As Muslims prepare to erect a mega-mosque near the site of the 9/11 atrocities, it is well to reflect that the sort of tolerance, or indifference, that allows them to do so is far from reciprocated to churches in the Muslim world. I speak not of Islamist attacks against churches — such as the New Year’s Eve attack in Egypt that killed 21 Christians; or when jihadists stormed a church in Iraq, butchering over 50 Christians; or Christmas Eve attacks on churches in Nigeria and the Philippines. Nor am I referring to state-sanctioned hostility by Islamist regimes, such as Iran’s recent “round up” of Christians.
Rather, I refer to anti-church policy by Middle East governments deemed “moderate.” Consider: Kuwait just denied, without explanation, a request to build a church; so did Indonesia, forcing Christians to celebrate Christmas in a parking lot — even as a mob of 1,000 Muslims burned down two other churches. If this is the fate of churches in “moderate” Indonesia and Kuwait — the latter’s sovereignty due entirely to U.S. sacrifices in the First Gulf War — what can be expected of the rest of the Islamic world?
The best example of anti-church policy is Egypt, where the Middle East’s largest Christian minority, the Copts, lives. Even before Mubarak stepped down, “more than 1500 assaults on Copts have occurred, without any appropriate punishment given to criminals or compensation to the victims,” according to Coptic Solidarity.
and this news just in:
Thousands of Ethiopian Muslims Burn Down Five Churches, More Attacks Feared Washington — International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that in the past two days, thousands of Muslims have razed five churches and the homes of two evangelists in Asendabo, Ethiopia. Christian leaders are asking for protection after the Muslim attackers continued burning churches even after the federal police were sent to the town.The Muslims started the attacks yesterday after falsely accusing the Christians of desecrating the Qur’an. More than ten thousand Muslims shouted “Allah Akbar” (Allah is great) as they burned down five evangelical churches. The government sent the federal police force to protect the Christians after the Muslims burned down the first three churches. The Muslims overwhelmed the police force and burned down two more churches today.Speaking with ICC, Christian leaders expressed their fear that Muslims will start killing the Christians unless the government sends more security forces to contain the Muslim attackers.At the time of the writing of this report, none of the Muslim attackers have been arrested. The government officials detained some Christians and took them to the nearby Jimma town stating that they need to do that for their own security.Ethiopia is a Christian majority country and was one of the first nations to accept Christianity. However, in the areas of the country where Muslims are the majority, Christians face attacks.”We urge Ethiopian government forces to send reinforcement to protect the Christians in the city of Asendabo from the Muslim attacks. We ask Christians around the world to prevent any further attacks by calling the Ethiopian officials in their countries and asking them to protect the Christians and their property,” said ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho.Hmmmm…..No word from the selfconfessed ‘Christian‘ champion of the oppressed?Read the full story here.
and still more:
The relentless persecution continues unabated.
(AINA) — A mob of nearly four thousand Muslims has attacked Coptic homes this evening in the village of Soul, Atfif in Helwan Governorate, 30 kilometers from Cairo, and torched the Church of St. Mina and St. George. There are conflicting reports about the whereabouts of the Church pastor Father Yosha and three deacons who were at church; some say they died in the fire and some say they are being held captive by the Muslims inside the church.
Witnesses report the mob prevented the fire brigade from entering the village. The army, which has been stationed for the last two days in the village of Bromil, 7 kilometers from Soul, initially refused to go into Soul, according to the officer in charge. When the army finally sent three tanks to the village, Muslim elders sent them away, saying that everything was “in order now.”
A curfew has been imposed on the 12,000 Christians in the village.
This incident was triggered by a relationship between 40-year-old Copt Ashraf Iskander and a Muslim woman. Yesterday a “reconciliation” meeting was arranged between the relevant Coptic and Muslim families and together with the Muslim elders it was decided that Ashraf Iskander would have to leave the village because Muslims torched his house.
The father of the Muslim woman was killed by his cousin because he did not kill his daughter to preserve the family’s honor, which led the woman’s brother to avenge the death of his father by killing the cousin. The village Muslims blamed the Christians.
The Muslim mob attacked the church, exploding 5-6 gas cylinders inside the church, pulled down the cross and the domes and burnt everything inside. Activist Ramy Kamel of Katibatibia Coptic advocacy called US-based Coptic Hope Sat TV and sent an SOS on behalf of the Copts in Soul village, as they are presently being attacked by the mob. He also said that no one is able to contact the priest and the deacons inside the burning church and there is no answer from their mobile phones.
individuals who burned the Church came and established Islamic Islamic rituals of prayers.”
Father Balamon, one of the torched church pastors said that because the army did not intervene when the mob demolished the church, the Muslims were emboldened on Saturday and attacked Christian homes and looted everything inside.[…]
On Saturday there was a mass evacuation of terrorized Copts. One village witness told activist Mariam Ragy that there is hardly a female left in the village now as Muslims threatened to rape Coptic women, and only males are left behind inside their homes.
The army has imposed a media black-out on the village; journalists have been prevented from entering the village and one journalist had his camera confiscated.
“Media black-out”. Can’t be airing their dirty laundry, now can they..Meanwhile, a leader who knows a lot about genocide, Sudan’s Bashir to visit Egypt Tuesday
KHARTOUM (AFP) – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is to travel to Cairo on Tuesday, state media reported, marking the first visit to post-Mubarak Egypt by an Arab leader and one by the only head of state wanted by the International Criminal Court.