Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Backlash of Christian Persecution in Muslim World

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
Muslim religious leaders in Pakistan are reported to have issued a fatwa, stating that two Pakistani Christians will be killed for every Muslim who dies during American strikes on Afghanistan. Earlier, a former member of Pakistan's legislative assembly, and a nationally known figure connected to Islamic extremist movements, Maulana Sami ul-Haq, told journalists that the Qur'an (Koran) states that Jews and Christians are the enemies of Muslims, and (therefore) by inference should be killed. Meanwhile, persecution of local Christians continues. Beatings of Christians by Muslim mobs, and the burning and vandalizing of churches and a Christian school are reported. One time, when a minister tried to stop a gang of Muslims from burning his church, he was viciously beaten. In Rawalpindi five Christian families were dragged from their homes and savagely beaten during anti-American protests, according to the Rev. Emmanuel Lorraine, the rector of Christ Church, as reported in The Chicago Tribune.

On the night of the (September 11 terrorism) attack, the Christian owner of a local restaurant served a meal to a group of Muslim men. After finishing, the men refused to pay, saying, "Take your payment from America." When the owner protested, he was beaten to death. The backlash is easy to understand, reports the Tribune, considering the news media in Pakistan have given prominence to stories about revenge attacks on Muslims in the United States. "We are native Christians," Lorraine explained. "Our forefathers were born here--we are Pakistanis--we are not foreigners." An officer in the Pakistani army in Islamabad, said, "The Christians are very scared." Not only in Pakistan, but also in Indonesia, Nigeria and across the Islamic world, many Christians are terrified. They are living in fear and intimidation, facing the prospect of widespread massive and violent reprisals from angry Muslims as America and its allies attack Afghanistan, according to The Barnabas Fund U.K. "They cannot understand why these [church and political leaders in the West] have not spoken up on their behalf, or come to their defense." Its international director remarked, "The situation is extremely serious and demands urgent attention. Never in living memory has the situation for Christian minorities in the Islamic world been so precarious."(From several articles of Religion Today News)

The backlash of persecution of Christians by Muslims is profound, while the cry of it is nearly drowned-out by the noise of warfare. Is the Christian Church listening?

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