Excerpts from Raymond Ibrahim’s Muslim Persecution of Christians: September, 2012
[General Abuse and Suppression of Non-Muslims as "Tolerated" Citizens]
Bangladesh: A new report indicates that some 300 Christian children were recently abducted and forcibly converted to Islam: So-called intermediaries visit poverty-stricken communities, where they convince families to send their children to a mission hostel, charging them the equivalent of US$ 500 to $1,200 for school and board. “After pocketing the money, the intermediaries sell the children to Islamic schools elsewhere in the country ‘where imams force them to abjure Christianity.'” http://www.asianews.it/files/img/BANGLADESH_OK.jpgThe children are then instructed in Islam and beaten; after full indoctrination, they are asked if they are “ready to give their lives for Islam,” presumably by becoming jihadi suicide-bombers.
Iran: Pastor Behnam Irani, imprisoned for “holding house church services and leading Muslims to Christ,” continues to suffer health problems, while receiving no aid: “First, his eyesight is dimming and he has not been given access to a doctor to get prescription lenses. Second, he has a bleeding ulcer in his intestines. This has caused him to have bloody stool, vomiting blood, resulting in unconsciousness at one point. Third, from an accident several years ago, he had metal placed in his knee, and according to a family member it needs to be replaced every so often.”
Syria: Christians fleeing to the Lebanese border are still being targeted, kidnapped, and in some cases murdered for ransom money. One report said 280 were held hostage by “armed gangs” taking advantage of the chaos of the war. Some of those kidnapped are later found slaughtered on the road.
Turkmenistan: A new report indicates how “the situation [for Christians] has got markedly worse since July and we don’t know why.” Among other reports, Christian homes were raided and Bibles confiscated; Christians were threatened for not participating in Muslim prayers; they lost their jobs and businesses; Christian children are being harassed and discriminated against in schools. In one instance, “secret police officers raided a flat where five elderly Christian women had gathered for worship, as was their regular practice. They were so frightened by the incident that they have stopped meeting together.”
Uzbekistan: A former Uzbek Muslim who converted to Christianity and eventually became an active Protestant house church leader, was subsequently persecuted by the state, and fled with his family to Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan wants him to return to face charges that he practiced religion “outside state regulation.” Because of its evangelical nature, Protestantism is banned in Uzbekistan. His case now rests before the country’s highest court, which has yet to set a hearing date.
Pakistan continues to show that it is one of the absolute worst nations for Christians and other non-Muslims; it requires its own section for September:
A 16-year-old Christian girl, Shumaila Masih, was gang-raped for hours by Muslims—joining the countless Christian girls and boys raped and murdered in Pakistan. Three Muslim men met her on the street, trying to persuade her to go with them. When she refused, she was forcibly abducted and taken to the home of one of the men, who took “turns raping her for hours. The attack took place at 11 am, in broad daylight, but no one intervened to save Shumaila, despite her desperate cries and pleas for help.” Around 5 pm, her father and his cousins began searching for her; when they came to the rape-house, they heard her cries and rushed to it: “At the sight of the men, the three young Muslims fled, leaving Shumaila naked and in pain on the bed.”
According to a new report, as many as 2,000 women and girls from various minority sects, especially Christianity, were forcibly converted to Islam through rape, torture and kidnappings, and 161 people were charged with blasphemy in 2011. “The actual number is larger as many cases go unreported… For instance, policemen are involved in more than 60 percent of sexual abuse cases of street children.”
A separate report discussing the murder of a Christian youth by Muslims, notes that “Christians are harassed by criminal gangs and Islamic terrorist groups of ethnic Pashtuns: armed to the teeth, the militants enter the area to collect jizya [extortion money imposed on Christians and Jews, according to Quran 9:29]. Militants raid houses, steal and abuse women and children for fun. The local population is terrorized.”
Another 16-year-old Christian girl, Sumbal, a maid working for Muslims, was “beaten harshly” by the family with “pipes and iron rods … afterwards, she was taken to the washroom and terribly tortured there.” When the child’s parents learned of the incident, they went to retrieve their daughter but were told by the family that they did not know her whereabouts. According to Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association: “Yet again we have violence against a teenage Christian maid. The fact that the family are refusing her mother access is very disturbing. What are they covering up? Is it the fact that the girl was murdered, as in a recent case where a senior lawyer in the same city tortured to death a young Christian girl servant? Is it to try and concoct a story about her condition, or has she been raped and forced to marry and convert as so many young Christian girls are?”
Soon after a Muslim opened a madrassa [Islamic school] near where Christians held their tent church worship, Muslims began harassing the Christians; they sprayed bullets on the Christians’ homes saying things like, “Convert to Islam or leave this neighborhood.” The Muslims also tried to trick a pastor into admitting he proselytized Muslims; and they gather in front of the church and harass Christian girls as they exit after services.
Bahrain: Long considered the most tolerant nation in the Arabian Peninsula, with a 30% non-Muslim population of foreign workers, Bahrain is the latest Muslim nation to exhibit intolerance toward churches: Sunni clerics strongly opposed the planned construction of a Catholic church, “in a rare open challenge of the country’s Sunni king. More than 70 clerics signed a petition last week saying it was forbidden to build churches in the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam.” One prominent cleric, Sheik Adel Hassan al-Hamad, proclaimed that “anyone who believes that a church is a true place of worship is someone who has broken in their faith in God.”
Egypt: Kasr El-Dobara, the largest evangelical church in the Middle East, located in Egypt, was besieged by “unknown people” hurling “stones and gas bombs.” The first gas bomb thrown at the church was described as an “error” by police, but it was soon followed by other bomb attacks, which lasted through midnight until early Friday. Worshippers locked themselves inside the church and put on masks to avoid gas poisoning. Some of those trapped inside looked for help by trying to contact politicians, journalists, and even the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood. All the Brotherhood did was announce on TV that the attackers were not members of the Muslim Brotherhood. After the men conducting the siege finally left, and the trapped Christians finally came out, not a single police or security agent to counter the attacks or protect the church could be found.
Indonesia: The several-year-long campaign against GKI Yasmin Church took another turn for the worse, as authorities ordered the congregation to relocate—a demand that abrogated a previous agreement which had permitted the church to exist, provided that a mosque would be built next door, and to which the church had agreed. Moreover, a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 ordered the GKI Yasmin’s building to be reopened; it had been shut down in 2008 by local Muslims who, along with the mayor, to this day still refuse to comply with Supreme Court ruling. As one church leader said, “The rule of law in Indonesia has collapsed.” Since its forced closure, the congregation has been holding services in the street in front of its half-constructed building or in private homes.
Lebanon: Two unknown assailants opened fire on the Saint Joseph Church in the town of Bqosta near Sidon; they damaged the building’s windows.
Nigeria: A suicide bomb attack on Saint John’s Catholic Church claimed three lives, including those of a woman and a child; 44 others were seriously injured. Another report describes the typical aftermath of church attacks in Nigeria: “One month after gunmen opened fire inside Deeper Life Bible Church [August 7] … members of the church have yet to resume worship services and other activities. ‘All of us are traumatized by this attack. [There is] no family in this church that is not affected by this incident,’ said Stephen Imagejor, an assistant pastor whose wife, Ruth, was killed, and their two daughters, Amen, 12, and Juliet, 9, hit by bullets and hospitalized. In all, 19 died. Church members say they were attacked specifically because of their Christian faith. They may have been a target, they say, because some of the dead include former Muslims who had converted to Christianity. And in the aftermath. ‘Many are now saying that they can no longer come to the church,’ Imagejor said. ‘But we will eventually try to see how we can get those of us that have survived the attack to return to the church for worship services. But, I do visit them to encourage them to remain steadfast in the faith in spite of the persecution.'”
Spain: In Catalonia, a Catholic church was attacked by Moroccan Muslims, who, along with two other Moroccan Muslims, have been detained and charged with multiple assaults and robberies, including using clubs used to rob, terrorize and beat local Spaniards.
Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism
Saudi Arabia: The hunt continues for a 28-year-old Saudi woman, Maryan, who embraced Christianity and fled the country, first gaining sanctuary in a Lebanese church, and then fleeing to Sweden. Earlier, the woman had said that, although she “was raised to hate Judaism and Christianity she has come to love those religions since finding peace in Christianity.” Two men, a Christian Lebanese and a Muslim Saudi are accused of proselytizing, and helping her escape. Prosecuting lawyer, Humood Al-Khaldi, said that while in Islam it is clear that the penalty for apostasy is death, “the roles played by the two men, the Saudi and Lebanese, in making the girl become Christian should be taken into consideration,” meaning that they, too, must be brought to judgment. Swedish authorities are actually helping to find her to extradite her back to Saudi Arabia to face Sharia justice, including possible execution.
Read it all at the Gatestone Institute.
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