By Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute — June 22, 2015
Note: The following represents some of the persecution Christians experienced at the hands of Muslims during the month of April, 2015 alone. After reading this, ask yourself how Western media, politicians, and other foolish talking heads would react if Muslims experienced the same sort and amount of persecution at the hands of Christians or in Western nations in just one month.
Islamic State Slaughters 30 Christian Ethiopians
Approximately two months after the Islamic State published a video depicting its members slaughtering 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, on Sunday, April 19, the Islamic jihadi organization released another video of more Christians in Libya, approximately 30 Ethiopians—derogatorily referred to by an IS spokesman as “worshippers of the cross”—being butchered for not paying jizya, extortion money demanded of the “People of the Book” who refuse to convert to Islam, according to Koran 9:29.
One group of Christians were shot execution style to the back of their heads, the others had their heads carved off, like the Copts before them.
The IS spokesman further addressed “Christians everywhere”:
We say to Christians everywhere, the Islamic State will expand, with Allah’s permission. And it will reach you even if you are in fortified strongholds. So whoever enters Islam will have security, and whoever accepts the Dhimmah contract [subjugated, third-class treatment and social status] will have security. But whoever refuses will see nothing from us but the edge of a spear. The men will be killed and the children will be enslaved, and their wealth will be taken as booty. This is the judgment of Allah and His Messenger.
In a statement, the Coptic Christian Church of Egypt pointed out that the Ethiopian martyrs, like the 21 Copts before them, were “murdered purely for refusing to renounce their faith.”
Al Shabaab Murders 147, Separates Muslims from Christians
On April 2 in Kenya, gunmen from the Somali Islamic group, Al Shabaab—“the [Islamic] youth”—stormed Garissa University, singled out Christian students, and murdered them, some beheaded. A total of 147 people were killed in the attack—making this jihad more spectacular than the 2013 Al Shabaab attack on the Nairobi mall, which left 67 people dead (then, Islamic gunmen also singled out Christians for slaughter).
Islamic gunmen were careful to separate Christians from Muslims before beginning the carnage said eyewitnesses. (While Kenya is 83% Christian, it still has an 11% Muslim minority the jihadis are careful not to kill.) Collins Wetangula, vice chairman of the student union, said he could hear from inside his room where he was hiding the gunmen opening doors and inquiring if the people inside were Muslims or Christians: “If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot. With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.”
Al Shabaab has a long history of singling Christians out from among Muslims for slaughter (here are four examples). Other jihadi groups—including Boko Haram and the Islamic State—also make it a point to distinguish between Christians and Muslims before slaughtering the former, a fact often omitted from “mainstream media” reports.
Egyptian Churches under Attack
- On Sunday, April 5, as Coptic Christians were celebrating Palm Sunday, a church was attacked in Alexandria, Egypt. Gunmen in a vehicle opened fire on the church during the night injuring a police officer and two civilians.
- On April 12, Easter Sunday according to the Orthodox calendar, two explosions targeting churches took place in Zagazig vicinity. One car explosion took place near a Coptic Orthodox church and another bomb exploded near the Evangelical Church in the same area. Although no casualties were reported, large numbers could have easily resulted, based on precedent. For example, on January 1, 2011, as Egypt’s Christians ushered in the New Year, car bombs went off near the Two Saints Church in Alexandria, resulting in 23 dead worshippers and dozens critically injured.
- Muslims rioted because President Sisi had agreed for Copts to build a church in Al-Our, where 13 of the 21 Christians who were beheaded by the Islamic State grew up and where their families still live. Local Muslims rose in violence soon after Islamic prayers Friday, April 3. They yelled that they would never allow a church to be built, that “Egypt is Islamic!” By night time, Molotov cocktails and stones were thrown at another Coptic church, cars were set ablaze—including one belonging to a relative of one of the those decapitated by the Islamic State—and several people were injured.[i]
- A day later, on Saturday, April 4, Muslims rioted and attacked the Christians of the village of Gala’, Samalout district. After waiting for years to repair their dilapidated church (see pictures here) Coptic locals finally received all the proper permits to begin restoration. Soon Coptic homes, businesses, and persons, were attacked including by hurled stones. Christian owned wheat farms were destroyed and their potato crops uprooted. Islamic slogans were constantly yelled, including “There is no god but Allah” and “Islamic! Islamic!”
- After waiting for 44 years, the Christians of Nag Shenouda, in Sohag City, finally got the necessary permit to build a new church. Muslims again rioted and even burned down the tent the Christians had erected to worship under. Denied, the Christians of Nag Shenouda celebrated Easter in the street (picture here). And when one of them tried to hold worship service in his home, he and his household were attacked by a Muslim mob.
More Islamic Attacks on Christian Churches
Syria: The Islamic State destroyed at least three churches under its jurisdiction:
- On Easter Sunday, the Islamic State destroyed the Virgin Mary Church in Tel Nasri, northeast Syria. The Assyrian church was built and consecrated in 1934. Loosely translated as “Christian Hill,” Tel Nasri is an ancient Assyrian Christian village. It is one of the dozens of Christian villages along the Khabur river that were attacked and occupied by the Islamic State in late February (more here and here).
- On April 28, the St. Odisho Assyrian Church in Tel Tal and the St. Rita Tilel Armenian Church in Aleppo, were also destroyed.
Nigeria: A Muslim mob set fire to a church in a Christian village in Nigeria’s northern Kano State on April 1. Muslims were searching for a young man who had renounced Islam and re-converted to Christianity in order to kill him. They also attacked Christian villagers with machetes and torched the home of a pastor, killing one of his daughters. According to General Dikko, a local official,
The church and all the properties were burnt down in the presence of the Christian community despite all pleadings for them to stop the destruction. The arsonists gathered cornstalks and put them inside the church in order to cause greater damage…. We have the right to belong to any religion of our choice and live anywhere in this country. We call on the authorities at all levels to rise up to their responsibilities of protecting lives and properties of every citizen in this country.
Pakistan: Two assailants on motorbikes opened fire on the main gates of a church and Christian school in Lahore. The school had just closed half an hour earlier and several students were present outdoors. Police were present, causing the attackers to ride off. Two passersby were injured in the crossfire.
Malaysia: On Sunday, April 19, a Muslim mob of approximately 50 people rioted and protested against a small Protestant church in Kuala Lumpur, the capital. The object of their wrath was the cross atop the building of worship—which was removed during the Islamic protest. Rioters exclaimed that the cross, the central symbol of Christianity, represented “a challenge to Islam” and could “influence the faith of young people.”