https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14430/christians-africa-persecution“Christianity originated in the Middle East. Thus, the displacement or evacuation of Christians from the Middle East is very dangerous for the safety of the region… also in the Mediterranean Sea region. Europe is affected by this.” — Egyptian Coptic Pope Tawadros II, in Germany, where he was inaugurating a new Coptic church for his exiled community. Deutsche Welle, May 14, 2019.
|Christian families recently fled the city of Diffa, in Niger, after Boko Haram delivered the message: “You have three days to go or you will be killed!” Pictured: The gate of a school in Diffa. (Image source: Roland Hunziker/Wikimedia Commons)|
Persecution of Christians in the Middle East is now close to “genocide“, a UK-commissioned report just revealed. The same threat has also become critical for Christian communities in Africa.
Some say it began in Algeria in the 1990s, when 19 monks, bishops, nuns and other Catholics were killed during the civil war. Since then, in Nigeria, Christian faithful have been massacred in their churches; in Kenya, Christians have been killed in universities; in Libya, Christians have been beheaded on beaches; in Yemen, nuns have been assassinated and in Egypt, massive anti-Christian violence is prompting an exodus. It is the new African archipelago of persecution.
Distressingly, these Christians have been finding themselves in the blind spot of the West: they are “too Christian” to get the Left’s attention, but too far away for the Right. Africa’s Christians are orphans. They have no “allies”, John O’Sullivan writes.
Christian families recently fled the city of Diffa, in Niger, after Boko Haram delivered the message: “You have three days to go or you will be killed!”. “There is no Christian anymore in this town”, someone reported to the non-governmental organization, the Barnabas Fund. The town, Arbinda, is in Burkina Faso. Numbers are telling: 82 pastors, 1,145 Christians and 151 households have fled from violence in the Muslim-majority nation. Just in the last few weeks, several of the Christian faithful and clergy have been murdered. Jihadists killed six Christians in a Catholic church in the town of Dablo. A pastor was murdered in an attack in Silgadji, Catholic parades have been targeted.
Jihadists apparently want to “cleanse” these areas of Christians — and they are succeeding. “There is an atmosphere of panic in the town,” the mayor of Dablo, Ousmane Zongo, said. “People are holed up in their homes, nothing is going on. The shops and stores are closed. It’s practically a ghost town”.
In Nigeria, attacks on Christians never stop. The country has become a “war zone for Christians“.
“The attacks on Christians are growing more flagrant and more aggressive,” Father John Bakeni from the Maiduguri Diocese, northern Nigeria, said. “We consider each day we live in safety a blessing because we do not know what will happen the next day”.
“We Christians are at risk of extinction and an attempt is being made to Islamize the whole country because controlling Nigeria means expelling Christians from all of West Africa”, said Father Joseph Fidelis Bature, a Catholic priest in the Nigerian diocese of Maiduguri, in the Italian monthly Tempi.
Unfortunately, we Westerners have a short memory. Al Qaeda’s first attacks took place in Africa: the bombings against US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Africa matters for the West. That is why we should take this monstrous new anti-Christian persecution more seriously. “Christianity originated in the Middle East”, the Egyptian Coptic Pope Tawadros II said in Germany, where he was inaugurating a new Coptic church in May for his exiled community. “Thus, the displacement or evacuation of Christians from the Middle East is very dangerous for the safety of the region, not only in the Middle East but also in the Mediterranean Sea region. Europe is affected by this, and the Arab countries as well”. The West should take much more seriously these appeals from the Eastern Christian leaders.
With a secularized Europe and a Middle East close to becoming emptied of Christians, those jihadists who are obsessed with eradicating Christianity understand that their current ideological battlefield is in Africa. “By 2025, 50 percent of the (world’s) Christian population will be in Africa and Latin America”, wrote the scholar Philip Jenkins. The share of the world’s Christians in sub-Saharan Africa is expected grow from 24% in 2010 to 38% by 2050. That is why jihadists there are pursuing a horrific project of religious cleansing.
“Christianity has literally ‘gone south’, exploding demographically in the developing world and augmenting ongoing sociopolitical turmoil in places such as West Africa”, the Pew Forum reports. Radical Islam wants to stop this demographic movement, which Professor Philip Jenkins called “the largest religious change of any kind that has ever occurred”.
According to another report, in one century the number of Muslims living in sub-Saharan Africa has increased more than 20-fold, rising from 11 million in 1900 to 234 million in 2010. At the same time, the number of Christians has grown 70-fold, rising from 7 million to 470 million. Sub-Saharan Africa now is home to 21% of all the Christians in the world and 15% of the world’s Muslims. “Islamic extremism has two global centers of gravity, one in the Arab Middle East, but the other is in sub-Saharan Africa”, researcher Ron Boyd-MacMillan noted in a report for Open Doors.
Every year, Open Doors lists the world’s 50 worst persecutors of Christians. The list include 14 African countries, called home to “extreme” or “very high” levels of persecution: Algeria, the Central African Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, and Tunisia. Mali, for instance, went from no listing to seventh place in just two years. In Kenya last year, Islamists forced passengers of a bus to present their identification cards. Then they separated Muslims and killed the two Christians.
Regrettably, the tragedy of these massacres of Christians is directly proportional to the neglect with which they are reported in the West. “One of the basic facts of contemporary religious history is that Christians around the world are persecuted on an extraordinary scale”, Ross Douthat recently wrote in The New York Times.
“Yet as an era-defining reality rather than an episodic phenomenon this reality is barely visible in the Western media, and rarely called by name and addressed head-on by Western governments and humanitarian institutions. (‘Islamophobia’ looms large; talk of ‘Christophobia’ is almost nonexistent.)”
Jihadists know a secret: persecution works. Algeria — the country of origin of some of the Christian fathers such as Augustine of Hippo — has become a country that is 99.9% Muslim and where officially there are “no native Christians“. How many other countries will meet the same fate? And will the West ever come to the help of their Christian brethren?
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author
(Photo: Aish.com / YouTube)
Despite advances in modern medicine, China is setting up roadblocks to cope with an outbreak of an ancient plague that once wiped out one-third of the world’s population and may have been one of the plagues that God used to strike Egypt.
Chinese officials installed temperature scanners at airports and checkpoints on main roads in an attempt to stop the spread of Bubonic plague as a fourth case was discovered in less than three weeks. A program to exterminate rats and fleas, which carry the disease, was also launched in Inner Mongolia where the disease seems to be originating.
Demonstrators gather in solidarity with anti-regime protests in Iran outside the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Reuters / Lehtikuva / Heikki Saukkomaa.
Four human rights lawyers currently imprisoned by the Iranian regime have been awarded with the annual prize of Europe’s most prestigious lawyers’ association.
The Iranian lawyers received the 2019 Human Rights Award from The Council of Bars and Law Societies Of Europe (CCBE) — a body that represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.
The University of Bristol campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Bristol in England has adopted “in full” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the school’s Epigram independent student newspaper reported on Monday.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Bristol’s Jewish Society (J-Soc) welcomed the move, saying, “The University of Bristol has not been free of antisemitic incidents and the adoption of this definition is an important first step in helping the university tackle anti-Jewish racism. We now expect the university to use this definition in outstanding disciplinary cases.”
Pope Francis Meets Thailand’s Buddhist Patriarch in Golden Temple (screenshot)
Pope Francis topped off his three-day visit to Thailand last Saturday with a meeting with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong at Bangkok’s Ratchabophit Temple. The meeting took place in front of a 150-year-old gold statue of Buddha. The Pope followed Buddhist custom by removing his shoes.
During the meeting, the Pope gave the Buddhist Patriarch the Declaration on Human Brotherhood. The Declaration s a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, last February in Abu Dhabi. The Pope met with the Imam last month to reinforce the Declaration.
An Israeli company says it is using space travel technology to help solve one of the most pressing problems down on Earth — the reliance on diesel fuel, a major source of pollution.
Israeli startup GenCell has developed an electric generator based on a hydrogen-energy technology used to power some of the most-famous space missions in history.
Dec 26, 2019 0by Algemeiner Staff The synagogue in Groningen, Holland. Photo: Tenar80 via Wikicommons. In what may be paradigmatic of Jewish life in Europe today, a synagogue in Holland essentially runs itself as...
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The verse (Deuteronomy 6:4) Shema Yisrael – “Hear Oh Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is One” – is understood to (in Wikipedia’s words) “encapsulate the monotheistic essence of Judaism.” It’s understood to be a declaration not only there is one and only one God, but also that God’s oneness is all-inclusive. God includes every particle of existence is within Him. God is not just ruling over the world. God encompasses the world. Time and space and all of us are within God. Nothing stands outside of God’s Oneness, and God encompasses all existence equally
Watching events unfold in Israel is an experience in split-screen living. On the right side of the screen is the chaos outside our gates, in neighboring lands. And on the left side of the screen is the chaos inside.
On the left side of the screen on Tuesday, 15,000 Israelis gathered Tuesday evening outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to demand legal justice for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the face of what they view as an anti-democratic usurpation of political power by Israel’s legal fraternity.
It hard to believe that two weeks ago, Israel was on the brink of war. With the Palestinian Islamic Jihad firing nearly 500 missiles from Gaza into Israel within a 48-hour period, even Tel Aviv was put on alert and certain train routes were canceled. My mind immediately raced to a Christian group I was going to host for Shabbat in Jerusalem Israel – Pastor Leroy Armstrong of Proclaiming the Word Ministries.
Turkey’s little remarked on but ongoing mistreatment of historic churches is increasingly reflective of that nation’s growing sense of Islamic supremacism.
Before the Turks invaded it, Anatolia (present day Turkey) was an ancient Christian region; a large chunk of St. Paul’s epistles were sent to or dealt with its churches, including the seven of the Apocalypse. With the Turks’ conquest, colonization, and subsequent Turkification of Anatolia—hence why it’s now simply called “Turkey”—tens of thousands of churches were systematically desecrated and turned into victory mosques.
Sorek was the grandson of a Rabbi who survived the Holocaust, and was universally described as a kind, gentle soul. His funeral was interrupted by Palestinians shooting off fireworks celebrating his murder.
Two terrorists, including one affiliated with Hamas were arrested for the murder. And at the time, Hamas said in a statement, “We salute the hero fighters, sons of our people, who carried out the heroic operation which killed a soldier of the occupation army,” Hamas said in a statement. The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad also hailed the killing as “heroic and bold.”