The following article, written by Chaim Silberstein and Hillel Fendel, was published by JNS on Dec. 28, 2021:
Fact: The 2016 killing of a gorilla in Cincinnati received six times more media coverage than the beheading by ISIS of 21 Coptic Egyptian Christians who refused to recant their faith. This is just one example of the woeful paucity of reporting on rampant Muslim persecution of Christians around the world. Others abound.
In Nigeria, no fewer than 32,000 Christians were butchered to death by the country’s main jihadists over the course of the decade that just ended. Another more than 3,000 Christians were murdered there during the first seven months of this year, and three months ago, Muslims attacked a Christian community, murdering 49 Christians and kidnapping another 27.
The situation in other Muslim countries is better, but that’s little comfort. Raymond Ibrahim, author of a 10-year-old monthly Gatestone Institute series entitled Muslim Persecution of Christians, says that “the phenomenon of Muslim persecution of Christians is real: it’s unwavering, constant and systemic, and it conforms to sharia-approved patterns—meaning its root source is Islam.”
Ibrahim emphasizes that in addition to the “pure genocide” of Christians in Nigeria, this same jihadist spirit is well entrenched or increasing in other African nations, such as Somalia, Mauritania, Kenya, Mozambique and many more. In Christian-majority Uganda, it is common to see Muslims attacking or killing family members for converting to Christianity.
In Pakistan, Ibrahim writes, “blatant and systemic discrimination against Christians is downright disgusting. Not a week seems to go by without a young, underage Christian girl being abducted, raped and then forced to convert and marry her abductor—with the police and courts siding with the abductors and rapists.”
In Egypt, numerous churches have been bombed by Muslims over the years, killing many worshipers, while others have been banned outright, and kidnappings and forced marriages of Christian women and girls to their Muslim abductors have reached record levels.
Palestinian Authority Christians
What about in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas? A 2019 report by Edy Cohen of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies cited three horrifying incidents that received very little attention, because they are “not connected to Israel.” These stories “encapsulate the persecution of Palestinian Christians,” in the words of an HonestReporting.com report.
One of them occurred on April 25, 2019, when Muslims stormed a village near Ramallah in response to a Christian resident who complained to police that the son of a Fatah leader had attacked her family. Rather than protecting the innocent civilian, police ignored the armed Fatah-affiliated rioters as they lobbed petrol bombs at homes and fired live rounds into the air.
The men even demanded that the Christians pay a jizya, a yearly tax historically levied, by authority of the Quran, on permanent non-Muslim subjects (dhimmi) of Islamic states.
In the two other incidents in Cohen’s report, vandals broke into, desecrated and stole equipment from churches in Bethlehem and Ramallah. In 2013 in Gaza, the Christian Holy Family School was set on fire, while the five Christian schools in the district were closed by Hamas government order.
“The only thing that interests the P.A. is that events of this kind not be leaked to the media,” Cohen wrote, because Fatah exerts heavy pressure on Christians not to report the attacks, so as not to damage the P.A.’s image.
“[Many] Christians in the PA … fear—with good reason—that Muslim aggression against them will only escalate. Such fears are all the stronger in light of the thunderous silence of the Western (and Israeli) media in the face of the Christian minority’s ongoing disappearance from the P.A. and Islamic lands in general—in striking contrast to the growth, prosperity and increasing integration of the Christian community in Israel proper.”
Church leaders blame Israel
With all this, a recent declaration by church leaders in Jerusalem puzzlingly lays all blame for Christian woes in the Holy Land at the feet of Jewish and Israeli elements. They warned that Christians have become targets of “frequent and supported attacks by radical fringe groups”—Jewish ones, that is. Nowhere do they mention attacks, both physical and otherwise, initiated against Christians by Muslims. The religious leaders warned of a “systematic [Jewish] attempt to drive the Christian community out of Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land.”
Several days later, two leading Christian clerics, one in Britain—no less than the head of the Church of England, Justin Welby—and one in Jerusalem, wrote an article supporting the claims and clearly suggesting that Israel is at fault for the decline in the Christian population in the Holy Land. This, even though the Christian population in Hamas-run Gaza has plummeted by 80 percent (!) over the past 15 years, to around 1,000…. keep reading