Last edited on 04/24/2012 at 05:14 AM (UTC3 Assyria)
Rosary and Bible. Photo: notoryczna
Is there a global genocide of Christians underway? by Sandi Roberts. Provo Christianity Examiner, August 17, 2012.
Here in the United States, we don't realize the religious freedom that we possess. Throughout the world, Christians are being persecuted at alarming rates. Christians are being hunted down, run out of town, village or country, and even killed. They are being tortured and ridiculed. While Saudi Arabia is one of the worst persecutors of Christians in the Middle East, it is a problem that's getting worse throughout the region.
Since 2003, over 70 churches have been attacked and bombed by Islamic extremists, and it seems like this is simply the beginning.
"We're seeing a very vicious attack on Christians in a number of countries. In fact, in many places in Iraq we're seeing a religious cleansing," Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, told CBN News.
"About two thirds of the Christians in Iraq have already left," Shea said. "In Egypt, we're just beginning to see those with green cards, those with visas are fleeing. Those who can leave are leaving."
"They're very, very worried about their future because there's an Islamist parliament now," she said.
For years, Middle East Christians lived under the protection of long-time dictators. The so-called Arab Spring ended that with the overthrow of regimes like that of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak CBN reports.
"The old secular order -- even though it was a dictatorship, military dictatorship at that, very oppressive for them -- they nevertheless, were able to have churches and to pray as Christians," Shea says. "Now they're concerned that they can no longer do that."
In Saudi Arabia, officials are even hunting down people who pray in their own homes. "There was an incident in December of 2011 against 35 Ethiopian Christians. These are Ethiopians who are working as domestics for the most part in Saudi Arabia, and 25 of them were women. They were abused in prison. They were simply holding their weekly service, prayer service," Shea explained.
It's not just the Middle East where we are seeing Muslim radicalization.
"There is a radicalization of Islam going on throughout the world and this is having an impact on the tolerance that there is for non-Muslims. So Christians are very much threatened throughout the world," she said.
Those countries threatened include Nigeria, North Korea, China, Vietnam, and Pakistan.
Shea explained that the blasphemy law in Pakistan holds the death penalty.
Sadly, the persecution is largely ignored by mainstream media. A rare exception is a article by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is described as a Somali-Dutch feminist, writer and politician.
Hirsi Ali wrote that the world often hears complaints about Muslims victimized by the West, "but, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway."
"(It's) an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives," Ali explains. "Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm."
Ali said the West needs to use financial and diplomatic pressure against offending countries.
Shea specifically points to the United States as not doing enough, especially in Egypt. "We have to start speaking out and we can use quiet diplomacy," Shea suggested. "We can use more public statements to signal that it matters to us, that we're not indifferent, not a green light for them to continue killing Christians and disrespecting their worship."
"So I think that we have a lot of levers to pull and we just need to start doing it," she said.
About the author
Sandi Roberts is a Born Again Christian with a passion for Religion, Religious Discussions and Christianity. Working on her degree in Psychology from Liberty University, she has previously attended King's College and Seminary earning her degree in Theology. She plans on attending Law School with the hopes of helping polygamous women leave polygamous relationships and maintain custody of their children. Her passion for all things Religious and Spiritual is evident in all she does. Contact author.
\ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)
1: an ancient empire of Ashur
2: a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern
Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)
a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of
its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender
4: a democratic state that believes in the freedom of
religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the
principles of the United Nations Charter —
Ethnicity, Religion, Language
Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
\ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)
1: descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur
2: the Assyrians, although representing but one single
nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now
doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle
ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding
hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the
East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.
These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the
Christian Era. No one can coherently understand the Assyrians
as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church
from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly
difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for
in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control,
religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a
criterion of nationality.
the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya,
Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean,
Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu,
Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye,
Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. —
1: a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of
the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.
2: has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical
Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.