Archive for the 'Africa' Category

04
Apr
08

Sudan: The Ignored Terrorized Christians

Christian “Difficulty” in Sudan?

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By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, April 03, 2008

Was it really an April Fools trick or did the World Council of Churches (WCC) actually admit that Christians in Islamist Sudan endure some unpleasantness?

According to an April 1 report from the WCC news service, a WCC delegation recently visited Khartoum and was “shocked” to learn that a Christian cemetery in the nation’s capital is also being used as a used car lot.

Once the visiting ecumenists recover from their shock, maybe they’ll get around to realizing that Sudan is governed by theocratic Islamists who killed 2 million southern, mostly Christian Sudanese during the war that concluded in 2005.

The Religious Left has adopted the suffering in Darfur, a Sudanese province, as one of its pet issues. Their concern for Darfur is admirable. Hundreds of thousands of African Muslims have perished there, usually at the hands of Arab militias backed by the Islamist regime in Khartoum. Since Darfur is about Muslims killing other Muslims, it evidently is permissible for the Religious Left to take an active interest in it.

But the even more horrible and genocidal sufferings of the southern Sudan rarely provoked a peep from the Religious Left in the United States or elsewhere in the West, including the Geneva-based WCC. The war in southern Sudan was negotiated to a tenuous peace in 2005 with help from the Bush Administration, urged on by a coalition in the U.S. of evangelicals, Jews, black church leaders and other human rights activists who began organizing in the 1990’s. The world’s worst case of Islamist terror somehow never aroused enormous interest from the WCC, the National Council of Churches in the U.S. or other Religious Left groups supposedly so concerned about global justice.

But miracles do occur, and the WCC finally found its way to Khartoum, evidently having heard rumors of difficulties for Christians there. The WCC official report sagely observes: “It is hard for Christians to have their own place – even after they have died. The city’s Christian cemetery, which has been turned into a sales park for second hand cars, illustrates well the challenges faced by the minority Christian community in the northern, predominantly Muslim part of the country.”

The only official cemetery for Christians in the city of 8 million is a 4 acre plot land given to Khartoum’s churches in 1975. But in 2007 a livestock market was set up on half of the acreage. “Can you imagine?” the Sudan Council of Churches chief Peter Tibi is quoted asking in the WCC report. “Animals were being sold at a venue which by nature is a holy ground.”

After complaints from church leaders, the livestock were eventually cleared away, only to be replaced by exhibitions and testing of used cars. Thoughtfully, the visiting WCC delegation, led by outgoing WCC chief Samuel Kobia, raised the cemetery issue with Sudan’s Minister of Guidance and Endowment Hassan El Tighani. “I was shocked when I learnt that a livestock market was profaning a place that should be sacred”, Kobia is quoted as telling the Sudanese official. Tighani assured the visiting prelates that he shared their pain and would appeal for a solution from the Islamist regime’s council of national ministers. A solution is on its way, no doubt.

The WCC news release briefly noted that the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement had concluded a “devastating 21-year civil war between north and south that left 2 million dead and 4 million displaced persons.” Despite its own ostensibly Christian affiliation, the WCC report declined to elaborate that the “civil war” was really about the Islamist Khartoum regime attempting to kill and suppress non-Muslims who did not care to live under Sharia. The WCC report did acknowledge that Sudan’s churches face “tremendous tasks and challenges”

Helpfully, the WCC report mentioned that 90 percent of Sudan’s Christians live in the south, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Pentecostals, and Evangelicals. Since the peace agreement, the southern Sudanese now have some autonomy, however precariously. But Christians in the north still must live directly under Khartoum’s Islamist rule. As the WCC noted, as “part of their condition of religious minority, Sudanese churches face sometimes insurmountable difficulties to obtain a piece of terrain in which to build facilities.” Sometimes the regime has seized their worship places, the WCC reported.

The kindly minister of the Islamist regime who met with the WCC delegation assured them that Christians were not singled out for problems. Indeed, it had taken even the minister about 10 years to get his own personal plot of land, he claimed, which is “just normal when it comes to land property in Sudan.” He even told the WCC that some mosques had been, in the words of the WCC report, “equally expropriated” by the government. But the minister is working vigorously to overcome these “cumbersome procedures.”

Sudan’s “ Special Commission for the Rights of Non-Muslims in the National Capital” also courteously met with the WCC delegation. As the WCC report sagely noted, non-Muslims” is a “euphemism” for Christians. The commission is half staffed by Christians and half by Muslims; dealing with the “issues derived of the implementation of the Sharia, the Islamic religious law, in regard to Christians,” as the WCC described it. The commission’s Islamic head admitted that the livestock sales in the Christian cemetery were “very insulting.” And the commission’s Christian president assured the WCC that Muslims had “seriously protested” with the Christians. But why the used car lot still remains in the cemetery is still a “mystery,” the Christian president admitted.

Despite the WCC’s “shock,” will anyone else be surprised if the Christians of Khartoum just have to get used to the used car sales in their only cemetery? The WCC describes its delegation to Sudan as an “opportunity for the international ecumenical representatives to express solidarity with the Sudanese people and listen to the churches in the country.” The WCC team will “will learn about their concerns, hopes and needs.” Good for the WCC for finally getting around to Sudan, about 25 years too late, and 2 million dead later. Maybe the WCC team can inform the rest of the Religious Left that Khartoum’s theocratic savagery did not begin in Darfur but in southern Sudan, against primarily Christians, more than a quarter century ago.

Emphasis mine

03
Mar
08

Does a Form of Slavery Exist in Saudi Arabia?

Repatriated Lankan Maid Claims Torture, Nonpayment of Wages

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RIYADH, 3 March 2008 — A Sri Lankan maid, who was tortured brutally by her employer’s wife, has been forcibly sent home without being paid a year’s salary.

“I was tortured severely. The sponsor’s wife burned me with an iron rod, poured disinfectant and gasoline on me and threatened to burn me alive; she also said she would cut my hair to make me ugly,” said Madhuwanthie, the 28-year-old Sri Lankan woman.

Madhuwanthie has — through the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) — sought the intervention of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh to contact her sponsor and get her salary dues.

Madhuwanthie, who worked for the household for 21 months, has only received pay for the first nine months of her employment. “Every time I asked for my salary, they would beat me and threaten to hand me over to the police on false charges,” she said in a letter to SLBFE. “I did not have the opportunity to contact the embassy since the telephone was out of my reach.”

According to a Sri Lankan Embassy official, the mission needs to come up with a system whereby it is informed when a domestic worker is sent on final exit.

“This is a clear case of sponsor deserting worker. The sponsor sent the maid home stealthily without anyone’s knowledge fearing he would be questioned for torture and nonpayment of salaries,” said the official.

He added that it would be better if the mission could tackle problems in the presence of both the employer and the employee. Third party inquiries are ineffective since both sides cannot be heard together and a firm commitment from the sponsor cannot be obtained. However, he said the mission would take up the matter with the relevant authorities.

The Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh receives an average of nine cases of runaway maids each day. The mission has opened a 24-hour cell to accommodate such cases and report them to the proper authorities. The country’s missions in Jeddah and Riyadh also run safe houses for such workers till problems are resolved. Common complaints by the maids include nonpayment of salaries, harassment and being forced to continue work beyond contract periods. Source.

H/T Doctor Bulldog

Slaves in Saudi

The unpalatable truth is that, the Ottoman and Persian empires were one of the last to abolish slavery, falling far behind their European counterparts in matters of human emancipation. Full abolition of slavery did not come until the twentieth century, with Saudi Arabia holding out until 1962. Given that desert kingdom’s shameful record on this basic human right, it was no surprise to read Human Rights Watch’s report and find that today’s migrant workers are kept in conditions of “near-slavery.”

The Muslim world is sliding backwards into medievalism, and it is time for reformers to speak openly and bravely. There is a cancer that is eating away at our soul — a disease marked by paranoia, double standards and virulent racism. While we are in full-throated cry against abuses in Iraq and Palestine, we stay completely silent when it is Muslims who are the abusers (of both non-Muslims and Muslims).

How else to explain our outpouring of sympathy for the Bosnian genocide, but our complete silence on the ongoing genocide in Sudan? In that country’s civil war between the Arab Muslim North, and the black Christian and Animist South, 2 million people have been killed to date. In a BBC profile of the hundreds of black Africans who have been raped by pro-government Janjaweed Arab militia, one victim described the attackers: “They called me Abeid (slave in Arabic).”

Shame on the Muslim world for staying silent!

BAD DREAMS:
Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Workers in Saudi Arabia – Human Rights Watch

Summary

an excerpt

“It was like a bad dream” is the way one migrant worker from the Philippines summed up his experiences in Saudi Arabia. Another worker, from Bangladesh, told us: “I slept many nights beside the road and spent many days without food. It was a painful life. I could not explain that life.” A woman in a village in India, whose son was beheaded following a secret trial, could only say this: “We have no more tears, our tears have all dried up.” She deferred to her husband to provide the account of their son’s imprisonment and execution in Jeddah.

It is undeniable that many foreigners employed in the kingdom, in jobs from the most menial to the highest skilled, have returned home with no complaints. But for the women and men who were subjected to abysmal and exploitative working conditions, sexual violence, and human rights abuses in the criminal justice system, Saudi Arabia represented a personal nightmare.

In 1962, then-King Faisal abolished slavery in Saudi Arabia by royal decree. Over forty years later, migrant workers in the purportedly modern society that the kingdom has become continue to suffer extreme forms of labor exploitation that sometimes rise to slavery-like conditions. Their lives are further complicated by deeply rooted gender, religious, and racial discrimination. This provides the foundation for prejudicial public policy and government regulations, shameful practices of private employers, and unfair legal proceedings that yield judicial sentences of the death penalty.

The overwhelming majority of the men and women who face these realities in Saudi Arabia are low-paid workers from Asia, Africa, and countries in the Middle East.

This report gives voice to some of their stories.

It is based on information gathered from migrant workers and their families in mud brick houses off dirt roads in tropical agricultural areas of southwest India, in apartments in densely packed neighborhoods of metropolitan Manila, and in simple dwellings in rural villages of Bangladesh. The victims include skilled and unskilled workers; Muslims, Hindus, and Christians; young adults traveling outside their home countries for the first time; and married men, and single and divorced women, with children to support.

In Saudi Arabia, these workers delivered dairy products, cleaned government hospitals, repaired water pipes, collected garbage, and poured concrete. Some of them baked bread and worked in restaurants; others were butchers, barbers, carpenters, and plumbers. Women migrants cleaned, cooked, cared for children, worked in beauty salons, and sewed custom-made dresses and gowns. Unemployed or underemployed in their countries of origin, and often impoverished, these men and women sought only the opportunity to earn wages and thus improve the economic situation for themselves and their families.

This report is the first comprehensive examination of the variety of human rights abuses that foreign workers experience in Saudi Arabia. The voices of these migrants provide a window into a country whose hereditary, unelected rulers continue to choose secrecy over transparency at the expense of justice. The stories in this report illustrate why so many migrant workers, including Muslims, return to their home countries deeply aggrieved by the lack of equality and due process of law in the kingdom. In an important sense, this report is an indictment of unscrupulous private employers and sponsors as well as Saudi authorities, including interior ministry interrogators and shari’a court judges, who operate without respect for the rule of law and the inherent dignity of all men and women, irrespective of gender, race, and religion.

Some of the most frightening and troubling findings of the report concern mistreatment of women migrant workers, both in the workplace and in Saudi prisons. The report also provides an intimate view of the workings of Saudi Arabia’s criminal justice system, through the eyes of migrant workers with first-hand experience of its significant flaws. And it is the families and friends of migrants who were beheaded, pursuant to judicial rulings, who describe how Saudi authorities kept them and consular officials in the dark until well after the executions were carried out. The mortal remains of these victims were not returned to their families, who until now have no information about what happened to the bodies.

England: Islamic Sexual Slavery of White Girls

21
Jan
08

Niger: Where Childhood Ends On the Marriage Bed

Niamey

Fifteen-year-old Hadjo Garbo’s child-like features belie a history more tragic and life-altering than many adults four times her age will have experienced.Two years ago this petite girl, who likes to fiddle with her elaborately braided hair and once dreamed of being a housewife, was married to one of the older men in her village in the Dosso region of southwest Niger. She was just 13 years old.

The marriage was consummated, and by 14 she was pregnant with her first child. But before her 15th birthday she had lost the baby – and her husband.

Hadjo’s anatomy proved unready for the task of delivering a baby and after an excruciating three-day labour, the unborn foetus was cut out of her, stillborn.

The horrific labour left the girl with what gynaecologists call an obstetric fistula, a tearing of the tissue that develops when blood supply to the tissues of the vagina and bladder and/or rectum is cut off during prolonged obstructed labour. The condition mostly affects child victims of underage marriage.

Hadjo was ostracised by her husband and his family, and forced to secrete herself away from the prying eyes and laughter of her former school friends.

Not pedophilia

In many Western and Muslim countries what happened to Hadjo would be called paedophilia and the male attacker would be arrested and imprisoned.

In Niger that word is only applied to men who have sex with girls outside of marriage, said Idrissa Djibrilla, head of the Niger branch of Defence for Children International (DCI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

“Here we only talk about paedophilia when sex happens outside marriage,” Djibrilla said.

“If we look at it from the biological, physiological point of view, it’s clear that at nine, 10, 11 or 12 years old a girl simply is not ready for sex and child bearing. That’s the reality, but it is hard to make our communities understand.”

The effects can be long-lasting and extend beyond physical health, human rights workers and psychologists who have studied child brides say.

Forced sexual intercourse, denial of freedom and domestic violence are “frequently” found in child marriages, the long-term effects of which are poorly understood, according to a confidential NGO study shown to IRIN.

Eventually, the girls are likely to be abandoned when their polygamous husbands take another young bride. In Niger, women have little or no rights after a divorce.

Widespread problem

Hadjo’s case is not an isolated one in Niger. The problem affects all the regions of the country, Djibrilla said. At least a third of girls are married by the age of 15, and 75 percent before the age of 18, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

In reality, activists say 13 is a common age for marriage, and some girls are married off as young as nine or 10. They will be forced to have sex even before their first period.

Negotiations over the Family Code (Code de la Personne et de la Famille) – a piece of domestic legislation which would have defined the legal relationship between husbands and wives and children and parents, and included a legal minimum age for marriage and sexual intercourse – collapsed in 2006.

According to Alice Kang, a University of Wisconsin researcher who studied the process, the Family Code was “vilified and abandoned” after mainstream Islamist associations lobbied against it.

“Women’s NGOs [in Niger] sometimes compete with each other and therefore do not always get along together… the influence of religious leaders on politics is, more often than not, indirect… and the Family Code was an extremely contentious issue to the point of being a taboo subject in certain circles,” she wrote in a report after conducting research in Niger in 2006.

Reticence

Diadié Boureima, deputy representative of UNFPA in Niger, said the government is “a bit reticent” about tackling early marriage “because of the religious reaction” and said if things are going to change “the ‘marabout’ (religious leaders) will have to be involved.”

“If there was a law against paedophilia it would be applied here,” said Boureima. “But, instead, Islam has legalised it by saying the Prophet had a nine-year-old wife, even though that marriage was not consummated.”

(Page 2 of 2)

UNFPA wants the age of marriage to be changed to 18. It says that would give girls longer in school, give their bodies time to develop, and allow them to reach adulthood. It would also help curb Niger’s runaway demographic growth by reducing a girl’s reproductive lifespan.

Keeping girls in school has wider benefits, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). In a 2001 study, the agency found that women with seven or more years of education marry an average of four years later and have 2.2 fewer children than those with no education.

In Niger, only 15 percent of adult women are literate, and less than one-third of girls enrol in primary school.

Compromise with religious leaders needed

There are also economic reasons behind early marriages, Boureima noted. “There is the chance that the girl will go to a better home or just that the marriage will be celebrated with a good party and food,” he said.

University of Wisconsin’s Kang noted in her report that it is not just men who will have to be convinced of the need for change.

“I was… surprised to learn that there were some women who opposed the Family Code and publicly demonstrated against it, and the legal experts with whom I spoke emphasised that I study this,” she noted.

DCI’s Djibrilla – like all the officials IRIN spoke with – insisted nonetheless that reaching a compromise with religious officials is the most important part of ending the practice. “We have advocated that religious officials can perform marriage ceremonies between adults and children, but that people should not consummate the marriage until the child reaches puberty,” he said.

“The real problem is that at the national level the government is afraid to take certain measures,” he added.

Hadjo’s story

Hadjo’s story does at least have a somewhat happy ending. She underwent two operations for the fistula and spent 12 months at a recovery centre in Niamey, and is ready to go home again.

Hadjo’s husband abandoned her. Her father, a peasant farmer, insists that even if he were still around she would not be going back to him.

“No more husband,” the father insisted. “I was ignorant before but now I know what we did was very wrong.”

However, she will not be able to have any more children, a grave condition in a country where women’s fertility is prized. Unlikely to be able to remarry and without having completed her education, her future might yet turn out to be just as difficult as her past.

This is the second story in a three-part series on maternal mortality and child marriage in Niger

AllAfrica

 

09
Jan
08

Britain: Female Genital Mutilation

The unspeakable practice of female circumcision that’s destroying young women’s lives in Britain

The girl is 15 years old but looks much younger. Her face has the fine-boned elegance typical of her native Somalia, but her accent belongs to the streets of East London. She is plainly terrified. That much is clear from the way she avoids eye contact and constantly fidgets in her chair.

“Promise you won’t print my name or anything?” she implores repeatedly. “Promise no one will ever know that I’ve spoken to you? If people in my community find out, they’ll say that I’ve betrayed them and I’ll have to run away. And anyway, I don’t want my parents to be sent to jail.”

With great courage, this British-Somali girl – she asks that we call her “Lali” – is about to describe a barbaric act of ritualised cruelty which has been perpetrated against her. Knowing the danger to which she is exposing herself, her anxiety is entirely understandable.

For by speaking about it, Lali will break the ultimate taboo among Britain’s 600,000 ethnic Africans. In Norway, where this brutal act is also prevalent, a young Somali woman was recently beaten, almost to death, for talking to TV documentary programme-makers.

It is known by a variety of names, the most common of which are female genital mutilation (FGM), female circumcision, or simply “cutting” – a word which somehow conveys the raw pain its prepubescent victims suffer.

Most people will be unfamiliar with this practice, which involves removing part or all of the clitoris, the surrounding labia (the outer part of the vagina) and sometimes the sewing up of the vagina, leaving only a small opening for urine and menstrual blood.

It is carried out for a variety of cultural reasons. Such is the secrecy that surrounds the practice that even those aware that it occurs in large swathes of Africa and Asia will be shocked to learn that it is prevalent in Britain.

During a highly disturbing, four-month investigation, however, we uncovered evidence that thousands of British-African girls, in towns and cities throughout the country, have been forcibly “cut”.

By conservative estimates, 66,000 women and girls living in Britain have been mutilated. This figure, accepted by the Metropolitan Police, came in a report by a volunteer organisation funded by the Department of Health and carried out with academics from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and the City University.

And thousands more girls are at imminent risk as families club together to fly professional “cutters” from Africa to Britain.

These women “elders” perform the crude operation for up to £40 a time, often on kitchen tables or floors, without anaesthetic, using filthy, blunt knives, razor blades or scalpels.

Many readers will be distressed by our report, but this practice is an abomination which has no place anywhere, let alone in a civilised society, and if it is to be expunged then this is a story that must be told.

There is no way of escaping the unpalatable terminology, just as there is no way for girls like Lali to escape the unsterile knife which cuts them as they are held down and which will result in a lifetime of physical and psychological pain.

Some people say the practice is to increase the sexual pleasure of the man, but this is only one appallingly outdated reason why many womenfolk from 28 African and some Middle Eastern countries, most of which have sizeable representation in Britain, are treated like this.

It is also done to demonstrate their virginity on their wedding night; and because “uncut” girls with the ability to enjoy love-making are considered more likely to be promiscuous, unhygienic, and prone to diseases such as Aids.

Attempts are also made to justify this iniquitous practice on religious grounds. Some hard-line Muslims insist that women must undergo genital cutting to remain faithful to the purest teachings of Islam – although, in truth, it is not even mentioned in the Koran, and only ambiguously in the Hadith (a collection of oral traditions about the life of the prophet Mohammed).

Several leadings Imams have openly condemned the practice. This, though, does not deter its proponents, who maintain that it is their inalienable right to live according to their traditional beliefs and customs, rather than conform to British values. Indeed, some argue that the freedom to carry out FGM is a fundamental principle of our multi-cultural society.

Whatever the arguments, the fact is that genital mutilation is a reality, and the Metropolitan police is so concerned that it recently set up a special unit to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators. Heading the unit is Detective Inspector Carol Hamilton, herself a mother, who was horrified when she discovered what was happening to other people’s daughters.

The Met team also educates regional police forces about FGM, and speaks to mosques, community groups and local authorities.

Usually their visits are well-received, but we found that at least one London council declined to publish material highlighting the suffering and danger the practice causes – for fear of offending ethnic African residents.

This kind of attitude incenses Detective Inspector Hamilton. “We are all becoming very culturally sensitive,” she says. “People are a bit frightened of saying ‘You can’t do this here’ because people shoot back with ‘But it’s our culture’.

“But it’s not: this is just plain cruel. I won’t be put off by the politically correct argument. We have to be seen to be strong on this. I don’t care about human rights – I care about the rights of the child. Everything else has to go out of the window.

“We have one rule in child protection: the child is of paramount importance. I stick by that firmly.”

Together with the Waris Dirie Foundation¹, an international campaign group formed by the Somali-born supermodel who suffered genital mutilation as a five-year-old child, the Met announced a £20,000 reward last July for information leading to the conviction of anyone who performs or abets cutting.

Under the 2003 Female Genital Mutilation Act, those involved could be jailed for 14 years. Yet the fact that no one has been prosecuted says much about the problems the police are facing.

“There are thousands of girls being cut in your country,” says Waris Dirie spokesman Walter Hutschinger. “We are sure it’s going on, and on a very big scale. Your law is one of the most comprehensive in the world, but it is useless if nobody will help to implement it.

“We have been contacted by girls from all parts of Britain – London, Cardiff, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, Reading, Slough, Milton Keynes, Crawley – anywhere there are big African communities.

“Many of these girls know they are about to be cut and are desperate for help, but they are even more afraid of what might happen to them if they come out in the open.

“One young woman wrote recently to tell us that she was about to be taken home to Somalia to be cut, and she was terrified because her older sister had died after cutting. [To avoid detection, the mutilation is often done in a girl’s native country.]

“She was thinking of running away – but she didn’t know where she could go or what she would do. The girl says genital mutilation has destroyed her family. We wrote back offering a meeting, but she has not been back in touch.’

During our investigation, we found similar difficulty finding girls willing publicly to condemn a practice whose “virtues” are impressed upon them from infancy so that they are effectively brainwashed into believing it to be an essential step towards womanhood.

Lali is so determined that other girls should be spared the misery she has endured since the cutter came to call four years ago that, last week, she bravely told us her story.

Continued.

¹Waris Dirie Foundation

Also see @ Broken Bodies – Broken Dreams:

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation: Part 2

Female Genital Cutting

Documentary on female genital cutting H/T drdapo


Related: Fighting Female Circumcision & Debating It’s Religious Ruling

23
Oct
07

Mainstream Media Mum On Christian Persecution

The Underreported Persecution Of Christians

By: Herb Denenberg, The Bulletin
10/19/2007

There’s an uncivilized and widespread persecution and discrimination of one religious group going on in the Middle East, as well as such places as Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and the Philippines. The zone of persecution and murder extends to parts of Africa, Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.
Yet, the mainstream media virtually ignores the story and the world is silent, without great protest or calls for action. Is this some obscure religion that is subjected to this unthinkable onslaught? No, it is the majority religion of the world, involving Christianity and Christians.
Of course, if you rely on the mainstream media for news and information, you may barely be aware of this phenomenon. That’s because the mainstream media is putting out such biased, dishonest and fraudulent journalism – managed by editors with anti-American, anti-religion, anti-military, anti-conservative and anti-family values bias – that it has no time for one of the major outrages of recent history.

This issue was called to my attention by an extensive article on the subject by Lela Gilbert, one of the leading authorities on anti-Christian persecution. She is a co-author of Their Blood Cries Out and most recently author of Baroness Cox: Eye Witness to a Broken World, two books on the subject. She is now an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institutes’s Center for Religious Freedom www.crf.hudson.org .

Ms. Gilbert traveled to Israel with “the conviction that an assault upon Jews is an implicit assault upon Christians since it strikes at the root of the same ancient tree.” On her visit to Jerusalem, she soon started to focus on discrimination against Christians. She encountered “a kaleidoscope of pilgrims and sojourners,” more than a few of which were suffering from persecution under Muslim regimes.
As she observed the scene in Israel, she was struck by the similarity of Christian persecution in country after country, “evident not only in body count but in kidnapping and enslavement, rape, mutilation and torture.”
As she worked on two different writing projects involving persecution of the Christians, she noticed that neither cited abuse of Jews. Why? With few exceptions, the Jews have already been slaughtered, expelled or fled for their lives from these locations. Ms. Gilbert found that Middle Eastern Christians are fleeing from their homeland “at an accelerated rate and in ever increasing numbers.”

As these Christian communities are being driven to extinction, what is not recognized is that they are among the most ancient of Christian communities. These communities, contrary to a popular and erroneous impression, are not “colonial implants” of recent origin. Ms. Gilbert writes that in fact prior to the Muslim conquest of the mid-seventh century, “the large majority of the inhabitants of the area now divided into countries of Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco were Christians, including many Arab Christians. Even Arabia has major Christian communities in such places as present day Bahrain, Yemen, and the Najran area of western Arabia south of Mecca.

Go read it all!!!




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Est. October 13 2007

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Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host - by the Divine Power of God - cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

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