The persecution of Christians around the world has reached alarming proportions. No help is given by any nation. Some countries are now boasting of being Christian free. Western nations are often discriminating when it comes to allowing refugees into their countries, giving preference to non-Christians. This special issue is devoted to this subject. Please remember to pray for them.
In two unrelated cases, the United Kingdom denied asylum to persecuted Christians by bizarrely citing the Bible and Jesus. Both Christians, a man and a woman, are former Muslims who were separately seeking asylum from the Islamic Republic of Iran, the ninth-worst persecutor of Christians — particularly of those who were Muslims and converted to Christianity.
UK asylum worker Nathan Stevens recently shared their stories. In his rejection letter from the UK’s Home Office, which is in charge of immigration, the Iranian man was told that biblical passages were “inconsistent” with his claim to have converted to Christianity after discovering it was a “peaceful” faith. The letter cited several biblical excerpts, including from Exodus, Leviticus, and Matthew, presumably to show that the Bible is violent; it said Revelation was “filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death and violence.”
The governmental letter then concluded: “These examples are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a ‘peaceful’ religion, as opposed to Islam which contains violence, rage and revenge.”
In response, Nathan Stevens, the asylum seeker’s caseworker, tweeted:
“… I’ve seen a lot over the years, but even I was genuinely shocked to read this unbelievably offensive diatribe being used to justify a refusal of asylum. Stevens added:
“Whatever your views on faith, how can a government official arbitrarily pick bits out of a holy book and then use them to trash someone’s heartfelt reason for coming to a personal decision to follow another faith? There seemed no awareness that, despite occasional verses of violence in the Bible, its main message, in both the Old and New Testaments, is to be found in Leviticus 19:18: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
In rejecting the claim for asylum of this man who converted from Islam to Christianity, and presumably compelling his return to Iran, the British government is effectively sentencing him to death.” (UK: Radical Muslims welcome, Persecuted Christians need not apply,” Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone, 3/31/19)
CHRISTIANS MASSACRED, MEDIA LOOKS THE OTHER WAY
“In the same week as the awful attack on the mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand . . . more than two hundred Christians were killed in Nigeria. There was hardly any mention of the latter in the news. There were no marches for martyred Christians, no tolling of church bells ordered by governments, no ‘Je suis Charlie’ t-shirts . . . no public outrage at all.” — Fr. Benedict Kiely, Crisis Magazine, September 4, 2019
(Guilio Meotti, Gatestone, 9/8)
“I don’t believe in these two words [human rights], there are no human rights. But in Western countries, there are animal rights. In Australia they take care of frogs . . . Look upon us as frogs, we’ll accept that — just protect us so we can stay in our land.” — Metropolitan Nicodemus, the Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Mosul, National Catholic Register.
“Those people are the same ones who came here many years ago. And we accepted them. We are the original people in this land. We accepted them, we opened the doors for them, and they push us to be minorities in our land, then refugees in our land. And this will be with you if you don’t wake up.” — Metropolitan Nicodemus.
“Threats to pandas cause more emotion” than threats to the extinction of the Christians in the Middle East. — Amin Maalouf, French-Lebanese author, Le Temps. (“The Extinction of Christians in the Middle East”.
Guilio Meotti, Gatestone, 8/18)
AFRICA: ALARMING RISE IN CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION
“In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.” — The Independent Review of FCO support for Persecuted Christians.
“The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused. They ordered them to gather under a tree and took their Bibles and mobile phones. Then they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead.” — World Watch Monitor, May 2, 2019.
As the British report demonstrates, persecution against Christians and other non-Muslims is not about the ethnicity, race or skin color of either the perpetrators or the victims – it is about their religion.
If these crimes are not stopped, it is highly likely that the fate of the African Continent will be like that of the Middle East: Once it was a majority-Christian region; now, Christians are a tiny, dying, defenseless minority.
(Uzay Bulut, Gatestone, 6/26)
CHRISTIANS IN AFRICA
“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).
Regrettably, the tragedy of these Christian massacres is directly proportional to the neglect with which they are reported in the West.
“‘Islamophobia’ looms large; talk of ‘Christophobia’ is almost nonexistent.” —
(Ross Douthat, “Are Christians Privileged or Persecuted?,” The New York Times, April 23,2019)
Algeria — the country of origin of some of the Christian fathers such as Augustine of Hippo — has become a country . . . 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?
(Meotti, Gatestone, 6/30)
PERSECUTION OF PALESTINIAN CHRISTIANS
“Fatah regularly exerts heavy pressure on Christians not to report the acts of violence and vandalism from which they frequently suffer, as such publicity could damage the PA’s image as an actor capable of protecting the lives and property of the Christian minority under its rule . . . That image could have negative repercussions for the massive international, and particularly European, aid the PA receives.” — Dr. Edy Cohen, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.
(Ibrahim, Gatestone, 6/13)
PERSECUTION IN EUROPE
In 2018 alone, 1,063 attacks on Christian churches or symbols (crucifixes, icons, statues) were registered in France. (Ibrahim,