In short, the overwhelming majority of persecution that these 215 million Christians experience around the world — especially the worst forms, such as rape and murder — occurs at the hands of Muslims.
If time is on the side of Christians living under Communist regimes, it is not on the side of Christians living under Islam. The center of the great Christian Byzantine Empire is now an increasingly intolerant, rapidly Islamizing Turkey. Carthage, once a bastion of Christianity — where one of Christendom’s greatest theologians, St. Augustine, was born and where the New Testament canon was confirmed in 397 — is today 99% Muslim-majority Tunisia.
As what began in the seventh century comes closer to fruition and the entire world becomes more Islamic and “infidel” free, as in Iraq, confronting these uncomfortable facts is at least a welcome first step in countering the problem.
“215 million Christians experience high levels of persecution” around the world, according to Open Doors, a human rights organization. On it’s recently released World Watch List 2018, which ranks the world’s 50 worst nations wherein to be Christian, 3,066 Christians were killed, 1,252 abducted, and 1,020 raped or sexually harassed on account of their faith, and 793 churches were attacked or destroyed.
this persecution; 38 of the 50 worst nations are Muslim-majority. The report further cites “Islamic oppression” behind the “extreme persecution” that prevails in eight of the 10 worst nations. In short, the overwhelming majority of persecution that these 215 million Christians experience around the world — especially the worst forms, such as rape and murder — occurs at the hands of Muslims.
These Muslims come from all walks of life and reflect a variety of races, nationalities, languages, socio-economic and political circumstances. They include Muslims from among America’s closest allies (Saudi Arabia #12 worst persecutor) and Muslims from its opponents (Iran #10); Muslims from rich nations (Qatar #27 and Kuwait #34) and Muslims from poor nations (Afghanistan #2, Somalia #3, and Yemen #9); Muslims from widely recognized “radical” nations (Pakistan #5), and Muslims from “moderate” nations (Malaysia #23 and Indonesia #38).
But if the World Watch List ranks North Korea — non-Islamic, communist — as the number one worst persecutor of Christians, why belabor the religious identity of Muslims? Surely North Korea’s top spot suggests that Christian persecution is not intrinsic to the Islamic world but is rather a byproduct of repressive regimes and other socio-economic factors that proliferate throughout the Muslim world?
There are some important distinctions that need to be made. While Christians are indeed experiencing a “life of hell” in North Korea, overthrowing Kim Jong-un’s regime could not only lead to a quick halt to this persecution but also to a rise of Christianity — as has happened recently in Russia. Under the Soviet Union, between 12 and 25 million Christians were killed for their faith, and approximately 153,000 churches were shut down. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, about a thousand churches have been (re)built every year, and, according to a 2014 Pew report, between 1991 and 2008, Russians identifying themselves as Orthodox Christian rose from 31% to 72%. That “South Korea is so distinctively Christian” reflects what could be in store — and creating fear for — its northern counterpart.
In the Islamic world, the fall of dictatorial regimes rarely seems to alleviate the sufferings of Christians. On the contrary, when secular dictators fall — Saddam in Iraq, Qaddafi in Libya, and attempts against Assad in Syria — persecution of Christian seems to rise as a grassroots byproduct. Today, Iraq is the eighth worst nation in the world in which to be Christian, Syria is fifteenth, and Libya seventh. Under dictators, these countries were significantly safer for religious minorities.
A militiaman from the Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU) walks through a destroyed church on November 8, 2016 in Qaraqosh, Iraq. The NPU is a militia made up of Assyrian Christians that was formed in late 2014 to defend against ISIS. Qaraqosh is a mostly Assyrian city near of Mosul that was captured by ISIS in August 2014, and liberated in November 2016. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Similarly, the only countries that were part of the former Soviet Union that still persecute Christians are, rather tellingly, the Muslim-majority ones of Central Asia. These include Uzbekistan (#16 worst persecutor), Turkmenistan (#19), Tajikistan (#22), Kazakhstan (#28) and Azerbaijan (#45).
The “extreme persecution” of Christians throughout the Muslim world is part of a continuum begun nearly fourteen hundred years ago. The same patterns of persecution are still prevalent — including attacks for blasphemy and apostasy, restrictions and attacks on churches, and a general contempt for — followed by the vile treatment of — “subhuman infidels.”
Unlike the persecution of Christians in Communist nations, rooted to a particular regime, Muslim persecution of Christians is perennial, existential, and far transcends any ruler or regime. It, unfortunately, seems part and parcel of the history, doctrines, and socio-political makeup of Islam — hence its tenacity and ubiquity. It is a “tradition.”
Read more at https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11775/persecuted-christians-open-doors#OMFBvYdAqU6JpkJC.99
Trump hails ‘big week’ for historic move; ‘Congratulations to all,’ he tweets ahead of May 14 opening
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman gives a first glimpse of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on May 11, 2018, ahead of its opening on May 14 (Screenshot)
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Friday gave a first glimpse of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, showing off workers erecting the official seal on the building and preparing for the opening ceremony.
“We are so excited,” Friedman said in a video posted on the embassy’s Facebook page. “We have the official seal of the United States embassy. We have the dedication plaque. They are covered right now, but on Monday they are going to be unveiled.”
‘Next time in Jerusalem,’ jubilant Barzilai yells after victory; ‘Toy’ marks Israel’s 4th win; hundreds jump in Rabin Square fountain to celebrate; PM calls her ‘best ambassador’
Netta Barzilai after winning the final of the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, on May 12, 2018. (AFP/ Francisco LEONG)
Israel won the Eurovision song contest for the first time in two decades Saturday as singer Netta Barzilai clucked and bucked her way to the top of the international song contest with women’s empowerment anthem “Toy.”
Backed up by three dancers, her trademark side buns featuring stripes of pink dyed hair to match her pink-and-black outfit, Barzilai busted her way through “Toy” on stage in Lisbon, Portugal, punctuating her singing with her trademark eye rolls and chicken dance moves
Quoted by US president one day, hosted by Russia’s president the next, PM is on a high, including in the polls. But will this encourage his more divisive tendencies?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the Victory Parade marking the 73th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II, in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
JTA — On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu began his week by meeting his Cypriot and Greek counterparts to finalize the commercial export to Europe of Israeli gas that he has pushed to exploit for about a decade.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from nuclear deal with Iran was widely seen as a coup for Israel’s prime minister, a fierce opponent of the deal.
The same day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israel seized Iran’s archive of its military nuclear program in Tehran and spirited it to Israel, a video was posted of IDF soldiers singing Soltane Ghalbha, a traditional Persian love song – in Persian.
Taken together, the two events demonstrate the purpose of Netanyahu’s presentation.
Netanyahu’s detractors in the US and Israel called his presentation as a dog and pony show. “He didn’t tell us anything we haven’t known for years,” they sniffed.
Moreover, they insisted, Netanyahu’s presentation was actually counterproductive because he couldn’t show evidence that Iran is in breach of the nuclear deal it concluded in 2015 and so did nothing to persuade the Europeans to abandon the deal.
While US policy-makers are trying desperately to stabilize Afghanistan, a shift is being orchestrated by China.
The Chinese evidently see their role in Afghanistan as the “good cop” versus the U.S. role as “bad cop.” Like Pakistan, China seems to view the Taliban as the political opposition, not as a terrorist organization, and has offered itself as an intermediary to negotiate the departure of the U.S. and, thereby, be in a position to reap the economic and geopolitical benefits of Afghanistan as a client state of the China-Pakistan alliance.
Reuters/Ipsos set a new standard this week when it condemned its own polling as unreliably favorable to the president.
“This week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political release presents something of an outlier of our trend,” stated a paragraph that appeared before the press release on its latest polling even began.
“Every series of polls has the occasional outlier, and in our opinion, this is one. So, while we are reporting the findings in the interest of transparency, we will not be announcing the start of a new trend until we have more data to validate this pattern.”
For the sixth Friday in a row, protestors from Gaza came to Israel’s border with intentions to penetrate it. They come with scissors to cut through the fence, with burning tires, Molotov cocktails, slingshots with rocks, and kites with firebombs attached to them to destroy Israeli farmlands and villages.
This is not some peaceful demonstration akin to Selma in the 1960s when blacks were simply trying to sit together with whites at a lunch counter. The usage of the word “demonstrators” is a misnomer; these are “rioters.”
What would happen if the world took Pope Francis’ advice (via a tweet)? “Do we really want peace? Then let’s ban all weapons so we don’t have to live in fear of war,” said the pontiff.
While on the surface, the disappearance of all weapons might suggest the inability to do violence, in reality, it would mean the certain annihilation of the West as a civilization.
When a Philadelphia Starbucks manager called the police after two black men refused to leave, the chain of events ended with the burnt taste of the overpriced coffee chain colluding with anti-Semitism.
Starbucks reacted to the brief arrest by blaming the police, but Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who is African-American, initially said that his officers, “did absolutely nothing wrong”. But then he was forced to offer a bewildering apology to the arrested men, the officers and the entire city.
“It is me who in large part made most of the situation worse than it was,” he announced.
“Your threshing season will last until your grape harvest, and your grape harvest will last until the time you plant. You will have your fill of food, and you will dwell securely in your land” (Vayikra 26:5).
This blessing is promised to the People of Israel on condition that, as a unified nation, they observe the laws of the Torah and live by its spirit. Its promise is quite surprising. Not only will the Israelites have plenty to eat but, as the verse clearly indicates, the Jews will experience an overflow of food. The first season, when produce is brought to the threshing floor, will last until the days of the grape harvest, which in turn will continue into the planting season.