The Muslim Slaughter of Christians Inside Churches
Indonesia: Six suicide bombers from one Muslim family attacked three churches during Sunday Mass services, on May 13; at least 11 worshippers were killed. The suicide bombers consisted of a father, mother, and four children, two boys and two girls, aged 9,12, 16, and 18. According to the report,
More than 40 people were injured in the blasts. The first attack that killed four people, including one or more bombers, occurred at the Santa Maria Roman Catholic Church… The father of the family accused of carrying out the suicide bombing had detonated a car bomb during his attack. The incident was followed by a second explosion at the Christian Church of Diponegoro that killed two people. In a third attack, at Pantekosta Church, two more died, police said.
A witness described one of the attacks, where the mother and the two youngest jihadis detonated themselves. Because she was carrying two suspicious bags (apparently of explosives), “officers blocked them in front of the churchyard, but the woman ignored them and forced her way inside. Suddenly (the bomb) exploded.” The father “was very active in the mosque,” said an acquaintance; “he never missed any of the five daily prayers, but he avoided discussing religion.” “The four children were studying in schools run by the Muhammadiyah,” long thought the most moderate Islamic school in Indonesia, said a family neighbor. “To me they were normal people,” he added.
Russia: Four gunmen stormed a church in Grozny, the capital of Russia’s Muslim-majority Republic of Chechnya, and killed three people, a churchgoer and two police officers, on May 19. The attackers—who were also armed with knives, hatchets and homemade explosives—were also killed in the gunfire exchange with security forces at the Church of Michael the Archangel. According to the report:
It was not immediately clear whether there was any link between the attackers and extremist groups. But Chechnya has experienced attacks by Islamist extremists before, including those who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Women and men from majority Muslim areas of Russia, including Chechnya, have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the Islamic State there, and dozens have begun to return as the group has lost most of its territory…. Grozny once had a substantial ethnic Russian, Christian population but most of them fled during the wars. The church that was attacked Saturday is in the center of the city and was at the heart of some of the battles of the 1990s.
Three months earlier, a report titled “ISIS Tells Muslims to Kidnap and Murder Christians in Russian-Occupied Areas,” was published.
Central African Republic: Armed Muslims opened fire on and hurled grenades at a Catholic church, killing between 16 and 24 people and injuring 170 on May 1. According to one report, “Former members of a Muslim militia killed at least 16 people in an attack on a church in the Central African Republic… Notre Dame of Fatima, a Roman Catholic church in the capital, Bangui, was attacked Tuesday morning with grenades and gunfire by men allied with a rebel group once known as Seleka, an Islamic faction whose takeover of Bangui five years ago set off the country’s continuing conflict.” A later report said “at least 24 were killed and 170 injured by militants who sprayed bullets into the crowd and detonated grenades.” This is “the second Catholic priest to be killed in about a month in the CAR [Central African Republic]. The murdered priest’s church lies just outside the predominantly Muslim PK5 district of Bangui…” This is also “the second time in four years that Notre Dame of Fatima has become a symbol of the violence that has cleaved the country, often along religious lines. In 2014, Seleka rebels followed the same pattern, first throwing grenades and then opening fire indiscriminately, targeting people who had sought protection at the church from ongoing clashes.”
Nigeria: Armed Muslim herdsmen raided a Catholic seminary in Jalingo. According to a priest who was shot, “ Fulani herdsmen who were armed to their teeth stormed the school premises” and “opened fire at my window and destroyed my telephone set and other valuables.” Then they “forced the students to lead them to my room and beat me with their sticks and immediately I fell down [and] one of them shot me in my leg.” Discussing such raids, the local bishop said that “it is regrettable as a church because we are only modeling the children to be good citizens of Nigeria and the world at large.”
The Muslim Slaughter of Christians Outside Churches
Pakistan: A Muslim family beat, tied down, raped, and then murdered a Christian teen in front of her father, because she, their live-in maid, did not do her household chores to their satisfaction . On May 5, her father and another relative went to visit the girl at her Muslim employer’s home. According to the report, “When they entered the house they saw Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Kashif, Muhammad Tariq Pasran, Muhammad Ismael and wife of Muhammad Asif and another lady were torturing Kainat [his daughter].” The women “were seizing the legs of Kainat while Muhammad Kashif and Muhammad Tariq Pasran had grabbed her arms. They had tied a rope around her neck and were trying to strangle her. Salamat Masih said that they begged not to kill his daughter but they did not pay any heed to his plea. They killed Kianat in front of his eyes … for not cleaning the house properly.” A separate report says that “a post-mortem study … also found evidence of rape on the teenager.” Because they and their families are usually condemned to lives of extreme poverty, “Christian girls are too frequently placed into domestic servitude contracts from ages as young as 10. Many of these girls suffer cruel beatings and rape from depraved men and jealous wives,” the British Pakistani Christian Association said while discussing this latest atrocity.
Uganda: Not content with killing a Muslim convert to Christianity, Muslim villagers also mutilated his corpse, says a May 4 report. After Kuzaifa became a Christian two years ago, his family instantly ostracized him. He, his wife, and two young children fled to and found refuge with a pastor and eventually moved over 100 miles away from their home village. “You think you are safe in Kampala,” the text messages eventually started to come. “We shall soon come for your neck.” Then, on April 1, while returning from work, he was attacked and killed by unidentified persons. When his wife went to her slain husband’s family to inform them of his death, her father-in-law received her coldly, saying, “My son thought that he can run away from Allah, but he could not.” According to the report, “On April 4, family members and other Muslims took the body from the mortuary and buried it in an indecent manner.” “Word went around that Kuzaifa’s body was mutilated and not properly buried,” said his wife. “His body was not washed, several pins were inserted into his body, they dug a very small grave for the body, and several cuts were made on his corpse.” Christians responded by exhuming his body;“[t]hey washed it and provided a decent burial service.” Now it is his wife’s turn to be targeted: “If you continue with Christianity,” came one text message, “you will go the same way of your husband.”
Mozambique: Suspected Islamic terrorists beheaded 10 people with machetes on May 29 in the Christian-majority nation. “There are 10 citizens who have been hideously killed,” said a police spokesman. “The environment is scary.” Although it was not immediately clear who was behind the atrocity, “local sources blamed the attack on Islamists,” says the report, adding, “Cabo Delgado province has seen a number of attacks by suspected radical Islamists since October .” The group, known as Al Shabaab—Arabic for “the Youth”—is not believed to be affiliated to the other Islamic terror group of the same name in Somalia. “On the one hand the rate of attacks appears to intensify,” said one analyst, “on the other hand, the methods seem to be radicalized, with decapitations becoming more and more common.”
The Legal Jihad on Christian Churches
Algeria: Authorities shut down “two more Protestant churches, amidst growing pressure on the country’s Christian minority,” says a May 29 report. Police sealed off the two churches in an area “where much of the growth in the Church is happening.” One of the churches was established in 2005 and was attended by over 200 worshippers. According to one of its leaders, “The officers came in on Friday morning. They simply sealed off the main entrance without a prior notice, as was the case before with other … churches.” A leader from the other church had the same abrupt and inexplicable experience. He received a phone call from a police officer who said, “I’m calling to inform you that we have received an order to close your church.” Soon thereafter a group of officers appeared and sealed off that church too.
According to the Christian advocacy group, Middle East Concern, “The Algerian government has been criticized for discrimination against the country’s Christian minority. Churches and individual Christians have faced increased restrictions in recent months, raising concerns that these pressures signal a coordinated campaign of intensified action against churches by the governing authorities.”
Tanzania: After Muslim sheikhs from a mosque in the Muslim-majority, semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar complained that the Sunday services of a nearby church were too loud, authorities shut it down—even though, unlike the mosque, the church did not employ loudspeakers. As the bishop was in the middle of a sermon, a plainclothes police officer and other local officials walked into the church. “One of the police officers in civilian clothes walked through the church’s door, stepped up to the podium and then grabbed the bishop by the arm,” a church member said. “The bishop pleaded with him to allow him finish the preaching.” According to a May 24 report,
The congregation of the Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa (PEFA) church in Kisauni … was gripped with fear that day (May 6) as the pulpit microphone picked up Bishop Daniel Kwileba Kwiyeya’s plea. The regional and local district commissioners ordered him to stop the worship service as the officer dragged him into a police car…
“Why are you arresting my father without giving us the reasons for his arrest?” the bishop’s daughter cried. “This is very inhumane.” The local district commissioner responded by slapping her and pushing her into the police vehicle, which hauled her and her father to the police station. They were released on the next day. “We have the right to worship God just like our brothers the Muslims who worship God using loudspeakers, but no one terms their worship a nuisance,” said a church member. “We as the church are of the opinion that the order to close the church is tainted with favoritism and unconstitutional.”
Saudi Arabia: Although a number of mainstream media including Fox News and Al Jazeera announced that the Vatican and Saudi Arabia had made a “historic” deal allowing the existence of churches on Saudi soils, the Vatican denied it as fake news. As one report explains, Saudi Arabia would have to completely remake itself before such a scenario can occur:
The country follows a strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam and it is impossible for anyone living in the country to openly practice Christianity. There are hundreds of thousands of Christians from other nations, such as the Philippines, other parts of Asia, or African countries, who are living and working in Saudi Arabia. But they must meet in private homes to worship, and risk harassment, arrest and deportation if they are caught doing so….. The Kingdom’s administrative laws state that its constitution is the ‘The Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah (traditions),’ and the judicial system operates on a strict interpretation of sharia law, which officially carries the death penalty for any Muslim citizen who converts to Christianity. Adult males and females are both subject to the death penalty for apostasy from Islam under the Sunni Hanbali form of sharia law practiced in Saudi Arabia.
Muslim Threats to Christian Churches
United States: A Muslim man disrupted two separate church services, one at Saint Matthew Parish, and another at BlueStone Church, in the course of a week, in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. According to John Stange, who was leading the service at BlueStone Church:
[W]hile I spoke this evening about the sacrificial love of Jesus and how Jesus calls us to love one another with that same kind of sacrificial love, I noticed that a man pulled his car up to the entrance of the church and he sat there during the course of the message for over 35 minutes. …As I was wrapping up the message, he began yelling into the building. I wasn’t sure what he was saying at first, so I stopped speaking and walked toward him so I could engage in conversation with him. It quickly became clear that he took great offense to what I was preaching about, and in the midst of yelling at me he stated, ‘You press on my nerves. You press on Muslims’ nerves. You’re going straight to Hell on the day of judgment.’ Apparently, he was Muslim and he wanted to make sure that I knew he had a problem with the Christian message I was preaching. Needless to say, this experience made all of us uncomfortable.
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