While Christian Minorities Face Persecution- Iraqi Christians Find Support
The lands that once were the cradle of Christianity have turned brutally inhospitable to the faith. Nina Shea reported on Christian Persecution in the Middle East yesterday at National Review Online. Shea notes that:
“Fiercely intolerant variants of Islam are taking hold in the region, many of them fueled with ideology and funds from Saudi and Iranian extremists. From Morocco to the Persian Gulf, we are seeing the rapid erosion of Christian populations, thought to now number no more than 15 million.”
** So how did minority Christian communities fare this Christmas?
** India– In India this Christmas one person was killed and 12 churches were torched after Christians were accused of converting low-caste Hindus.
Indian villagers enter a church. Hindus attacked at least 10 churches in eastern India leaving one man dead and 30 injured on Christmas night, police said.
** Turkey– Turkey’s 100,000-strong Christian community was on Monday hoping that Christmas this year would pass uneventfully without further sectarian attacks such as that earlier this month against an Italian Catholic priest – the latest of several in little over a year -ADN Kronos.
** Indonesia– “Although the number of bomb threats has decreased, we are still receiving terror reports. Besides, some bombing suspects are still out there, so we must anticipate any possibilities.” -ADN Kronos.
** Pakistan– Although there are reports of Christians facing threats and discrimination in the overwhelmingly Muslim country, members of the community in the southern port city of Karachi are out in force to celebrate the festival. –ADN Kronos.
** Gaza– Gaza’s tiny Christian community is keeping a low profile this Christmas, traumatized by the killing of a prominent activist in the wake of Hamas’s takeover of the coastal territory –HFX News.
** Lebanon– Lebanese church leaders believe Christians are facing great challenges. They say religious divisions between Christian, Shia and Sunnis are becoming more entrenched and many Christians have begun leaving Beirut –ADN Kronos.
** Iraq– Shiite and Sunni leaders attended Christmas Mass in Iraq today:
Shiite tribal leaders attend Christmas mass at an Assyrian orthodox church in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007. The church, which is located next to a Shiite mosque, hosted their neighbors for Christmas mass as a gesture of friendship.
(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
In fact… In the young democracy of Iraq this year Christians fled home. This is the only Middle Eastern nation that experienced such a phenomena this Christmas season.
Related… Iraq Pundit wonders where the MSM is going to get their Iraq-bashing stories from if things continue to improve like they are.