December 2, 2021

A War on Christians Rages Around the World

A War on Christians Rages Around the World


MOHAMED MESSARA/EPA In fields where they lay

Dimming the joy of this Christmas season is the reality facing millions of Christians — who increasingly suffer discrimination, harassment, violence and even death for practicing their faith.

Christians are targeted in countries around the world.

The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need reports that religious freedom is on the decline in 55 of the world’s 196 countries — and getting better in only six.

The group further estimates that Christians, as members of the largest faith, represent 75% of those weathering intolerance.

Early this year, a study by the Religion & Public Life Project of Pew Research found that religious hostilities reached a six-year high in 2012, with Christians harassed in the largest number of countries, 151, followed by Muslims in 135 countries.

The most virulent persecution rages in the Middle East, where bloodthirsty ISIS militants and other radical Islamists ruthlessly suppress all religious dissent.

They have levied exorbitant taxes on Christians while chillingly painting the Arabic letter “N,” for “Nazarene,” on their homes.

As a result, sects that date back to the earliest days of Christianity are abandoning ancestral villages and ancient churches in Syria and Iraq, possibly never to return.

Pope Francis this month delivered a video message to displaced Iraqi Christians, whose situation was dire enough for him to say, “Your resistance is martyrdom, dew which bears fruit.”

Anti-Christian violence has also flared in Pakistan. Just last month, a Muslim mob beat a Christian couple to death and incinerated their bodies, based on nothing more than a rumor that the couple had burned pages of the Koran.

In Kenya, the Somali-based Islamist terrorists Al Shabab ambushed a bus and slaughtered 28 passengers whom it identified as Christian because they could not recite verses from Koran.

Also mostly Christian were the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in April by the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram.

In India, The Washington Post reported this month, Hindu nationalists descended on a village where families had converted to Christianity some years ago. They ripped a cross from a church and declared it a temple.

In North Korea, authorities held U.S. tourist Jeffrey Fowle in detention for five months — for supposedly leaving a Bible in a restaurant bathroom.

And then, of course, there is the routine, institutional oppression of Christianity in authoritarian regimes such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

While the Pope and other religious leaders are raising their voices, too much of the world, including the falsely named United Nations Human Rights Council, stands disgracefully mute.