Monday, October 15, 2018

Christian Holocaust

Credit: Jo Naylor
Blood Cross

The Arab Spring has ushered in a Christian Winter

It’s Easter Sunday, late in the evening. I’m in Paris for the weekend, looking out over the city of lights. It’s been a wonderful few days. I’m not in the habit of writing on vacation, especially when I’m on a romantic interlude in the most romantic city on earth!

I could have held this article over until Monday evening, when I’ll be back in London but, as I say, this is Easter Sunday. There is no better time to draw your attention to the plight of the ancient Christian communities in the Middle East, now in serious danger of extinction.

These are the original Christians, people whose forebears were settled in the area several centuries before the Muslims arrived. For them the Arab Spring has not brought liberation but persecution and fear, all caused by the upsurge of militant and murderously intolerant forms of Islam.

Most of you will be aware of Hilary Clinton’s attempt to have a UN resolution passed, condemning the government of Bashar al-Assad for the violent assault of the Syrian army on the rebel-held city of Homs. What you may not be aware of is that Islamists in the city have carried out a ‘religious cleansing’, forcing 50,000 Christians to flee from their homes in terror, a fact reported by Douglas Davis in the latest issue of the Spectator.

It’s not an isolated event. Christians in other Syrian cities have come under attack. Bishop Antonine Audo of Aleppo, where a car bomb was exploded in the Christian quarter last month, says that the people are very afraid – “The Christians don’t know what their future will hold.”

Left-liberals are much given to gnashing of teeth over the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis. There are no laments at all over the persecution of Palestinians…by other Palestinians. The threat even extends to Bethlehem, the literal and metaphorical cradle of Christianity.

As Davis mentions in his article (Out of the east), thirty years ago three quarters of the people living in the West Bank town were Christian. A reign of terror by Islamic extremists, involving land theft, intimidation and beatings, has reduced that figure to an estimated ten per cent.

The violence extends to Hamas-controlled Gaza, where half of the Christian population have left their homes since the terrorist organisation took control of the area in 2007. Hardly surprising when one learns that there have been calls for people to slaughter their Christian neighbours, a chilling fact that seems to have escaped the likes of Alice Walker and all of the other 'useful idiots' who would succor Hamas.

I was in Egypt last November, when I made friends among the local Coptic community, people whose ancestors were in the country in the days of the pharaohs. The email correspondence I receive confirms the reports of growing apprehension in the face of the victory of the Islamist parties in the parliamentary elections. There have been killings and church burnings from Luxor in the south to Alexandria in the north. Last year no fewer than 200,000 people were forced to leave their homes under threat of further violence.

The greatest tragedy of all, though, has to be the fate of the Christians of Iraq, whose exodus from the country in the wake of George Bush’s ill-conceived invasion of 2003 has reached biblical proportions. Before the invasion there were 1.4million. Now only 400,000 are left.

Since 2003 nine hundred and fifty Iraqi Christians have been murdered and over sixty churches bombed. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom warned recently that “the end of Christianity in Iraq” was approaching. Most of those who are left are the elderly, people who exhausted their savings helping their children leave.

Amidst this unprecedented tragedy there is one bright spot for Arab Christians – Israel, a state that guarantees freedom of worship to all faiths. There the community has increased by an estimated 2000 per cent. In highlighting this fact, West goes on to make the following observations;

Never mind the ‘Israeli apartheid’ myths that flourish on Britain’s university Campuses. What intrigues me is why Britain’s political and media classes, normally so sensitive to humanitarian issues, turn away in the face of very real apartheid-style oppression that persists on the Arab world; why they remain silent as Christians are persecuted and the UN Human Rights Council, which last month endorsed the human rights record of Libya’s late Mummar Gaddafi, peddles its bizarre nonsense.

I’m guessing the position here is the same in the States, at least judging by the attitude of Hilary Clinton. I would urge you all, Christian or not, to spare a thought this Easter Day for an ancient community facing annihilation, even if she does not.

About the Writer

Anastasia is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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10 comments on Christian Holocaust

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By Angie Alaniz on April 09, 2012 at 05:54 pm

Those are horrible alarming facts.

Even more bizarre and extreme nonsense when it comes to Mummar Gaddafi, did you know that at one time he labeleved himself "King of Kings". ?

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By Anastasia on April 10, 2012 at 05:16 pm

They are indeed, Angie. Yes, I know about the King of Kings. :-)

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By Uttam Gill on April 10, 2012 at 09:28 pm

Very Informative post…Are we in the medieval age?…this kind of cleansing we are witnessing for centuries...Yes it is about the people who are living for centuries made to leave home and many slaughtered due to their affiliation to particular religion…how can we forget the most horrific crime committed by Hitler and in recent history ethnic cleansing in Bosnia Herzegovina…What is happening in middle east is alarming and certainly a matter of concern… But Anastasia it is an irony that with our own contradictions we have been permitting such cleansing as mute spectators…It is sad…

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By dchaitanya on April 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Anastasia, but who is really responsible for the endangerment of lives of common public around the world, irrespective their religious backgrounds. In my view it is not the one religion that is annihilating the another religion. People belonging to various religions around the world are still living in peace in different countries, but their lives are getting endangered only when the wrong decisions are taken by the people in power, and especially the "active global leaders". Their wrong decisions, unmindful of consequences, are distrubing the lives of common man around the world.

Senior George Bush's ill-conceived invasion on Sadam's Iraq in the year 1990-91 resulted in subsequent attacks on the Christian community uptill 2004 in Iraq or else where in the Middle-East countries. As you said 1.4 million of Christian community reduced to 400,000 in Iraq after 2003 U.S invasion. But what are the factual reasons behind it? It is the oil-politics between the United States and Arab World led to major wars that subsequently turned into religious clashes between two communities. People of both Christian and Islamic faiths never wanted a war between them as their kin and kith spread all over the world and common public learnt to coexist by and large anywhere in the world. But, it is only when wrong decisions are taken by the people in power, especially by the "Big Five" their narrow decisions are showing impact on the peaceful coexistence of people belonging to different religions. Particularly the leaders of Islamic countries desperately raising the religious emotion of their respective county people, when they are unable to face the pressure from the Major powers of the world, that are dominated by Christian religon. So, the political wars between the leaders of two nations are turning into religious clashes at ground levels.

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By ColonialBoy on April 12, 2012 at 02:25 pm

I'm sorry, but it is ludicrous to think that it is the "mistaken" invasions of Iraq that caused the current inter-faith conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. It all started ~1300 years ago when a murderous pagan warlord started killing (in as brutal a manner as possible) anyone who wasn't a member of his misogynistic death cult.

In contrast, Protestant Christians (such as myself) revere the Jews (besides being "God's Chosen", they WERE the first Christians), greatly admire converts from Islam to Christianity (I'm honored to be a member of a group that supports these amazing, brave people who have given up everything (including their real names and former lives) to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ), and bemusedly tolerate Wiccans, Mormans and Hindi (they are all very nice people, if somewhat confused <g>). I certainly wouldn't chop off their heads or burn them alive in their churches, as do the Taliban (Pashto for "students" [of Islam]) and their allies.

I am mystified why the Western "intelligentsia" are so anti-Christian, but so tolerant of Islam. It was Christian Patriots who created a Constitutional Republic (the USA) which (for the most part) does what these people say they want: it legally and culturally treats women as equals to men, allows for the coexistance of different religious faiths, and permits considerable personal liberties.

In comparison the Islamic way of life that has been imposed onto so much of the world is almost the exact opposite. Women are considered property, with their appearance and movements severely restricted. Rape victims are routinely either whipped or stoned, and/or forced into marriage with their rapists; other religious faiths are forbidden under pain of torture and death; even the men are controlled to the point that if they drank wine, played music, or even wore their hair styled differently, they risk being stoned to death.

Who on Earth would want to live this way?

Yet here I am in 21st Century America - where Christian symbols and holiday names are being removed from public view, pastors and lay people arrested for praying in public, and our way of life held in disdain. I personally have been denied disability (caused by a car accident) benefits SPECIFICALLY (and explicitly) because I sang in my church choir! :-(

It is all very disheartening.

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By Anastasia on April 12, 2012 at 05:28 pm

Uttam, it's more than sad; it's a tragedy.

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By Anastasia on April 12, 2012 at 05:34 pm

Dchaitanya, absolutely. Politicians make decisions without any clear idea of the impact they will have on the lives of ordinary people. Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister, was warned by a panel of experts of the possible consequences of an invasion of Iraq...and then ignored everything they had to say.

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By Anastasia on April 12, 2012 at 05:40 pm

CB, I did not say that the invasion of Iraq caused inter-faith conflicts; I said, or indicated, that it quickened Muslim hostility towards Christianity (think Bush, think ‘crusade’) which has all but destroyed an ancient community. Quite frankly it’s a monumental tragedy. I have no disagreement over the rest of your submission.

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By ColonialBoy on April 13, 2012 at 11:15 am

Ana, I know that you didn't say that - In the first half of my comment, I was responding to what Dchaitanya stated. In the second half I was supporting your argument w/additional anecdotal info.

(altho' given that they were already flying airliners into American buildings two years earlier, I somehow doubt that Muslim hostilities needed but so much more "quickening" to despise Christians - I think it was more the removal of almost ALL (Hussein, Mubarak, and Qadhaffi) of the strong central authority figures that allowed the destruction of the minority religious communities to occur).

I can see that I need to go through some old records so that I can provide you w/the info that demonstrates why I think both invasions were justified.

BTW, I know you've spent time in Moscow, but can you actually read Russian? Some of the original docs aren't in English.

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By Anastasia on April 21, 2012 at 02:00 am

CB, sorry I missed this. I was only in Moscow for a week, and that's a few years ago now. Unfortunately I can't read Russian, though learning the langauge is one of my targets. So much to do; so little time. :-)

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