Christian Persecution

Christians In Egypt Face Unprecedented Persecution, Report Says

Are the so-called ‘ISIS terrorists’ the ones persecuting Christians? Or is it actually the tribe who is funding and training these ‘terrorists’ to kill Christians? We know what ISIS stands for ‘Israeli Secret Intelligence Service’. But, the ‘press’ talks more about BDS and anti-Semitism and not much about the horrible persecution Christians are experiencing in different parts of the world.

Christian Persecution

“Christians in Egypt face unprecedented persecution, report says,” Source: theguardian.com

Christians in Egypt are facing unprecedented levels of persecution, with attacks on churches and the kidnap of girls by Islamist extremists intent on forcing them to marry Muslims, a report says.

In the past year, Egypt has moved up an annual league table of persecution of Christians compiled by the charity Open Doors. According to its World Watch List, North Korea is still the most dangerous country in the world in which to be a Christian, and Nepal has had the biggest increase in persecution.

But Egypt, home to the largest Christian community in the Middle East, is of particular worry. Officially about 10% of the 95 million population are Christian, although many believe the figure is significantly higher.

The overwhelming majority are Orthodox, with up to 1 million evangelical Christians and 250,000 Catholics. Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas on Sunday amid tight security, days after at least 11 were killed in attacks. The president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, attended midnight mass at a new cathedral 30 miles (45km) east of the capital as tens of thousands of armed soldiers patrolled streets around churches all over Egypt.

According to Open Doors, 128 Christians were killed in Egypt for their faith and more than 200 were driven out of their homes in 2017. It attributed the rise in persecution to “the overspill of Islamic terrorists driven out of Iraq and Syria”.

Last Easter, two church bombings killed 49 people, and another 29 were killed when extremists attacked people travelling to a monastery in May. More than 15 girls in Minya governorate were kidnapped in 2017 to be forced to marry Muslims and convert to Islam, Open Doors said.

“Michael Jones”, a Cairo-based businessman and evangelical Christian, told the Guardian there was a gulf between statements from the national leadership regarding the Christian community and actions at a local level.

“You hear the president speaking about Christians with a lot of respect and sympathy. Just a few days ago, he made a beautiful, emotional speech when inaugurating our new cathedral. It looked like an amazing affirmation that the state is supporting the church and the Christian community, and doing everything it can to guarantee our welfare,” said Jones, who asked for his real name not to be used.

“Then you have have the local authorities in villages and towns – police, judges, business owners – and it’s evident that many of them are infected with a rejection of Christianity. You see this in daily practices – not usually violence, but discrimination.”

Jones said Christians were overlooked for jobs or promotion, university students were given bad grades or failed, schoolchildren were made to sit at the back of the class, shop owners were boycotted and hospital patients were not given proper treatment.

“There is only a minority of violent extremists, but the culture in Egypt cherishes the perception that Christians are infidels,” he said.

The response of the Christian community was one of endurance, prayer and forgiveness, he said. “By forgiving our attackers, we’re not saying they should not be punished but retaliation and revenge is not our response. We don’t want to be part of a cycle of violence.”

Jones, who is to address MPs and peers in parliament next week, said many Christians had left Egypt because of discrimination and persecution. “I have thought about leaving many times, but I believe God will take care of me. I don’t want my life defined by fear,” he said.

Lisa Pearce of Open Doors said: “Christians in Egypt face a barrage of discrimination and intimidation yet they refuse to give up their faith. It is hard for us … to imagine being defined by our religion every single day in every sphere of life.

“In Egypt, as in many other Middle Eastern countries, your religion is stated on your identity card. This makes discrimination and persecution easy – you are overlooked for jobs, planning permits are hard to obtain and you are a target when you go to church.”

As well as highlighting persecution of Christians in Egypt, Open Doors said south-east Asia was the next emerging hotspot, fueled by Islamist extremism in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and the Maldives.

* * *

“Over 200 Million Christians Facing Severe Persecution Worldwide,” Source: breitbart.com 

WASHINGTON, DC — North Korea stands at the top of a list of 50 countries where at least 215 million Christians faced the most severe persecution in 2017, resulting in 3,066 deaths and 1,020 rapes mainly targeting women, revealed Open Doors, an organization that monitors ill-treated Christians worldwide.

At the National Press Club on Wednesday, David Curry, the president and CEO of Open Doors, unveiled the 2018 World Wide List (WWL) of the top 50 “most dangerous” countries to worship Jesus. Referring to North Korea, he declared:

Imagine in your mind a leader that thinks he’s god but acts like an animal — devouring his own people with his teeth where people are forced to worship at the statute of Kim Jung Un and bow down and lay flowers at his feet as if he was a god.

Yet, [Kim] sets up controls mechanisms, neighborhood watches that surround communities rewarding citizens for spying on each other giving them more food if they find somebody who has a Bible and who purports to a be a Christian and that makes Christians the number one enemy of the state in North Korea and that’s why it is the number one on the world’s watchlist.

Open Doors pointed out that thousands of Christians are facing death worldwide for practicing their faith, particularly in North Korea.

According to the monitor group’s 2018 World Watch List (WWL), “215 million Christians experience high levels of persecution in the [50] countries on the World Watch List,” with the majority of them in North Korea, considered “the worst place for Christians” for 16 consecutive years since 2002.

Open Doors reported:

The primary driver of persecution in North Korea is the state. For three generations, everything in the country focused on idolizing the leading [Kim Jung Un] family. Christians are seen as hostile elements in society that have to be eradicated.

Due to the constant indoctrination permeating the whole country, neighbors and even family members are highly watchful and report any suspicious religious activity to the authorities…The situation for Christians is vulnerable and precarious. They face persecution from state authorities and their non-Christian family, friends and neighbors. Pray for their protection.

There are many Christians languishing, starving, and enduring hard labor in North Korea prisons for merely owning a Bible and having faith in Jesus Christ.

Since the U.S.-led war that started in Afghanistan soon after September 11, 2001, the United States has spent at least $877 billion on the war-devastated country, including on the promotion of religious freedoms.

Nevertheless, Afghanistan came in second place in the list of the top 50 worst countries in terms of persecution — where the cost of being a Christian can quickly turn into a nightmare and the last breath one ever takes.

During the 2017 reporting period covered by the latest World Watch List, persecutors killed 3,066 Christians, kidnapped 1,252, raped 1,020, and attacked 793 churches, noted Open Doors.

Of the top ten countries, eight are tormented by “Islamic Oppression,” which mainly refers to hostility against Christians. Eritrea and North Korea are the exceptions.

Meanwhile, persecution against Christians at the hands of “Hindu extremists” in India is on the rise, resulting in deaths and rape of Christian women.

“A shocking trend in the world watchlist I want to highlight for you today is the increase in persecution of Christian women,” stated Curry. “The data seems to prove that Christian women are the most vulnerable population today with sexual harassment and rape and forced marriage being prime tactics from extremists against the world against Christians.”

Pakistan, India’s regional enemy, has accused Hindu extremists of persecuting Christians and Muslims and forcing them to convert to their religion.

Hindu nationalist groups are reportedly affiliated with Indian President Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Pro-Hindu nationalism “President Modi only wants one religion,” proclaimed Curry.

Every day, Christian women reportedly face sexual harassment, rape, and forced marriage, all common in India, which is ranked 11 on the persecution list.

The justice for Christians in India is “poor,” determined Curry, noting that 635 Jesus followers were held and detained in the nation without trial last year alone, often called one of the largest democracies in the world.

Of the 50 nations on the Open Doors World Watch list, at least two Western Hemisphere countries made the cut joining the very few predominantly Christian nations on the list — Latin America’s Mexico (39th place) and Colombia (49th) where persecution is reportedly driven by “organized crime and corruption.”

The monitor group identifies North Korea’s communist and post-communist oppression as the primary source of persecution against Christians, which make up a little over 1 percent (300,000) of the 25.4 million population.

The assessment deems more than 60 percent of the persecution tactics employed by Kim as violent.

 

 

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