In Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country and one
traditionally renowned for its religious toleration, terrorists bombed churches in 18
cities, killing scores and wounding hundreds. Violence against the Christian minority has
steadily continued over the past decade." As an example, he cited the beheadings of
three Christian teenage girls in Sulawesi in late October. International Christian
Concern's Jeff King brought photos of the incident; the girls' heads were left at a
church, each with a note that vowed, "We will murder 100 more Christian teenagers and
their heads will be presented as presents."
In Egypt Christians are treated as "second-class citizens" under state-sponsored
discrimination and actively persecuted by Islamic militants apart from the government. He
cited the week-long riot in October against St. George's Coptic Church in Alexandria by a
10,000-strong mob incensed by rumors of blasphemy.
Christians face repression in Iran. Tehran's tyrannical President Ahmadinejad met with 30
provincial governors and reportedly declared, "I will stop Christianity in this
country," avowing to shut down the country's growing house-church movement.
In Saudi Arabia, Christians, a large percentage of the foreign workers making up a quarter
of the population, will not be able to find any churches whatsoever to worship in. Churches
are forbidden. Dozens of those who pray together in private houses were arrested
and jailed earlier this year. This fanatically intolerant kingdom even forbids Muslims,
under threat of death, to wish a Christian "Happy Holidays," much less
Last Christmas in Iraq, St. John's Church near Mosul was attacked. Assyrian cultural
expert Eden Naby described the scene: "The Mass begins. It is cold inside the stone
church. Suddenly you hear automatic fire. The doors fly open. The Christian guards are
shot, and in march armed Kurdish Peshmarga who shoot up the church, beat up the priest and
drive the parishioners cowering home." In prior months, other churches in southern
Iraq had been bombed by Islamic militants, some during worship services. Though the terror
came from two different sources, in each case the purpose was the same to intimidate and
force out the ancient Chaldo Assyrian Christian community.
Yousaf Masih, a 60-year-old illiterate janitor from northwestern Pakistan, is among those
under arrest for "blasphemy" because he allegedly burned a Koran. As Paul
Marshall of the Center for Religious Freedom recounted, three weeks ago in Sangala Hill,
after word of his case got out, mobs destroyed three churches, a convent, a Christian
school, and Christian homes. Last week a militant mob rallied to demand Masih's public
hanging and the eradication of the entire Christian community there.
Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom. WEB SITE