They Cry in Silence Jul/Aug 2013
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from “The Mass Exodus of Christians from the Muslim World” by Raymond Ibrahim on RaymondIbrahim.com. To read the entire report, click here.
A mass exodus of Christians is currently under way. Millions of Christians are being displaced from one end of the Islamic world to the other.
We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world—much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian—came into being.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently said, “The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year.” In our lifetime alone, “Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.”
Ongoing reports from the Islamic world certainly support this conclusion. Iraq was the earliest indicator of the fate awaiting Christians once Islamic forces are liberated from the grip of dictators.
In 2003, Iraq’s Christian population was at least 1 million. Today fewer than 400,000 remain—the result of an anti-Christian campaign that began with the U.S. occupation of Iraq, when countless Christian churches were bombed and countless Christians killed, including by crucifixion and beheading.
The 2010 Baghdad church attack, which saw nearly 60 Christian worshipers slaughtered, is the tip of a decade-long iceberg.
Now, as the United States supports the jihad on secular Syrian President Bashar Assad, the same pattern has come to Syria: Entire regions and towns where Christians lived centuries before Islam came into being have now been emptied, as the opposition targets Christians for kidnapping, plundering, and beheadings, all in compliance with mosque calls that it’s a “sacred duty” to drive Christians away.
In October 2012 the last Christian in the city of Homs—which had a Christian population of some 80,000 before jihadis came—was murdered. One teenage Syrian girl said, “We left because they were trying to kill us…because we were Christians….Those who were our neighbors turned against us. At the end, when we ran away, we went through balconies. We did not even dare go out on the street in front of our house.”
In Egypt, some 100,000 Christian Copts fled their homeland soon after the “Arab Spring.” In September 2012, the Sinai’s small Christian community was attacked and evicted by al-Qaeda-linked Muslims, Reuters reported.
But even before that, the Coptic Orthodox Church lamented the “repeated incidents of displacement of Copts from their homes, whether by force or threat. Displacements began in Ameriya [62 Christian families evicted], then they stretched to Dahshur [120 Christian families evicted], and today terror and threats have reached the hearts and souls of our Coptic children in Sinai.”
Iraq, Syria, and Egypt are the Arab world. But even in “black” African and “white” European nations with Muslim majorities, Christians are fleeing.
In Mali, after a 2012 Islamic coup, as many as 200,000 Christians fled. According to reports, “the church in Mali faces being eradicated,” especially in the north “where rebels want to establish an independent Islamist state and drive Christians out…there have been house-to-house searches for Christians who might be in hiding; church and Christian property have been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Christian relatives.” At least one pastor was beheaded.
Even in European Bosnia, Christians are leaving en masse “amid mounting discrimination and Islamization.” Only 440,000 Catholics remain in the Balkan nation, half the prewar figure. Problems cited are typical: “While dozens of mosques were built in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, no building permissions were given for Christian churches.”
“Time is running out as there is a worrisome rise in radicalism,” said one authority, who further added that the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina were “persecuted for centuries” after European powers “failed to support them in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire.”
And so history repeats itself. One can go on and on.
Raymond Ibrahim, a widely published author and Middle East and Islam specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
(Used by permission.)