Muslim Countries Becoming Bolder in Persecuting Christians
Islam's hostility to Christians is beginning to get some attention from the media. The Associated Press reports that a German Christian relief agency was raided in early August by police from the Afghan Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Nearly 100 were arrested including 2 American, 4 German and 2 Australian aid workers. They were charged with preaching Christianity in this Muslim nation.
Bibles, videos, and records with Christian radio frequencies were confiscated as evidence. Also arrested were 16 Afghan workers and 64 young boys whom the police said were being taught Christianity. Officials said the boys would be re-educated in Islam and released later.
The fate of the others was not yet clear. In January this year, the Afghan government warned that conversion to Christianity was punishable by death. Given the harsh and sometimes fatal treatment of Christians in other Islamic countries, there is grave concern, particularly for the Afghan workers. Hopefully the world will be watching.
A little investigating on the internet turns up reports of Muslim persecution of Christians from many other countries dominated by Islam. In Indonesia, reports date back into last year of Muslim "holy war fighters" aided in some cases by government troops using sophisticated weaponry on a campaign to eradicate Christians from whole regions of the country.
In March, a report came out of Pakistan that young Christian girls were being kidnapped and raped by Muslims. One girl was kidnapped after sharing Christ with a schoolmate. Her parents were told that she had converted to Islam and wished to leave her Christian home.
Local police refused to investigate her parents' complaint and her whereabouts was not known. Another Pakistani Christian faces death by hanging for blasphemy against "the sacred name of the Holy Prophet (Mohammed)."
A Turkish Christian was arrested in February and charged with insulting Islam and Mohammed. Proselytism is not illegal in Turkey, but their criminal laws prohibit "insulting the books, prophets, or values of another religion." This makes it all but impossible to obey the great commission, so any soul-winning activity could be construed as violating the law.
An obscure war is going on in the southern Philippines where Muslims are using terror to try and establish a separate Islamic state. Christians and Roman Catholics are frequently kidnapped and some have been beheaded.
In Africa, several countries have become dominated by Islam and anyone who does not convert comes under extreme persecution, displacement or death.
Few Americans are aware that Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam, is one of the most oppressive countries for Christians. There are no churches in the whole country. Foreign workers make up one-third of the population, many of whom are Christians.
For their entire stay, which may be years, they are forbidden to display any Christian symbols or Bibles, or even meet together publicly to worship and pray. Some have watched their personal Bibles put through a shredder when they entered the country.
In the past, foreign Christians caught practicing their faith have been deported. Recently there has been an increase of midnight raids with Christians dragged off to prison and computers, Bibles, books, tapes and family photos confiscated.
Much of this news is ignored by the rest of the world but Bible believers should be aware and pray for the fellow believers in the Muslim countries. Over one billion people are bound by this false religion. They need to be freed by the truth of the gospel.
We should study carefully the books that have been written on witnessing to Muslims. There are an estimated 5 million Muslims living in the U.S. Many have strong ties to their homelands. If we win one of them to Christ, we can influence family members both here and on the other side of the world.
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