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Islamic Persecution

Christian areas have been hit by mortar and rocket fire, and snipers are active there. On 13 April (Palm Sunday), two Armenian Christians were killed and four injured by mortars. On 17 April (Maundy Thursday), church services were cancelled and roads lay empty as the siege intensified. The following day (Good Friday), Barnabas Fund received a report that 48 civilians had been killed and 245 injured.

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At least 29 other prisoners are reported to have sustained injuries ranging from a fractured skull to broken ribs and limbs, with a further 32 transferred to solitary confinement. According to a report by the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, prisoners were handcuffed, blindfolded and severely beaten as they were being transferred to solitary.

Injured prisoners were also refused medical treatment until physicians approved by the Intelligent Ministry arrived.

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April 10 2014 By virtueonline SUDAN: Anglican Bishop follows his fleeing flock across Africa

No safe haven for immigrants.

More than 200,000 Nuba People had sought refuge in the Republic of South Sudan only to find themselves in another war torn area. “Many got confused and traumatized and some ran back to the war zone areas in the Nuba Mountains preferring to die in their home land,” reported Bishop Andudu.

The Bishop and his team decided to follow their displaced flock into neighbouring countries including Uganda, the Republic of South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.

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Blasphemy Accusations

The report said that where an authoritarian government supports an established religious creed, blasphemy accusations are frequently used to silence critics or democratic rivals under the guise of enforcing religious piety.

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March 16 2014 By virtueonline Christian arrests in Iran/ United Nations report on human rights abuses in Iran

The Christians most commonly prosecuted appear to be converts from Muslim backgrounds or those that proselytize or minister to Iranian Muslims. Iranian authorities at the highest levels have designated house churches and evangelical Christians as threats to national security.

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March 11 2014 By virtueonline NIGERIA: Muslim hacks daughter to death with machete for converting to Christ

Cairo's Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious and influential institution in the Sunni world, certifies as a reliable guide to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Muslim community a manual of Islamic law that states: "When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed" (Reliance of the Traveller o8.1).

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February 28 2014 By virtueonline Syrian Christians sign treaty of submission to Islamists

The authenticity of the document, displaying the stamp of al-Qaeda, could not be independently verified. The signatures of 20 Christian leaders at the bottom of the document said to have been party to the agreement were blotted out, ostensibly at their own request.

According to classic Islamic law, Christians and Jews living under Muslim sovereignty must pay a tax known as jizya in return for the Muslim ruler's protection, known as dhimma.

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February 19 2014 By virtueonline Going Global: House Hearing Documents Worldwide Persecution of Christians

While Middle Eastern persecution of Christians "is perhaps the most acute," Rogers noted, Christians today are "facing threats from a wide range of sources in almost every corner of the globe." As an "alternative source of authority," USCIRF commissioner Elliott Abrams analyzed, Christianity presents a "direct threat both to tyrannical governments," whether "secular or religious," and "extremist private actors." Russia, for example, "favors Russian Orthodox Christianity" over groups like Pent

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February 02 2014 By virtueonline Syrian Christian Leaders Show Hope in the Face of Despair

Jarjour at Heritage, meanwhile, discussed how Syrian Christians are "pressured to leave" by Sunni jihadist groups fighting for the overthrow of Syria's Shiite-backed dictator Bashir Assad. Jarjour recalled one funeral of a Christian beheaded by such jihadists as well as the severed heads of two Armenian Christians sent to children as a threat. Jihadists also used Christians as human shields in the Syrian town of Homs.

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February 01 2014 By virtueonline The war on Christianity: The religion's followers are dwindling in land of birth

Today, the picture is dramatically different. Every corner of the Middle East is locked in more or less violent struggle, but whatever course the future takes, it is safe to predict that Christians will play only a marginal part in it - if they survive at all. Already, as the Prince of Wales recently pointed out, there is a smaller proportion of Christians in the region than in any other part of the world: just 4 per cent, and falling fast.

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