Even in notionally progressive Middle Eastern societies such as Turkey, anti-Christian discrimination is extensive, and “apostates” – former Muslim converts to Christianity or other faiths – face heavy penalties. Elsewhere in the Muslim world, this problem is yet more severe. The apostate is at real risk of death in Saudi Arabia and Iran. In Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Yemen, apostates risk punishments including the loss of property and the annulment of a marriage, “honour” killings by family members, detentions, imprisonment, torture and physical intimidation.
Why is all this so under-reported? This answer is simple: Christians rank low in an unacknowledged hierarchy of victimhood. Young Christians in the west don’t become radicalised in support of their fellow believers, and persecuted Christians rarely respond with terrorist violence. This also tends to render their plight less newsworthy in the media eyes.