Are All These Christians' Complaints of Religious Discrimination Just So Much Empty Whining?
Should we just shrug off the alarming daily reports of persecution of people who follow Jesus? After all, He warned His followers that they would be hated, right?
Construction at “the Tangail Evangelical Holiness Church in Bilbathuagani village was started by a group of about 25 Christians who had been meeting secretly for three years.” However, local Muslim clerics spread word that the Christians had begun work on their church building. Local council chairman Rafiqul Islam Faruk escorted the Christians to his office. More than 1,000 Muslims waited outside, following an announcement at all local mosques to gather at the chairman’s office.
“The chairman and the imams of the mosques interrogated me for accepting Christianity,” Mokrom Ali, 32, told World Watch Monitor. “They asked me why I had become a Christian. It is a great sin to become a Christian from Islam. If I did not accept Islam, they would beat me, burn my house, and evict me from the society. Their threats chilled me to the bone. That is why I pretended to accept Islam, but faith in Christ is the wellspring of my life. Now I am no longer a Muslim; I am a Christian.”
In the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, Taliban suicide bombers recently killed at least 85 worshippers at All Saints’ Church, which has been a local landmark since 1883.
Although the news media downplayed any religious angle, Christians were the target of the vicious attack on a shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed more than 70 people. The Associated Press reported the Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab “confirmed witness accounts that gunmen separated” Christians from other shoppers – and tortured them by gouging out eyes and slicing off fingers before killing them.
In war-torn Syria, “Christians are under attack by Islamist rebels and fear extinction,” reports Agence France Presse. “This month, rebels overran the historic Christian town of Maalula, where many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus,” writes Powers. “The AFP reported that a resident of Maalula called her fiancé’s cell and was told by member of the Free Syrian Army that they gave him a chance to convert to Islam and he refused. So they slit his throat.”