Where have all the Christians gone?
“Christians are being killed by radical Islamists because of their beliefs. Why then, while the world celebrates revolution in the Arab world, are we standing silently while these atrocities are taking place in these democratically-liberated lands?” asks Elwood McQuaid in The Jerusalem Post.
By Elwood McQuaid
10/25/2011 Middle East (Jerusalem Post) – Christians are being killed by radical Islamists because of their beliefs. Why then, while the world celebrates revolution in the Arab world, are we standing silently while these atrocities are taking place in these democratically-liberated lands?
Liberal elitists in Western politics, academia, and the news media collectively swooned when the mobs in Cairo’s Tahrir Square swept Western ally, Hosni Mubarak, out of the Egyptian presidency and into a prison cell to await trial. In the minds of so-called progressives, the “Arab Spring” was precisely the balm of freedom for which the downtrodden had long been yearning. Democratic reforms were supposedly around the corner, swinging everyone into an era of prosperous camaraderie. That’s how delusional Western leaders saw things.
They were wrong again.
On October 9, 2011, Muslims attacked some 10,000 peaceful Coptic Christians who were protesting the burning of two of their churches. Some Christians were shot, while others were run down by the Egyptian army’s military vehicles or were beaten and dragged through the streets of Cairo.
Islamist jihadists, who have harassed and murdered Coptic Christians for years, are gaining strength in their support for an Islamic regime dominated by the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. Their oft-stated objective is to rid themselves of Israel first, then to drape the entire region in Arab green. The Copts, who in Egypt number approximately 8 million, have lived peaceful, productive lives among their Muslim neighbors for two millennia. Now, with radicals at the helm of the burgeoning Islamist/Sharia “utopia,” many are talking about fleeing their native land.
In Pursuit of Survival
A decade ago, 800,000 Christians lived in Iraq. Need we be reminded that American and coalition forces in 2003 delivered the country from the protracted agony of the butcher of Baghdad, Sadaam Hussein? Their intent was to facilitate a stable, democratic government. However, when it comes to the country’s Christians, the new Iraqi constitution comes up short. Compass Direct News reported that:
Iraq’s Federal Constitution says each individual has freedom of thought, conscience and belief, but there is no article on changing one’s religion. This makes it legally impossible to apply freedom of belief in the cases of converts, said a Christian Iraqi lawyer on the condition of anonymity.
Radical Muslims ratcheted up their attacks in October 2010, massacring 52 people worshiping in a Catholic church in Baghdad. The persecution of Christians in Iraq has led to a mass exodus. More than 1 million Christians lived there in 1991; today fewer than 350,000 remain.
Even children are targeted. A nine-year-old Iraqi boy was recently beaten and insulted because of his Christian faith. When he started first grade last year, his teacher beat him in front of the entire class, calling him an infidel.
His sister, in kindergarten, said her teacher told her she and her family would “burn” for being Christians. The parents “are weary and wonder if the children’s lives would be easier in a Western country where so many Christian converts have already fled.”
In a US State Department report, released last month, it was stated that there are no Christian churches or schools left in Afghanistan. The last church was destroyed in March 2010. “Negative societal opinions and suspicion of Christian activities led to targeting of Christians groups and individuals, including converts to Christianity,” said the report. “The lack of government responsiveness and protection for these groups and individuals contributed to the deterioration of religious freedom.” Consequently, most fear to communicate their faith or worship openly.
In 2001, Mideast expert Daniel Pipes wrote in the Middle East Quarterly, “At the present rate, the Middle East’s 12 million Christians will likely drop to 6 million in the year 2020. With time, Christians will effectively disappear from the region as a cultural and political force.” A decade later, evidence confirms the truth of his words.