Reports of Christian persecution by Muslims around the world during the month of November 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:
Apostasy, Blasphemy, and Proselytism
Egypt: On November 28, a Cairo court sentenced to death seven Egyptian Christians tried in absentia for allegedly participating in the creation of the YouTube Muhammad movie, which prompted violent protests in many Muslim countries. “The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet,” Judge Saif al-Nasr Soliman said. Many of the seven deny any involvement, and say they are being scapegoated for other reasons.
Iran: British Christian legislators expressed concern about the “serious and growing persecution and discrimination” of Iranian Christians and said that at least dozens of believers remain detained amid a crackdown on Christian converts in Iran. Britain’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) said the British government should pressure Iran “to uphold the fundamental right of religious freedom for all Iranian people.” They also urged the release of Christians, including Pastor Farshid Fathi, who has been held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison since December 2010.
Maldives: Officials at the Male’ Ibrahim Nasir International Airport seized 11 books about Christianity, from a Bangladeshi expatriate, Jathish Biswas, who came to the Maldives via Sri Lanka. He was arrested, spent 23 days in jail, and was then deported. According to him, “authorities treated me as if I wanted to destroy their nation by bringing in Christian books. They stripped me almost naked to see if I were carrying anything else. Customs and police officials would ask me question after question and deny me proper food.” An American Christian was also later arrested and deported for alleged links with Biswas.
Nigeria: A rumor that a Christian man “blasphemed” against Islam sparked a massive riot in the northern Nigeria town of Bichi. Four people were killed and shops were looted.
The riot came on the day the incoming head of the Anglican Church launched an initiative to promote “religious tolerance in Nigeria.” According to a police official, “Rumors went round that someone blasphemed the Prophet [Muhammad] and there was a breakdown of law and order.”
Pakistan: A Christian pastor, Karama Patras, was arrested after a Muslim mob attacked his home, and accused him of committing blasphemy, the highest punishment for which, according to Pakistan’s penal code, is death. After conducting prayers in a Christian house, Muslims eavesdroppers overheard a discussion about the meat slaughtered during the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha, which they reported to other local Muslims; by the time the pastor “reached home, he heard appeals on mosques’ loudspeakers of Muslim clerics calling for Muslims to join hands to punish [the] infidel Pastor to teach him a lesson for prohibition of this feast in Christianity.” Muslim imams blasted on the loudspeakers from the minarets that “Pastor Karma Patras is [a] blasphemer and infidel liable to be killed,” prompting hundreds of Muslims to attack his home, “mercilessly beating and kicking him and destroying his household,” before police took him into custody. He has since been denied bail.
Somalia: Yet another Muslim convert to Christianity, 25-year-old Farhan Haji Mose, was attacked and executed by Islamic terrorists, Al-Shabaab, “the Youth.” According to one of the witnesses—a crowd had assembled on a Friday to watch the slaughter of the Christian who embraced the “foreign religion of Christianity”—”His body was split into two, then carried away, only to be dumped near the beach of Barawa city.”
[General Abuse and Suppression of Non-Muslims as “Tolerated” Citizens]
Egypt: A 13-year-old Christian girl, Maggie Milad Fazez, while traveling by subway, had her hair shorn off by a veiled Muslim woman. When the girl entered the crowded train, she had inadvertently pushed the veiled woman to go inside, an act which led to a verbal exchange between them. The veiled woman told Maggie, who had long hair, “You don’t know what I will do to you.” When the schoolgirl left the train, she was shocked to find her hair cut off and lying on the collar of her jacket. Her father said that Maggie has abstained from eating food and is suffering psychologically. This was the second time in one week that a schoolgirl has had her hair cut off. The first was a girl in the first grade. One Coptic activist asked the Minister of Interior to find this veiled women who is cutting the hair of students and bring her to trial. Another veiled schoolteacher in Luxor is currently being tried for cutting off the hair of two of her students last month because they did not wear the Islamic hijab head-covering.
Pakistan: In a Catholic church in the diocese of Faisalabad, in Punjab, the destruction caused by throwing stones at the statue of the Virgin Mary “brought horror, fear, dismay and anxiety.” According to Fr. Mushtaq, “The author of this latest act of violence was a young 26 year-old local Muslim.”
Philippines: In Muslim-majority Mindanao, a Christian student and his Muslim girlfriend were shot by two motorcycle assassins. The 21-year-old man died; the woman was in serious condition. The motive of the attack is still unknown, but police is investigating whether the ambush was connected to the personal relationship of the victims. As the report correctly observes, “the relationship between a Muslim woman and a Christian man is considered ‘haram’ or forbidden among many Muslims.”
Saudi Arabia: Following the conversion to Christianity and subsequent escape of a Saudi woman, the Wahhabi nation introduced a tracking system that monitors any cross-border movements by female Saudis. Using SMS technology, the tracking system alerts a woman’s male guardian (father, husband, or other male relative) by text message when she leaves the country, even if they are travelling together. According to one Saudi writer, this latest move further shows how women are held under a “state of slavery” in the kingdom.
Sinai: A Christian Eritrean refugee held hostage by Bedouin traffickers for three months was given five days to raise USD $25,000 or face illegal organ harvesting. His case highlights a continuing lack of protection and assistance for refugees and migrants who are routinely abducted and abused by people traffickers in the Sinai Peninsular. Philemon Semere, 22, escaped from Eritrea to Ethiopia in 2010, where he sang in the church choir in Adi Harish Refugee Camp. Early in 2012, he traveled to Sudan and was attempting to reach Israel when he was abducted by traffickers, and taken to one of several torture and extortion facilities in the Sinai. He was beaten and abused regularly and, at that time, his captors asked him to provide USD $33,000 to ensure his release, or lose a kidney. Although it is unknown what became of him, a recent BBC report adds: “It is impossible, from so far away, to verify Philemon’s case. But Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and other non-governmental organisations who have studied the kidnap trade, say it bears all the hallmarks of what is now an awful but thriving business in the Sinai region. Convinced that his family does not have the money to meet the kidnapper’s demands, Philemon is clearly becoming desperate as their deadline nears: ‘Please help. Please help me Mike. I haven’t enough money, they will kill me. Please help me.'”
Syria: At least three more Christians were kidnapped in the context of the U.S.-supported jihad against Assad. Two of the victims were young men; the kidnappers demanded $100,000 USD in ransom for each. The third victim is a 17-year-old girl, who was abducted from the street by four men after they assaulted her 16-year-old brother, beat him unconscious, and drove off with her. “Violence against Assyrians” the report states, “has sharply risen in the last 12 months, much of it perpetrated by the rebel militia, especially by the Jihadist elements of the rebels.”
Much more, read it all at Gatestone Institute.
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