TEL TAL, Syria — The memories of the retired oilman dot the village in Syria where he grew up. The mud chapel he got married in. The concrete church he helped build that would overflow with worshipers on holidays. The tight community of Assyrian Christian families who had lived together in this area for generations.
Three masked gunmen targeted and killed Bassem Attallah, a Christian man, 27, after identifying him as a Christian by the cross tattoo on his wrist. According to his older brother, Osama, 38, the siblings and a Muslim colleague, Muhammad, were walking home after work when three armed men, aged between 23 and 25 stopped them. “We thought they were policemen because they weren’t masked… They were wearing black jackets,” Osama recalled. “They approached us and asked Bassem to show them the wrist of his right hand, and when they saw the tattoo of the cross, they asked him: ‘Are you Christian?’ Bassem answered ‘Yes, I am Christian,’ and repeated that again in a loud voice.”
The Iranian government’s persecution of Christians increased over the past month, according to information gathered by the nonprofit International Christian Concern.
Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed Christians have the same rights as others do in Iran. Despite the claim, a report from ICC, a Washington-based nonprofit that assists religious minorities from persecution through assistance, advocacy, and awareness, points to evidence from the month of July showing Christians have been targeted by the Iranian regime. Eight believers faced judicial action, “a noteworthy increase of publicized cases of Christian persecution in Iran,” according to ICC.
An Indonesian Christian has been sentenced to four years in prison for a Facebook post that likened the prophet Muhammad to a pig in the latest conviction under a controversial hate-speech law.
Dozens of Islamic hardliners cheered and shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) as the court in Sumatra ruled that Martinus Gulo was hostile toward Muslims in his post, which also said Mohammed sanctioned bestiality.
…Sexual harassment can be described as an epidemic that spreads throughout Egypt. According to a 2013 study by the United Nations, more than 98 percent of all Egyptian women have been subjected to harassment.
But the study did not show how harassment differs from a woman wearing hijab to another who reveals her hair. Most Muslim women in Egypt wear hijab and therefore, the others who do not wear it are most likely Coptic. This means that the Egyptian man thinks he has the right to harass her, simply because he sees her as a whore and a disbeliever.
An attack by a Muslim mob on Copts in a village in the Egyptian governorate of Minya on Monday has left the Coptic community holed up in their houses, while security forces patrol the streets.
A local source told World Watch Monitor the situation is still very tense in the village of Menbal, 225 kilometres south of Cairo, which was also home to Gaber Mounir Adly, one of the 21 men beheaded by Islamic State in Libya in 2015.
Monday’s attack took place after Muslim villagers in Menbal, which has a population of 45,000, 30 per cent of whom are Copts, accused a Coptic Christian of publishing a post on his Facebook page that insulted Islam, said the source, who did not wish to be named. In his post, published last Thursday (5th July), the 35-year-old Abdo Adel had compared Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, with Jesus.
Egypt is one of the more “sophisticated” Muslim states.
In what the Christian Association of Nigeria is calling a “pure genocide,” 238 more Christians were killed and churches desecrated by Muslims last week in the west African nation. This brings the death toll of Christians to more than 6,000 since the start of 2018.
According to a joint statement by the Christian Association, an umbrella group of various Christian denominations, “There is no doubt that the sole purpose of these attacks is aimed at ethnic cleansing, land grabbing and forceful ejection of the Christian natives from their ancestral land and heritage.”
The statement condemned the recent attacks, “where over 200 persons were brutally killed and our churches destroyed without any intervention from security agencies in spite of several distress calls made to them.”
We have seen and recoiled from the horrific footage of Coptic Christians beheadedby ISIS in 2015 in Libya and the repeated bombings over the past two decades of Coptic churches in Egypt. We read about the Maspero massacre in 2011, when Egyptian military tanks, deployed to protect peaceful Christian demonstrators, instead rolled over them, crushing many to death. And we continue to receive reports of Coptic girls abducted, compelled to convert to Islam and forced into marriages with Muslims.
Each time there is news of another act of hate-filled violence against the Copts, or other religious minorities, we shudder.
Coptic houses were attacked in a village in Upper Egypt last week, after Copts objected to a group of young Muslim men swimming naked in a canal in front of their homes, as Coptic women sat outside.
The incident took place on 4 June in the village of Tarshoub, in Beni Suef governorate.
“A Muslim mob gathered around the homes of Christians across the canal and began pelting them with bricks and stones, while shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ [Allah is the greatest] and chanting slogans against Copts,” local Coptic resident Nashaat Ezzat told World Watch Monitor. “They broke the windows and doors of some houses, looted and destroyed some properties.”
The media is probably NOT reporting this because it shows the true situation of Christians in Bethlehem. A Priest in a Bethlehem Church was stabbed by a Muslim after asking him to stop sexually harassing a Christian pilgram lady. Thankfully it was caught on a security camera so it can’t be denied.
Critics accused the United Nations in general and the British government in particular of continuing to discriminate against Christian refugees in favor of Muslim refugees from Syria. Barnabas Fund said it had “finally obtained figures proving that the UN has only recommended tiny token numbers of Syrian Christians … for resettlement in the UK,” whereas the “overwhelming majority of refugees recommended by the UN have been Sunni Muslims who form the majority in Syria. But Christians, and other minorities, have been repeatedly targeted for attack by Islamist groups such as IS… Disturbingly, UK officials tried to prevent the release of this information.” – United Nations and the United Kingdom; Barnabas Fund.