THERE IS NOT ONE CHRISTIAN NATION ON EARTH WHERE MUSLIMS ARE PERSECUTED. Yet in 83% of nations where the majority of the population are Muslims, there is systematic government persecution of Christians. (See "Religious Freedom in the Majority Islamic Countries" in the Resources section below.) This persecution includes imposing the death penalty for sharing the Christian faith with a Muslim; national laws prohibiting conversion from Islam to Christianity; destruction of churches; and murder or expulsion of Christian missionaries. Even in the few predominantly Muslim countries where the government does not openly participate in the persecution, it ignores and even encourages illegal persecution by Muslims against Christians.
I spent hours going through the well-documented profiles of the forty-six countries listed in the report mentioned above. Of these, six did not have significant Muslim populations. Of the thirty-nine with a strong Muslim majority, only seven could be considered to be either neutral or tolerant toward their Christian minorities. If the United States were to treat its roughly two million Muslims with one-tenth of the violence and humiliation that these Islamic nations heap on their Christians, the worldwide outcry would be immediate, and justified. Why, then, does the "Community of Nations," including the United States, turn a deaf ear to the cries of the persecuted Christians in Muslim nations?
The laws of most of these Islamic nations give lip service to religious freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth. In most of the countries I researched, the death penalty was common for converting from Islam to Christianity (or any other religion). Christians receive no protection from these governments when they are persecuted; indeed, most often the governments themselves are the persecutors. Children of Christians are stolen from their parents so that they can be raised as Muslims. Speaking about Christianity to a Muslim can result in beatings, long prison sentences and even death.
The most urgent situation demanding our attention today is in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population of any non-Arab country. There Islamic fundamentalists have promised a bloodbath of Christians before Christmas. This is no idle threat; in 1996 Islamic fundamentalists slaughtered 3,000 Christians in East Timor. More recently, a group called Laskar Jihad, which hails Osama bin Laden as its hero, slaughtered thousands of Christians with the help of government troops. (See "Christians Terrorized in Muslim Indonesia" in the Resources section.) An Indonesian military officer is quoted as saying that the government has the power to stop the Jihad, but government officials "all the way to the top" profit from it. Their goal is nothing less than to exterminate every Christian in Indonesia or force them to leave. According to Steven Snyder, the president of International Christian Concern who visited Indonesia in November, about 15,000 Laskar Jihad troops equipped with AK-47 assault rifles, rocket launchers and bulldozers are threatening to kill 50,000 Christians and destroy their homes and churches in the next week.
In Sudan, Christians are sold into slavery or murdered for no other crime than naming the Name of Christ. Over two million have been murdered, and 200,000 have been sold into slavery by their government. An organization named Christian Solidarity International (PLEASE visit C.S.I.’s website listed in Resources Section) has raised money to buy almost 60,000 slaves from their captors and free them. One 22-year-old Protestant girl, a virgin, was captured by government soldiers and raped repeatedly for five days as she was marched through the jungle tied to twenty other slaves. Many women and children died during this march. She was then used as a slave and forced to study Islam until bought out of slavery by C.S.I. You can read her complete story and those of other slaves at http://www.csi-int.ch/csi-trp/csi-trp_0003a.htm (scroll down to section IV, item B).
What about our "allies"? You can dress a monster up in a pinstriped suit, teach him to speak formally and use the right fork at state dinners, and put him in a group of diplomats for for a photo opportunity, but that doesn’t make him civilized. Our "friends" in the international community, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, and our most recent buddy, Pakistan, are all guilty of atrocities against Christians based on nothing other than their profession of faith. Let me emphasize that we are not talking about a radical minority of citizens acting on their own. We are talking about systematic state persecution, state murder and state crimes against humanity, all legal according to the various constitutions and laws of these vicious nations.
Let’s start with our "friend and ally," Saudi Arabia. Their "Constitution" is the Koran. This nation, whose population is 98% Muslim, finances Islamic terrorist groups in moderate Islamic nations which force conversion to Islam under the threat of death. In Saudi Arabia, rape is punishable by death- unless it is a Muslim man violating a Christian woman. The Saudis are so rich from their oil that most refuse to do common labor, so they import six million foreign workers. Of these, ten percent are Christians. They are not allowed to wear a cross in public and or to celebrate Christmas, but are forced to observe Ramadan. Christians, even tourists, have been arrested by the Religious Police for participating in prayer meetings in private homes. Any who speak of their faith publicly are tortured in an attempt to convert them to Islam. Those who refuse are executed. Punishment for distributing Bibles can range from lashes with a whip or amputation of a limb, to beheading.
Turkey, our "military ally", is 99.8% Muslim. Recently, eight Americans were arrested in Turkey for the "crime" of giving away copies of the New Testament. In 1974 Turkey overran Cyprus - which is 80% Christian - and has ruled that small nation with an iron fist since then. The Turkish government expelled thousands of Orthodox Christians, then took a thousand-year-old monastery and turned it into a mosque! Imagine the international outcry if a mosque anywhere were to be stolen by a government and turned into a Christian church.
Egypt, described by our State Department as a "friend of the United States" is one of the worst persecutors of Christians. In Cairo an entire Christian neighborhood was set on fire by Islamic terrorists. Children were thrown out of windows in front of their horrified parents, churches were burned and Christian’s homes destroyed. This went on for two days without the government doing anything to stop it. Egyptian security forces have been accused by eye-witnesses of raping, then crucifying adolescent girls.
In Pakistan recently a 14-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, then raped and given to a Muslim to be one of his wives. The pleas of her parents were ignored by the police. In 1997, Islamic extremists, aided by Pakistani police, destroyed the homes of 800 Christians as well as thirteen churches, because they had "insulted Islam." A few weeks ago six children and nine adults were gunned down as they worshiped in a Christian church. This terrorist nation is our newest "ally" in the war against terrorism.
The Libyan government took a Christian Cathedral and converted it to a mosque. In Kuwait, the nation America’s military saved from a brutal occupation by Iraq, the government tries to bribe Christians to convert to Islam. A Kuwaiti Christian was recently condemned to die by the religious court for converting from Islam. It should come as no surprise that 150,000 Christians have fled Iraq to avoid persecution. Over 150 Christian churches have been demolished in Iraq, where death is the penalty for proclaiming faith in Christ, and where Saddam Hussein has proclaimed himself "The Defender of the Islamic Faith."
Hundreds of Christian missionaries have been murdered in Algeria and other Islamic nations. Iran pretends to have religious freedom, but students in all schools are forced to study Islam, as are draftees in their military services. Conversion to any religion other than Islam brings a swift death sentence. If space permitted, I could give hundreds of other examples of atrocities committed by Muslims against Christians simply because of their faith. The events I have described are happening as you read this. Christians are being tortured today because they will not convert to Islam. Christians are dying today because they dare to speak the Name of Christ.
Our President has stated repeatedly that Islam is a peaceful religion which has "been hijacked by radicals." I know why he makes that statement. If Bush said anything else, he would be labeled a hate-monger, as I am sure I will be for speaking the truth. The facts speak for themselves. Do the research, as I have done. Eighty-three percent of the governments of nations with a Muslim majority kill, enslave, and persecute Christians with the blessings (and very often, the complicity) of their Islamic clergy. I’m sure that there are many kind, loving Muslims who live in those countries. I just wonder why they allow such atrocities to be committed in the name of their religion.
Most of you who have written to me about the goodness and kindness of Muslims know only Muslims who live in this country. They have been influenced by the values of America, which include tolerance toward other religions, values based on the Bible. Many U.S. Muslim immigrants are as horrified as we are by the actions of Muslims in the countries of their birth (see the letter from a subscriber on this subject following the Resources section).
God tells us in Proverbs 31:8 that we must speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. President Bush needs to speak up in behalf of the good people of this nation who are appalled by the cruelty of Islamic governments towards our brothers and sisters in Muslim nations. Our President needs to demand that Muslim nations treat Christians as Muslims are treated here in America. Please sign the petition to our President regarding this persecution, the first item in the Resources section. Tell President Bush not to be seduced by promises from liars, in order to get their cooperation in our battle against terrorism. The war against terrorism is a just war, but if in our zeal to punish international terrorists we ally ourselves with religious terrorists, what have we gained?
PETITION asking President Bush to demand an end to Muslim persecution of Christians: http://www.persecution.org/whatcanido/petition.html
RESEARCH on Religious Persecution in 46 Muslim Nations: http://www.alleanzacattolica.org/acs/acs_english/acs_index.htm#A
"Christians Terrorized in Muslim Indonesia": http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25599
International Christian Concern: http://www.persecution.org/
Voice of the Martyrs: http://www.persecution.com/
Save a life in Sudan: http://www.persecution.com/ministry/index.cfm?action=details&Ministryid=2
A LETTER ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE OF A U.S. MUSLIM
"Hi Tom, I’ve just finished reading your article, "Bin Laden’s Greatest Mistake," and felt compelled to relate a recent incident. I consulted a new physician, and was struck by the fact that he was very obviously from the Middle East. During the consult, I asked him if he, as a foreign-born American, was concerned about his safety following the attacks. He told me that he is Muslim, and that he had recently made his required trip to Mecca. He related how horribly he and his fellow worshipers were treated by his fellow Muslims - they were spat upon and verbally reviled during their stay. It was with a sense of relief that they returned to the United States. He went on to say that these attacks are not anything that ever would have been perpetrated by a true Muslim. He told me that they violate three basic tenets of that faith: "1) You must never strike a woman to harm her, no matter what. 2) You never, ever under any circumstances seek to harm a child. 3) You never take up arms to harm a man unless he has first done grievous harm to you." I asked him why there was this unreasoning hatred against the United States, and he explained that it was because of America’s political policies, and should never in any way be confused with the faith of Islam. ’These people are hiding behind religion in an effort to bring down American foreign policy,’ he said. He also went on to tell me that, even with the attacks on some Muslims within this country, he feels safer here than anywhere else on this planet, including his birth country. Please keep up the wonderful work that you’re doing. We need more voices of calm sanity and confidence. Pam Phillips."