton release the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. Ironically, aside from Iran and Sudan, none of the countries that habitually appear in this series were designated as “countries of particular concern,” defined by the State Department as countries that are “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”

Egypt, for instance—which this year alone has seen nearly 80 Christians killed, their many churches burned or bombed, and their daughters kidnapped and forcibly converted—was not listed as a “country of particular concern,” this despite the fact that the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, an independent, bipartisan federal government commission, had recommended that the State Department designate it so.

Neither was Pakistan cited as a “country of particular concern.”  According to CNS news, “Clinton did not designate Pakistan even though the State Department’s own report stated that Pakistani law calls for the death penalty for people who commit ‘blasphemy’ against Islam or who convert from Islam to another religion—and even though the report listed multiple instances of the Pakistani government using the law to persecute Christians.”

In fact, September alone saw the following in Pakistan:

Blasphemy

A Christian student was expelled from school because she misspelled an Urdu word that, instead of praising, insulted Muhammad, leading to accusations of “blasphemy,” which carries the death penalty.  After the teacher beat her, the principal was notified and Muslims staged demonstrations “demanding registration of a criminal case against the eighth-grader and her eviction from the area.”  As riots and violence were about to erupt, the military intervened:  “They bundled the family in an ambulance and took them away…”

“A Christian high school teacher has suffered false accusations of blasphemy by a student and some Muslim professors, because of dislike, revenge and hatred towards Christians. He was forced to leave his job and hide, he appealed to Court, but the laconic sentence of the judge of first instance invited him to ‘leave the country’…. Married and a father of three, he has been uprooted and is in hiding.”

A 30-year-old Christian man accused of blasphemy and imprisoned, died in his cell from a treatable disease, “after officials denied him proper medical care.” While in prison, he and others “accused of blasphemy, were kept in solitary confinement without access to a toilet, water or electricity.”

Abuse of Christian Women

A Christian mother of five was raped by two Muslim men, who “tend to assume they will not be prosecuted if their victims are Christians”; she and her family are being threatened with violence unless they drop the charges.

A Christian nurse was raped by a Muslim colleague who filmed the act in an attempt to blackmail her into renouncing Christianity and marrying him:  “[he] raped me while his friend filmed the entire incident. They ruined my life completely.”

Accordingly, a new report estimates that some 700 Christian girls annually are abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry their Muslim abductors.

Categorized by theme, the rest of September’s batch of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is hardly limited to) the following accounts, listed according to theme and in alphabetical order by country, not necessarily severity.

Attacks on Churches

Egypt: Muslims threatened Christians near Aswan for fixing a dilapidated church, even though it was authorized, demanding that the church not have a cross, dome, bells, or even be called a “church”; weeks later, after Friday prayers, thousands of Muslims attacked the church, burning it to the ground, and demolishing its domes, even as Egyptian security watched.  (Copts protesting this church attack led to the recent military massacre.)

Indonesia: A Muslim suicide bomber attacked a packed church killing himself and wounding at least 27 worshippers, some critically; security received advance warning but, as often happens in Muslim majority countries, left their post at the time of the attack.

Tunisia: Around 20 Muslims attempted to transform a Christian church into a mosque “in an ominous sign of the growing threat to the country’s small Church in the wake of the revolution.”  The police dispersed them, but “they have been invited to make an official request to the faith ministry” to transform the church into a mosque.

Apostasy

Indonesia: Under accusations of encouraging Muslims to apostatize to Christianity, an American family (husband and wife, two sons) were attacked by a Muslim throng that set fire to their property and vehicle. “Only the intervention of police saved the[ir] lives” from “an enraged mob spurred by a local religious leader.”

Iran: A Christian pastor remains incarcerated awaiting execution for refusing to recant Christianity; the government of Iran, under international criticism, now claims that he is getting the death penalty, not because of religion, but because he is a “Zionist,” a “rapist,” and other new charges, even though its own court documents clearly assert his crime is apostasy.

Somalia: A Muslim convert to Christianity was abducted and decapitated, his body dumped in the road, by Muslims from al-Shabaab, “a militant group with ties to al Qaeda” that has “vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity.”  According to a leader of the underground church: “It is usual for the al-Shabaab to decapitate those they suspect to have embraced the Christian faith, or sympathizers of western ideals.”

Sudan: 129 people in southern Sudan were arrested and charged with apostasy, which “carries a maximum sentence of death.” The plaintiff maintains that while the defendants may be familiar with the Quran, they are not upholding the “Sunna of Muhammad”:  “Given the track record of the Government of Sudan, it is possible that Article 126 [which criminalizes apostates] is being used to suppress ethnic minorities and those who the state perceives as potential sources of opposition.”

[Full Story]

Forward to a friend
  • Kids

    Care for orphans and hurting children

    read more
  • Families

    Support wives and children of imprisoned or martyed pastors

    read more
  • Pastors

    Spread the gospel by supporting underground pastors

    read more
  • Women

    Save women from abduction and sexual exploitation

    read more
  • Communities

    Help rebuild communities devastated by persecution

    read more

Other Projects

other projects

ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.