Excerpts via Muslim Persecution of Christians: October, 2012.
Reports of Christian persecution by Muslims around the world during the month of October include (but are not limited to) the following accounts. They are listed by form of persecution, and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:
Canada: Just as happens regularly in Egypt (see below), a Molotov cocktail was hurled through the window of a newly opened Coptic church near Toronto. Unlike in Egypt, however, firefighters came quickly and little damage was done: “Police have no suspects or motive in the incident.”
Kenya: A grenade was thrown into the Sunday school building of St. Polycarp Anglican Church, blowing off the roof, killing one boy and injuring eight other children attending Sunday school, including some requiring surgery. The attack came soon after a Somali member of the Islamic terrorist organization Al Shabab, who had earlier targeted four other churches, was sentenced to prison after he confessed to planning attacks on Parliament. According to the mother of one of the children, “We are in Eastleigh [a region with a large Somali population]. Many Christians, including myself, thought that something might happen. Every week we’d wonder ‘What if it’s this Sunday?’ But we’d still go to church.” Likewise, a parliament member said, “The life of an innocent child has been taken and others have been cruelly injured and traumatised in what should be the safest of places. The sanctity of life has been heartlessly breached in a sanctified place. Such acts seem to be designed to spark civil unrest and intimidate the Christian church. In the face of such an outrage we ask, with the prophet Habakkuk, ‘O Lord, how long?’ and let us trust that God in his mercy will bring justice and relief as we cry out to him.”
Nigeria: Thousands of Christians continue to flee northern areas of Nigeria, which are predominantly Muslim, and where the jihadi organization Boko Haram holds sway, after a renewed spate of church attacks. An Islamic suicide bomber rammed an SUV loaded with explosives into St. Rita Catholic Church holding Sunday Mass killing eight people and wounding more than 100. One “journalist saw the bodies of four worshippers lying on the floor of the church after the blast, surrounded by broken glass. The body of the suicide bomber had been blasted into nearby rubble.” The church building was devastated and charred black. Also, the Church of Brethren was raided by Islamic gunmen who killed at least two people and set the church ablaze. Many churches are shutting down in fear of further attacks.
Rape and Murder of Christians
Egypt: Ali Hussein, a Muslim gang leader—accompanied with his two ex-convict brothers—broke into the home of a Christian family on a Sunday morning, demanding that Hiyam Zaki, a mother of two children, to “come and live with him.” Earlier, Hussein had demanded that the family either pay him one million Egyptian pounds, or forfeit the Christian woman to him. When the family his demands, the gang opened fire indiscriminately in the house, killing one of her relatives and her father. Earlier, to terrorize the inhabitants of the village, the Muslim gang went to the stables and slaughtered all the animals. Hussein was also killed under the hail of bullets, though it is not clear who shot him. Accordingly, a Muslim mob surrounded the hospital demanding revenge for the “Christian killing of a Muslim man,” even as they chanted that Hussein the gangster is “the beloved of the Prophet.” Similarly, although the abduction and forced Islamization of Christian minor girls is common in Egypt, especially with the Muslims Brotherhood ascendancy, the case of 14-year old Sarah, who was kidnapped on her way to school by the son of a Salafi leader, actually caused a stir. After filing a missing person report with police, Sarah’s father received an anonymous call telling him that he will never see his daughter again. Security is believed to know the girl’s whereabouts but is not acting. After several human rights organizations called for the girl’s release, “the Salafist Front issued a statement on October 28, warning human rights organizations, especially the National Council for Women, not to attempt to return Sarah to her family, as she has converted to Islam and married a Muslim man.” Moreover, Salafis projected Islamic mores on the Christian family by saying that if Sarah returns to her family, she will be “killed” by her father,” to which her father replied, “I want my child back in my arms, even if she became a Muslim.”
Nigeria: Up to 30 Christian college students were shot or had their throats slit at a university in the Muslim-majority north. During the night, masked gunmen went door-to-door in the off-campus housing section of Federal Polytechnic College in the city of Moby: “the gunmen separated the Christian students from the Muslim students, addressed each victim by name, questioned them, and then proceeded to shoot them or slit their throat.” Among motives cited are reprisals against the fact that former Boko Haram Muslims, renouncing terrorism, converted to Christianity. Other former Boko Haram members have not converted to Christianity but have seen the “goodness of the Christian religion” and now warn Christians before there is an attack.
Pakistan: A 14 year-old Christian girl, Timar Shahzadi, was kidnapped by Muslim men as she was returning from school. According to the pastor close to the family, the girl was with friends when the abductors pounced and dragged her away, and her family fears that she will be “forcefully converted to become a Muslim and then married off if immediate steps are not taken.” The family reported the incident to the local police station, but police have not yet conducted any investigation. Also, a court decreed that a Christian girl, known as Rebecca—who was kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, and married to her abductor—to be returned to her kidnapper “husband,” despite her father’s pleas and the girls traumatized presence in court. And 24 year-old Shumaila Bibi, another Christian woman, was “seized at dawn, forced to endure sexual abuse and to marry the young Muslim man who abducted her with the help of his family” and forced the woman to convert to Islam. Days later, Shumaila managed to escape. However, with the help of his family, her “husband” denounced her flight and, reversing the facts, reported her family as “kidnapping” her. The police accepted his version of the facts and opened an investigation claiming that the girl converted and married “of her own free will.” The future of Shumaila is hanging by a thread. Kidnapping and forcing girls to convert to Islam and/or be sex-slaves sold to wealthy Muslims is a common occurrence in Pakistan. Read here for a list concerning the “Rape and Murder of Pakistan’s Christian Children.”
Sudan: Asia Omer, a Christian mother of seven, the youngest of which is four months old, was killed in an aerial bombardment near a church by “Sudanese government forces as they continue a ruthless campaign of ethnic and religious cleansing in the predominantly Christian regions of the Nuba Mountains.” Another Christian mother of seven sustained a critical injury but did not receive medical care. Other Christians were also wounded in the bombing, including the teenage son of a church leader. “President Omar al-Bashir’s forces have been targeting the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state, which has one of the largest Christian populations in Sudan, since June 2011. The Islamic regime is trying to ‘cleanse’ the region of non-Arabs and non-Muslims as Khartoum pushes forward its plans for a ‘100% Islamic”’ constitution.”
Syria: A Greek Orthodox priest, Fr. Fadi Jamil Haddad, was kidnapped by armed groups from among the opposition. Days later, his body, which was “horribly tortured and his eyes gouged out,” was found dumped near the place he was abducted. Earlier, the kidnappers had asked the priest’s family and his church for a ransom of 50 million Syrian pounds (over $550,000 euros)—a sum that was impossible to raise. A source of Fides condemns “the terrible practice, present for months in this dirty war, of kidnapping and then killing innocent civilians.” Also, thelast remaining Christian in the center of Homs, an 84 year-old Greek Orthodox, was killed, and the convent of the Jesuits hit again. A top Russian Orthodox official expressed the church’s concern, saying“We are deeply worried by what is going on in Syria, where radical forces are trying to come to power with the help of Western powers. Where they come to power, Christian communities become the first victims.”
[General Abuse and Suppression of Non-Muslims as “Tolerated” Citizens]
Bosnia: According to a new report, Christians are leaving the Muslim majority nation in mass “amid mounting discrimination and Islamization.” Currently there are just 440,000 Catholics left in the Balkan nation, half the prewar figure. As standard in Muslim nations, “while dozens of mosques were built in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, no building permissions were given for Christian churches. The cardinal already waits 13 years on permission to build just a small church.” “Time is running out as there is a worrisome rise in radicalism,” said one authority, who further added that the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina were “persecuted for centuries” after European powers “failed to support them in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire.”
Switzerland: Muslims in the nation are complaining about a billboard campaign from Swiss International Airline, that has a logo taken from the Swizz flag, which is of a cross, with the words “the cross is trumps.” According to the report, “Muslims in Switzerland have responded negatively to the advertising, which they believe promotes Christianity over other religions…. Many Muslims feel this Christian slogan (of Swiss) is a provocation and an assault against Islam.” The airline maintains that its ad campaign does not carry any religious or political message—in fact, that the word “trumps” is a pun for a Swiss card game—and apologized for upsetting Muslims.
Much more in the full post at Raymond Ibrahim‘s website as well as past monthly reports.