The Horrible, Heart-Breaking Details
Unless you read the details behind the (likely conservative) statistics on Christian persecution you can’t begin to appreciate the magnitude and depth of this situation. Although they are on the whole ignored, there are organizations who pay attention, collect information and seek to educate the West about this issue. One such group is the Gatestone Institute, who published a monthly report on worldwide Christian persecution. These stories rarely appear in the mainstream media and are rarely discussed, let alone responded to, in the Western Christian Church. Here is a tiny fraction from two monthly reports.
The Slaughter of Christians
Central African Republic: A militant Islamic group raided a Catholic church compound and massacred dozens of Christians, including two priests, in the small town of Alindao, on November 15. According to the report, the group, which consists of “mainly Muslim and Fulani militia, stormed the cathedral and the nearby refugee camp hosting more than 26,000 people displaced following previous attacks in the town and its surrounding villages.” Pictures and testimonials “revealed the scale of the devastation as dozens of bodies littered the ground, mixed with the burned debris of tents … Some of the victims were burned beyond recognition, while others had been shot or dismembered with machetes. Bishop Juan Jose Aguirre Muños provided more details: “The men of Ali Darassa assaulted, looted and set fire to the displaced camp and killed women and children; they burned down the cathedral where they killed the two priests.” Immediately afterwards, the terrorists “allowed groups of young Muslims of the western part to enter the eastern part of Alindao and looted the bishop’s residence and burned the presbytery and the centre of Caritas.” The same Christian town suffered from a similar attack on May 8, 2017; then, between 130 and several hundred “Christian townspeople and villagers” were butchered. Due to these ongoing attacks, on November 16 the Central African Episcopal Conference issued a statement, saying that the Catholic Church “has become the target of armed groups in Central Africa.” In 2018, five Catholic priests were killed by the Muslim militants in various attacks.
The Slaughter of Christians in Egypt
As in January, when five different Christians were killed in four separate hate crimes around the country, another murderous wave took non-Muslim minorities by storm, this time in al-Arish, Sinai. The murders may have resulted from a video released in February by the “Islamic State in Egypt.” In the video, masked militants promise more attacks on the “worshipers of the cross” — a reference to the Coptic Christians of Egypt, of whom they also refer to as their “favorite prey” and “infidels who are empowering the West against Muslim nations.” One of the militants, carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, added, “God gave orders to kill every infidel.”
Muslim Abduction, Rape, Murder and Mutilation of Christian Women
Pakistan: Hours after being dropped off at the Convent of Jesus and Mary school in Punjab by her brother, Tania Mariyam, a 12-year-old Christian girl, was found dead in a canal. Despite all the evidence to the contrary — including her clothes being ripped off and signs of drugging — police investigations concluded that she had committed suicide. After three weeks of pressure from Mariyam’s family and human rights groups, who insisted that the girl had been raped and murdered — as so many Christian girls (and boys) in Pakistan have been before her — police finally conceded that she had not killed herself. Even so, “the severe delays,” says the British Pakistani Christian Association, “mean that much of the evidence has been lost.”
“There was a disgusting police cover up,” the murdered girl’s father said, “and I fear that they have colluded with the murderer and know more than they are letting on. They do not care about Christians.”
How can it be that we in the Western Church are so unaware of this terrible persecution or are aware but so unwilling to provide help? It’s not because the Bible teaches us to ignore the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Rather quite the opposite.
I do not need to write to you about helping those who belong to Christ. I know you want to do it. (2 Corinthians 9:1, 2a)
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10)
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. (Acts 2:28)