As for the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity, a new study by the Pew Forum finds that "just 0.6 percent of the world's 2.2 billion Christians now live in the Middle East and North Africa. Christians make up only 4% of the region's inhabitants, drastically down from 20% a century ago and marking the smallest regional Christian minority in the world. Fully 93% of the region is Muslim, and 1.6% is Jewish."
How Christianity became all but eradicated from the region where it was born is made clear by yet another report concerning Egypt's Christian Copts, the Middle East's largest Christian minority. Due to a "climate of fear and uncertainty," Christian families are leaving Egypt in large numbers. Along with regular church attacks, the situation has gotten to the point that, according to one Coptic priest, "Salafis meet Christian girls in the street and order them to cover their hair. Sometimes they hit them when they refuse." Another congregation leader said "With the new [Sharia-heavy] constitution, the new laws that are expected, and the majority in parliament I don't believe we can be treated on an equal basis."
Elsewhere, Christians are not allowed to flee. In eastern Syria, for example, 25,000 Christians, including Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholics, Chaldeans and Armenians, were prevented from fleeing due to a number of roadblocks set up by armed Islamic militia groups, who deliberately target Christians for robbery and kidnapping for ransoming, often slaughtering their victims.
Categorized by theme, January's batch of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:
About this Series
Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching pandemic proportions, "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some--by no means all--of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
1. Intrinsically, to document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, increasingly chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.
2. Instrumentally, to show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic and interrelated--that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy and blasphemy laws; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (tribute); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed "dhimmis" (barely tolerated citizens); and simple violence and murder. Oftentimes it is a combination thereof.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales--from Morocco in the west, to India in the east, and throughout the West, wherever there are Muslims--it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam--whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.
Previous Reports: December, 2012, November, 2012, October, 2012, September, 2012, August, 2012, July, 2012, June, 2012, May, 2012, April, 2012, March, 2012, February, 2012, January, 2012, December, 2011, November, 2011, October, 2011, September, 2011, August, 2011, July, 2011
By Raymond Ibrahim