Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Unreported War

In many parts of the world Christianity is being violently and systematically eradicated, and so few of the stories make it into our headlines. Below are some quotes and statistics about it.

As I come across articles or information about the persecution of Christians I intend to publish it here. If it interests you at all, please pop back from time to time. It is my hope that this acts both as a way of documenting & raising awareness, about what has been described in The Spectator as the greatest war never reported on, that is the war of anti-Christian persecution raging in many parts of the globe.

It was brought to my attention when I read a 99p ebook from Amazon entitled The Silence of Our Friends. I have typed up several stand out quotes and key ideas from the book here in case anyone's interested in a summary. This began a series of 'eye opening' discoveries about something that receives so little media coverage.

To start with, here's a quote from the afore mentioned article:
According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet. 
It also mentions the statistic that Christians face persecution in 139 (nearly three quarters) of the world's countries.

On Monday 2nd June The Times ran a column (on page 26 in the opinions section) in which it mentioned the following statistic:
Despite Britain's Christian heritage we are now one of the least religious countries on earth. Our secular consciences are pricked when we read about the horror of a woman being shackled during childbirth on death row in Sudan, but we are less alive to the global reality that ours is an age of growing attacks on fundamental religious freedoms.  
The writer is referring to the ongoing story of Meriam Ibrahim. Religious freedom ought to bother us whether we're religious or not. Canada's government recently created an 'office for religious freedom' because, it said 'religious freedom is the canary in the coal mine for other freedoms. When it goes, other freedoms are sure to follow.'

The Open Doors charity provides a map and list of the 27 countries where Christians face 'severe persecution':


The mosts severe being North Korea where an estimated 50,000 Christians have been sent to labour camps for failing to renounce their faith.

The Times column continues:
A century ago a quarter of the Middle East's population was Christian. Now, after the Iraq, Afghanistan and Syrian wars and after extremist Islamic groups gained power during the Arab Spring, only 10 per cent is. 
From Ed West's The Silence of Our Friends:
Since the removal of Saddam life for Christians in Iraq has become considerably worse with one church leader describing it as 'a Calvary'. At least 71 churches have been bombed since the invasion including 44 assaults in Baghdad and 19 in Mosul as well as attacked on two convents a monastery and a Christian orphanage. In Jan. '08 nine churches were bombed. Up to 1000 Christians have been murdered because of their faith, including 17 priests and one bishop.
And a story to conclude this morning's updates with:

Adam Udai 3 Yr old victim of massacre
The worst single atrocity took place on October 31, 2010, when gunmen attacked the Syriac Catholic cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad at the end of Mass, killing 56 worshippers. The five-hour ordeal began when terrorists wearing suicide belts came through a hole they'd blown in the door, chanting 'God is great'. Um Raed, who lost two of her sons, one a priest, told Sunday Times journalists Hala Jaber and Christine Toomey that she saw 27-year-old Fr Wasim Sabieh pleading with the terrorists to stop: 'They shot him through the moutg, then again in the chest, shouting 'we've killed an infidel'.' She then turned around and saw her own son stumbling on the altar, gasping 'God, to theee I commend my soul'. She said: 'I saw his blood spill across the floor. I feel to my knees and started rubbing my hand through his blood. they shot me too. They shot my hand in my son's blood." the terrorists then shot her other son, who was with his wife and child. Among the congregation was three-year-old Adam Udai, who had begged one of the terrorists to 'please stop' and was summarily murdered.
The above incident was reported here on the BBC News website: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east

To be continued...

1 comment:

steve hailes said...

Well Done Jez!
This is so important ans so unreported, it really is a most shocking thing that we are seeing happen to our brothers and sisters across the globe. Exactly as Jesus predicted 'three will coma a time when those who kill you believe they are doing service to God'