Christianity Being Snuffed Out Across the Middle East

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The bell is tolling.

Take a look at these bullet points from around the Middle East.

Egypt

“Coptic leaders have reported that since February 2011, after the Arab Spring resulted in the election of a Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi as president, persecution worsened. Since then at least 200,000 Christians have fled the country.”

Iraq

Then the U.S. invaded Iraq, unleashing an orgy of sectarian violence that hammered churches. Christians fled the Nineveh Plain, and as of late last year the number of Christians in Iraq had fallen to an estimated 275,000.

Syria

“Prospects for Syrian Christians will turn on whether the Assad regime survives and, if it does not, whether a successor government maintains the current regime’s protection of the church.”

Indeed.

The plan is to remove all competition, Christian or otherwise. Any organized belief system and support network will be defeated. Once that is accomplished, mopping up the remaining individuals can be done without any organized resistance.

“Christianity’s prospects of surviving in its birthplace are grim,” by Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News, April 14, 2017:

Prospects of Christianity surviving in its birthplace, the Middle East, appear as grim this Holy Week as they have at any time in the last two millennia.

Persecution of the world’s largest religion has intensified throughout the 20th century and that trajectory has only intensified in recent years, especially in Muslim-dominated countries. Jihadists appear to have repeatedly carried out one of their oft-stated goals of erasing any trace of Christianity in some regions, while in others persecution against Christians and other religious minorities are being held at bay — for now.

The actual prospects facing Christianity in three of its longest-standing strongholds, Syria, Egypt and Iraq, vary significantly. But a blind eye is often turned by the mainstream media and others when it comes to anti-Christian atrocities, which have become an all-too-common way of life for many in the Mideast.

What follows is a summary of challenges facing Christians in each of these three areas.

“Believing that a man named Jesus Christ was crucified and rose again for the sins of the world is still one of the most dangerous things one can do in many parts of the world.”

– Robert Nicholson, The Philos Project

Egypt. Egypt’s Christians, known as Coptic Christians, make up around 10 percent of the population and have long been a target not only of Islamic extremists but the majority Muslim population’s resentment of Copts.

 

Coptic leaders have reported that since February 2011, after the Arab Spring resulted in the election of a Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi as president, persecution worsened. Since then at least 200,000 Christians have fled the country.

Two years later when a military coup ousted Morsi many of his supporters blamed the Copts. As a result, violent incidents against Christians have steadily increased. And while current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has made concerted efforts to protect the Coptic community, this year has shown some of the most violent attacks against Christians.

That is especially so in Egypt’s northern Sinai region where the Islamic State is taking direct aim against Christians. Before 2011, that community numbered up to 5,000; it has now dwindled to fewer than 1,000, according to the Associated Press. There are no official statistics on the number of Christians in cities or across the country.

“The Copts, like most Christians around the region, are victims of religious hatred. But they are also pawns in a larger game to destabilize ‘apostate’ Arab regimes and invite Western intervention that will, in turn, ignite Arab opposition on the street – not to mention opposition on the Western street,” Robert Nicholson said to Fox News.

Unless Sissi can bring to heel ISIS and dissipate the widespread loathing of Christians that characterizes the nation’s Muslim population, prospects for the Egyptian church appear grim.

Iraq. In 2003, Iraq’s Christian population was an estimated 1.4 million, according to ADF International. Christians enjoyed relatively many civil rights and were able to rise to high levels in private and public life. Indeed, Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, was a Christian. The Nineveh Plain region, also known as the Plain of Mosul, in northern Iraq was a centuries-old homeland for the country’s Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian Christians.

Then the U.S. invaded Iraq, unleashing an orgy of sectarian violence that hammered churches. Christians fled the Nineveh Plain, and as of late last year the number of Christians in Iraq had fallen to an estimated 275,000.

One reason for the exodus was ISIS conquering northern Iraq in 2014. The terror group launched a pogrom against the church, as well as against other minority religions. But today, a U.S. coalition has eliminated the Islamic State’s chokehold on much of northern Iraq, including the city of Mosul.

Prospects for Christianity surviving in Iraq now turns on whether the Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian believers will be allowed to return to their ancestral homelands.

A majority of the Assyrian towns in the Plain have been left decimated. In some of the towns most of the infrastructure has been reduced to rubble; in others, dangerous chemical compounds have been dumped, polluting the ground to toxic levels.

“Everything is damaged,” Jalal, an Assyrian from the village of Karamles, told Fox News in December 2016. “Houses have been burned by fire. There’s no water, no anything. People will only return if there is some sort of promise of protection.”

One proposal that has been vetted is to create a safe zone for Christians, an area that could evolve into a semi-autonomous region such as the Kurds are seeking.

Some organizations are helping with efforts to rebuild Assyrian villages in the area. The Iraqi Christian Relief Council has been spearheading an initiative since last year called Operation Return to Nineveh, which is raising funds to rebuild homes, churches and infrastructure that was destroyed by ISIS.

“Restoring these villages will be a long-term project, but it has to be done,” Juliana Taimoorazy, the organization’s executive director, told Fox News in December. “It’s doable only if there’s active security on the ground.”

But such efforts are the exception, not the rule.

“Not nearly enough is being done for Iraqi Christians who want to return home. ISIS has been pushed back and trickles of IDPs [internally displaced persons] have begun returning to their towns and villages, but no one is making any special effort to help them,” says Robert Nicholson, executive director of the Philos Project, a U.S.-based advocacy group for Christians in the Middle East said to Fox News.

“They need massive reconstruction, jobs, schools, and affirmative protections for their religion, language, and culture. Most importantly, they need to be empowered to protect and govern themselves so that this kind of genocidal destruction won’t happen again.”

Some groups favor a go-slow approach to bringing Christians back to northern Iraq.

“It’s a little early to jump to safe havens,” David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA, which monitors incidents of Christian persecution worldwide, tells Fox News. “They often wind up creating a bigger target.”

No matter if or how quickly Christians are able to return home, persecution of believers will remain a fact of life.

“It is hard to predict how many Christians will be killed this year, but it seems likely that they will remain the No. 1 target of religious persecution,” Nicholson told Fox News. “Believing that a man named Jesus Christ was crucified and rose again for the sins of the world is still one of the most dangerous things one can do in many parts of the world.”…

  • JWM

    This is where the world is headed with islam. It is time to fight back, and not with words.

  • taxpayer22

    According to Hirsi Ali, the West is blind to the Dawa = Islamic propaganda = : the Jihad ideology behind the Muslim terror attacks. ..
    .

  • patriotusa2

    Christianity is on the decline and Christians everywhere are more persecuted now than ever before. The Bible clearly depicts the plight of Christians and the rise of demonic forces especially in the latter times.

    • Mark Steiner

      I think you are referring to the church in America and Europe being in decline. No surprise, since church leadership has been in apostasy for almost a century, particularly the past 50 years. The Bible was ignored, then tossed out the window, and fluff in the pulpit replacing sound doctrine are just two symptoms highlighting this decline.

      The saints martyred overseas n the 21st Century will receive a better resurrection: Hebrews 11:35

      • patriotusa2

        Yes, I was referring to America and Europe. Many shepherds are in apostasy especially those who are joined at the hip with this one world church and the ecumenical movement. It’s pagan worship, pure and simple and many prelates in my church actually encourage it.

  • Mahou Shoujo

    This is what happens when socialism decides that political correctness and multiculturalism replace common sense and social values.

  • 3M TA3

    Christian everywhere are OBLIVIOUS to what is going on.
    Creeping sharia is all around us and Christians do nothing.
    In Canada, Nestle and Cadbury removed the ‘offensive’ word “EASTER” from all of their chocolates and NO ONE said a word.

    Frankly, Christianity deserves its fate if they will not lift a finger or raise a voice in its own defense for crimes great and small.

  • tf

    25% of the entire world is muslim today. 75% of the world is non-muslim.
    Reverse this, and imagine a world where – 75% of the world is muslim, and 25% of the world is non-muslim.
    What do you think would happen?
    —> There would not be a place on earth where non-muslims could live in peace. Non-muslims would be getting murdered every day. They would be converting to islam en masse, as a result of muslim prosecution, pressure, coercion and attacks. The 25% would be rapidly moving toward 0% through conversions. And here is the best part – All 25%, even without converting to islam, would still be living according to islamic rules. So either way, it would be islam’s hegemony over the world. When muslims get the opportunity, when they have the upper hand, it is then they will unleash their true selves, as if we have not seen enough already.
    Even the so-called moderate muslims—whom the mentally deficient leftists defend passionately—would be prosecuting non-muslims daily. This is why non-muslims all over the world are losing irreplaceable time and making a catastrophic mistake by letting islam and muslims flourish unrestrained. We are only expediting our future generations’ doom by doing so.

    • Terry101

      Exactly – The Suicide of the West.

  • harriet

    What did Christians do when Jews were eliminated from the middle east?

    heh

    Why are Christians whining now?

  • Carowal

    Ethnic cleansing writ large.

  • Alex Ferguson

    If the christians would just admit that their Fairy Tale bible is no more legitimate than the koran or the torah the world would be a MUCH safer place……..

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