Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christians, Extinct in Middle East, as Islam Wins

The new study, entitled ‘Christianophobia’ by the British think tank Civitas, shows that the vast majority of Christian populations in the Middle East in the 20th century have either fled or been killed.  Whereas the Holy Land was 20% Christian in 1945, today that demographic is only 2%, and worldwide, 200 million Christians are “socially disadvantaged, harassed or actively oppressed for their beliefs.”
“Exposing and combating the problem ought in my view to be political priorities across large areas of the world. That this is not the case tells us much about a questionable hierarchy of victimhood.”
-- Rupert Shortt, journalist and visiting fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford
For background, read Christians Becoming Extinct in 9 Western Nations and also read Pope Calls Secularized, Anti-Christian Europe to God as well as Obamanation: Secularized Like Europe, Spiritualized Like Oprah

During the 2012 election season, the media tout the political significance: Christians OK with Romney, Non-religious Prefer Obama

-- From "Christianity 'close to extinction' in Middle East" by Edward Malnick, UK Telegraph 12/23/12

[The study] claims politicians have been “blind” to the extent of violence faced by Christians in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The most common threat to Christians abroad is militant Islam, it says, claiming that oppression in Muslim countries is often ignored because of a fear that criticism will be seen as “racism”.

It warns that converts from Islam face being killed in Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Iran and risk severe legal penalties in other countries across the Middle East.

"A far less widely grasped fact is that Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Christianity at risk of wipe-out in the Middle East, warns new Civitas study" by Institute for the Study of Civil Society 12/23/12

The refusal of young Christians in the West to become “radicalised” and mount violent protests against the attacks on their faith also helps to explain the “blind spot” about “Christianophobia” in influential liberal Western circles.

[Christians] are more likely to be the target of discrimination or persecution that any other religious group and they are particularly at risk in Muslim-dominated societies. Oppression is magnified by anti-Americanism and the false belief that Christianity is a “Western” creed, even though it originated in the Middle East and has been an integral part of that region’s belief systems for 2000 years.

The pace of this assault is now intensifying with the rise of militant Islam in countries such as Egypt, Iraq and now, with the civil war, Syria.

The report surveys in detail the extent of Christian persecution in seven countries – Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Burma, China and India. And it cites findings from the Freedom House think-tank report to highlight the way that Muslim-majority countries are the most hostile to Christians.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "'Militant Islam' Greatest Threat to Middle Eastern Christianity, Says Think Tank" by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter 12/26/12

While noting the large-scale persecution of Christians in societies that are Communist, Buddhist, or Hindu, [author of the report, Rupert] Shortt stressed the growing impact of intolerance in Islamic countries.

"In the large area between Morocco and Pakistan, for example, there is scarcely a country in which church life operates without restrictions. Syria has been one of the exceptions until now," wrote Shortt.

In the past, Civitas has published other works focusing on contemporary issues involving Islam. In 2006, the think tank published a book by Caroline Cox and John Marks titled The West, Islam and Islamism: Is ideological Islam compatible with liberal democracy?

"To this end we need to be able to conduct an open and mutually respectful dialogue," [a 2006 Civitas statement] said. "However, the situation is complicated by the way in which some defenders of Islam have tried to shut down the sort of full and free discussion which we expect in Western societies to be able to have about all systems of belief by accusing critics of 'Islamophobia'…"

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Study: Christianity Faces Extinction in Middle East" by Paul Arnold, Canadian Christianity 12/28/12

Rupert Shortt, a journalist and author of the study, says that the removal of Christianity from the Middle East has been influenced by political upheaval, Israeli nationalism, Islamic fundamentalism, and the rejection of Christianity as a vehicle for Western values or Western expansion, even though Christianity originated in the Middle East and has been integral to the region’s belief systems for 2000 years.

Shortt also points out that Christians and public authorities in the West have developed a “blind spot,” which has encouraged the discrimination or persecution of minority religious groups and could lead to further infringements of human rights. As Shortt explains, “The blind spot displayed by governments and other influential players is causing them to squander a broader opportunity. Religious freedom is the canary in the mine for human rights generally.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.