On Easter Sunday, March 27, a suicide bombing took place near the children rides of a public park in Pakistan, where Christians were known to be congregated and celebrating the resurrection of their Lord. At least 74 people—mostly women and children—were killed and nearly 400 injured. “There was human flesh on the walls of our house,” recalled a witness. “We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter,” said a Taliban affiliated group. In a media statement, it said it had “deliberately targeted the Christian community,” adding that “we had been waiting for this occasion.”
Click here, here, here, here, and here, for numerous examples of similarly lethal attacks on Christians celebrating Christmas or Easter by other Islamic groups and individuals around the world who also “had been waiting for this occasion.” Even “the terror cell that struck in Brussels [in March, killing 34] was planning to massacre worshippers at Easter church services across Europe, including Britain, intelligence chiefs believe, said a report.
In Scotland, a Muslim man stabbed another Muslim man to death for wishing Christians a Happy Easter. Asad Shah had posted messages on Facebook that said “Good Friday and very happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation” and “Let’s follow the real footstep of beloved holy Jesus Christ and get the real success in both worlds.” Police said a 32-year-old Muslim man was arrested in connection with Shah’s death and confirmed that the attack was “religiously prejudiced.” Islamic law forbids Muslims from participating in or congratulating non-Muslims for their religious holidays as doing so implicitly validates other religions.
A Muslim nanny in Russia beheaded a 4-year-old girl, Anastasia, whom she had been taking care of for the last three years. Gulchehra Boboqulova, the Chechen origin nanny, went to a Moscow metro station and, for 20 minutes, waved the child’s severed while screaming “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is greater”]. After her arrest, she said the murder “was what Allah ordered.” In the months before the slaughter, Bobokulova was said to have become “more religious,” including by wearing the hijab and telling her son to pray five times a day and live in accord with Sharia. Still, authorities recently concluded that she will not face a murder trial as she is clearly “insane.”
“ISIS carries out Good Friday crucifixion of Indian Catholic priest in Yemen after he was kidnapped three weeks ago in attack on old people’s home where four nuns were shot,” reported the Daily Mail. Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, a 56-year-old Indian Catholic priest, was seized by Islamic gunmen who attacked an old people’s home in Aden (see Yemen entry below). The “Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, told a congregation gathered in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the Austrian capital that the priest had been crucified.” Most recently, a report appeared indicating that Fr. Thomas was likely still alive and “that talks between the Indian government and Yemeni rebels to ensure his release were continuing.”
The rest of March’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Muslim Slaughter of Christians
Unknown Middle Eastern Nation: Islamic radicals killed four workers of a Christian organization that translates and publishes Bibles during an attack on the organization’s office in a Middle Eastern nation. Wycliffe Associates issued a statement saying that the attackers shot and destroyed all the equipment in the Bible translation office, without noting the nation’s identity. Two workers were apparently killed by gunshots, while two others laid atop of the lead translator and died while “deflecting bludgeoning blows from the radicals’ spent weapons,” and managed to save his life. Several other people were also injured in the raid. The organization explained that the remaining team has vowed to re-double their effort to translate, publish and print the Gospel for the eight language communities that they had been working on.
Bangladesh: Two attackers with sharp weapons killed 68-year-old Hossain Ali, who converted to Christianity from Islam in 1999. ISIS claimed responsibility for the murder of the apostate from Islam in a tweet: “A security detachment from the soldiers of the Caliphate was able, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, to kill the apostate (Ali), who changed his religion and became a preacher for the polytheist Christianity,” said the statement, adding that the murder was “a lesson to others.” In recent months ISIS has said it was behind a series of attacks on religious converts and minorities in Bangladesh.
Yemen: Four Islamic gunmen attacked an old people’s home in the port of Aden, killing at least 15 people, including four Missionaries of Charity nuns of Mother Teresa. Two of the slain nuns were from Rwanda, one from India, and one from Kenya. Another nun who survived by hiding inside a fridge in a store room. The gunmen, who initially told the guard they were at the old people’s home to visit their mother, stormed into the home with rifles and opened fire. The total dead included two Yemeni women working at the facility, eight elderly residents, and a guard. The motive of the gunmen was not known. They fled after the attack.
Ivory Coast: Shouting “Allah Akbar!” – “Allah is greater!”—a squad of boatmen leapt onto a beach in the resort town of Grand Bassam and proceeded to round up and kill Christian tourists. By the time security forces killed the terrorists, 14 tourists and two special forces personnel were dead, “all of them presumably Christians,” notes the report. At some point, witnesses say the gunmen captured a pair of children, one of them just five-years old. A gunman with a long beard threatened them. Both boys went to their knees in prayer, begging for their lives. The first boy knew an Islamic prayer by heart, so he was spared, but the five-year-old, being Christian, had no hope, and was shot dead. Images of the aftermath showed bodies strewn across the beach, several of them believed to be French tourists. Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb claimed responsibility for the attack via social media. According to the report, “Ivory Coast is becoming a target for Islamic extremists who want to spread Islam around the globe. Previously confined to the desert regions of the Sahara, Muslims have recently started a campaign of aggressive, militant expansion into West and Central Africa.”
Nigeria: According to a March report, since 2000, some 12,000 Christians have been slaughtered for their faith and 13,000 churches destroyed, and not just by Boko Haram, the Muslim terrorist organization: “Northern Muslim political and religious elite are also major actors of targeted violence towards the Christian minority.” From mid-February to mid-March alone, 500 Christian farmers were butchered by Muslim herdsmen.
Pakistan: A Muslim man shot dead the son of a Christian family and threatened to rape his sisters, after their mother rejected his advances in the town of Qayum in Faisalabad City. The Muslim suspect, 57-year-old Tahir Jutt, who had a “known long-term infatuation” with 42-year-old Shazia Tahir, tried to intervene in a family argument Shazia was involved in. She rebuffed his offer to help; he left angry by the rejection. Later that day he returned to Shazia’s family home and started shooting at family members, killing 17-year-old Noel Tahir, and wounding several other family members, including the Christian husband and wife. Although initially detained by police, Jutt was eventually set free, only to continue threatening and terrorizing the Christian family. According to a rights activist, “This family are in desperate need for help, the perpetrator of violence has shown no remorse for the violence he meted out on this poor family and has increased their tension by stating he will repeat the violence if they dare to challenge him through the courts. Local police are being extremely slow and sluggish with this case, allowing Mr. Jutt to exhort great pressure on the family who have already had to suffer the surprising ignominy of the murderer of their son being set free on bail.”
Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches
United States: Three Christian statues at St. Maragaret’s, a Catholic church in Massachusetts, were vandalized. Two statues, which sit at the top of a hill on the property, had their hands severed and multiple sets of rosary beads removed and scattered on the ground. The third statue, located near the rectory and depicting the Virgin Mary, had its head severed and both hands removed. Although the identity of the vandals is unknown, Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, correctly observes that “in light of the curious fact that the head and hands were severed, the perpetrators could have been Muslims acting upon this Qur’an verse: “When your Lord inspired to the angels, ‘I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.’” (Qur’an 8:12). Also, Muslims have committed similar vandalism in many churches worldwide.”
Turkey: Late one night, four Muslim men went to the Agape Church in the Black Sea region and began banging and kicking at the front door. The church caretaker and a few congregation members were inside but refused to open the door. After they noticed they were being videotaped by a security camera, the assailants destroyed it and left the premises. (Image of the men kicking the door appears here.) According to the church’s pastor, Pıçaklar, “They attacked us knowing that they would get caught – they even looked at the security camera and smiled. Later they went to the police and turned themselves in, and today they were set free. So what should I do [in response] to these guys who drink until they get drunk, and when they get caught [attacking the church building], instead of fear and sadness, yell, ‘Allahuu Akbar!’? [Allah is greater]”—thus positioning their attack in Islamic terms. Pastor Pıçaklar said the incident was not just a “kick the door and go. These guys wanted the door open and to go inside and hit someone or attack in some other way.”
Greece: The Church of All Saints in Kallithea, Athens region, was set on fire. Although the kitchen was completely destroyed, the fire was quickly contained thanks to the fire department’s quick response. According to witnesses, “Arabic speakers” were behind the arson attack.
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