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The news today (reported in this morning’s Stand for Israel Daily Dispatch) that a Christian community in civil war-torn Syria was forced — literally at gunpoint — to accept subjugation (a status known in Islam as dhimmi) causes Commentary’s Tom Wilson to wonder why there is little or no outrage from mainline Christian churches in the West:
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Clearly many of these congregations have a strong sense of social conscience and are no strangers to activism and campaigning. Yet, in the case of several of the liberal churches, the campaign of choice is not one to support their beleaguered and persecuted coreligionists in the Islamic world; instead they have set upon the campaign to demonize the Jewish state, incidentally the only place in the entire Middle East where the number of Christians is actually growing.
Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 8:18 AM | Stand For Israel
Paul Miller, writing at Arutz Sheva, explores the reasons behind the near-silence in mainstream media about the treatment of Christians in the Islamic world. He outlines a number of incidents of such ill-treatment and lays the blame squarely at the foot of institutions that cannot muster the requisite courage to criticize violent elements in the Muslim world:
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Ultimately the question is: Why is the media silent about the horrors committed against Christians? With all the turmoil engulfing the Middle East and surrounding areas, there is no shortage of reporters or news bureaus in that part of the world. Yet, the massacre of Christians doesn’t make the pages of the New York Times or warrant a spot on “NBC Nightly News.”
Thursday, February 27th, 2014 at 8:51 AM | Stand For Israel
The small sect of Christians known as the Copts have inhabited Egypt since, essentially, the dawn of Christendom. To be sure, it hasn’t always been easy. But now, writes Samuel Tadros at the Hoover Institution blog, this ancient community is threatened as never before — which leaves us to wonder and worry whether or not there will be any Christians left in Egypt:
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The Islamists’ goal is not the annihilation of Copts. Copts are not likely to face a holocaust in the future, though local pogroms are all but guaranteed. The Islamists’ goal is to subjugate Copts to their notions of their proper place as dhimmis under benevolent Islamic rule. It is for Copts to accept dhimmitude, live by it, and embrace it. Copts will be allowed to live in Egypt, tolerated as second-class citizens recognizing and accepting their second-class status. Any attempt by Copts to break those chains of dhimmitude and act as equals is frowned upon as an affront to the supremacy and primacy of Islam in its own land.
Monday, February 10th, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Stand For Israel
Ali Salim, writing at the Gatestone Institute, has an extraordinary piece on the plight of Christian communities across the Middle East — everywhere, of course, except for Israel, where all religious traditions enjoy freedom and protection under the law. According to Salim, Christian communities are likely to continue to dwindle as persecution and outright violence against them from Islamists escalates:
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The fact, like it or not, is that under the rule of the Jews in Israel, the Christian and Muslim communities live in complete security and have absolute freedom of worship. Churches are not burned. Mosques are not burned. Neither Christians nor Muslims are attacked when they leave their houses of prayer.
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 at 8:19 AM | Stand For Israel
Periodically, we have reported to you about the growing danger faced by Christian communities across the Middle East. Roland Flamini, writing at World Affairs Journal, notes that despite the increasing violence faced by Middle Eastern Christians, there has been a surprising lack of outcry throughout the West:
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Across the Middle East, it is the same narrative of thousands of Christians fleeing their homelands. Almost half of Iraq’s Christians have left since the 2003 invasion, leaving about four hundred thousand, or scarcely three percent of the current population. Once a majority, Lebanon’s million and a half Christians—most of them Maronite Catholics—now account for thirty-five percent of the population. Tens of thousands of Syrian Christians have fled from cities such as Aleppo, Homs, and Qusayr in the face of Islamist rebels. The traditional Christmas market and lights in Qatana, in southern Syria, are now things of the past under pressure from Islamist militias who want no outward shows of Christian life. In Egypt, members of the Catholic and Orthodox Coptic churches make up about ten percent of the country’s total population of eighty-four million. But tens of thousands of Copts have emigrated over the past two years, particularly since the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was elected president and especially since he was deposed.
Thursday, December 19th, 2013 at 8:17 AM | Stand For Israel
Matthew Fisher, a Lebanese-based reporter for the Canadian news outlet National Post, writes that the evidence suggests a new round of violence targeted specifically at Christians in the Middle East, where Christian communities have existed for two thousand years. In the middle of it all is the crisis in Syria, but attacks have taken place around the globe (We wrote about one horrific event in Pakistan just yesterday).
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Staying in Syria was not an option because with so many different militias now propping up Assad’s regime and so many different rebel groups trying to overthrow the government, he said “it is terrifying to approach a checkpoint because we don’t know who is who.” It is difficult to know how many of Syria’s 2.5 million Christians have fled, but at least several hundred thousand must have. Most are in Lebanon, but others are in Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt.
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 at 8:41 AM | Stand For Israel
A suicide bombing at a Christian church in northwestern Pakistan killed 85 people yesterday. Fox News reports:
A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up amid hundreds of worshipers outside a historic church in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday.
The attack on the All Saints Church in the city of Peshawar, which also wounded over 140 people, occurred as worshipers were leaving after service to get a free meal of rice offered on the front lawn.
Members of a Pakistani Taliban wing immediately claimed responsibility for the deadly church blast. While many Pakistani citizens have condemned the attack, the reality is that Christians have long faced discrimination in this country which is 96% Muslim. Still, never in such a massively brutal way. As a result, Christians have begun protesting around the country, blocking roads, burning tires, and demanding protection for religious minorities.Comments (14) »
Monday, September 23rd, 2013 at 1:55 PM | Stand For Israel
Andrew Doran, who once served as executive secretariat of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO at the U.S. Department of State, has an opinion piece today on National Review Online. It’s on the surge of violence in Egypt and how a lot of it is affecting — or rather, directed at — Christians. During last week’s escalation, 32 Christian churches were completely destroyed, while many others — as well as Christian homes, businesses, and cars — were seriously damaged.
Here’s a chilling excerpt from Doran’s article:
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The Muslim Brotherhood’s systematic and coordinated attacks against Christians in Egypt are reminiscent of Kristallnacht in Germany in 1938, when Nazi paramilitaries systematically vandalized Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues and murdered scores of Jews in a disturbing foreshadowing of the fate of European Jews over the next few years. It is no accident that many Jews, including Barry Rubin and Jeffrey Goldberg, have been quick to raise the alarums over the persecution of Christians: They recognize the dangerous signs. “They have hatred in their hearts,” says Thabet of the Brotherhood, echoing observations commonly made of the National Socialists in 20th-century Germany.
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 at 1:34 PM | Stand For Israel
Israel has seen a dramatic rise in the number of young Christians volunteering to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces this year. And in an effort to support the rapidly growing rate, today Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the establishment of a joint government community forum. This forum will help Christians better integrate into the IDF, including the implementation of efforts to ease the administrative process and the promise of greater protection for enlistees. Netanyahu expressed his support today as he met with Christian leaders:
“Members of the Christian community must be allowed to enlist in the IDF. You are loyal citizens who want to defend the state and I salute you and support you. We will not tolerate threats against you and we will act to enforce the law with a heavy hand against those who persecute you. I will not tolerate attempts to crumble the state from within. The State of Israel and the Prime Minister stand alongside you.”
We echo the prime minister’s gratefulness and support for all those who stand with Israel!Comments (7) »
Monday, August 5th, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Stand For Israel
Disturbing news from the New York Times:
The military’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi has unleashed a new wave of violence by extremist Muslims against Christians whom they blame for having supported the calls to overthrow Mr. Morsi, Egypt’s first Islamist elected leader, according to rights activists.
Since Mr. Morsi’s ouster on July 3, the activists say, a priest has been shot dead in the street, Islamists have painted black X’s on Christian shops to mark them for arson and angry mobs have attacked churches and besieged Christians in their homes. Four Christians were reported slaughtered with knives and machetes in one village last week.
The attacks have hit across the country, in the northern Sinai Peninsula, in a resort town on the Mediterranean coast, in Port Said along the Suez Canal and in isolated villages in upper Egypt.
Ben Hubbard, the author of this article, points out that the tension between Christians in Egypt and their extreme Muslim counterparts are not new, but that the severity of this brutal violence comes as misplaced revenge for the recent coup. It seems that radical Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood are looking for someone to blame for Morsi’s ousting, and they are doing so in a most deadly way. Dozens of Christians are said to have fled the most dangerous areas; please join with us in praying for their safety, and for peace to come to this troubled region.Comments (7) »
Thursday, July 11th, 2013 at 5:34 PM | Stand For Israel