They Cry in Silence July/Aug 2007

Freedom of speech is not a right for Christians in many parts of the Muslim world. Compass News Direct has reported a gruesome example of the price Christians in a host of countries pay to express themselves.

On April 18 five young Muslim radicals stormed a Christian publishing office in southeastern Turkey and took the three Christians there hostage. After binding them to chairs, the attackers methodically dismembered them alive, cut their throats, and then attempted to flee. Two of the victims—Necati Aydin, 36, and Ugur Yuksel, 32—were Turkish converts from Islam. Tilmann Geske, 46, was a German citizen.

Under police interrogation, all five of the attackers admitted responsibility, saying they were motivated by “nationalistic and religious feelings….We did this for our country. They [Christians] are attacking our religion.”

Although the men claimed they had slain the Christians in defense of their country, Turkish authorities failed to agree or justify the atrocity as having anything to do with patriotism. Government leaders quickly denounced the murders and promised a full investigation.

According to Turkish law, it is perfectly legal to evangelize as long as there are no proven political motives. However, in spite of government guarantees, some officials have been accused of turning a blind eye to hostility against non-Muslims and even openly criticizing missionary activities. Questions have also been raised over the reluctance of local police and prosecutors to investigate threats and vandalism against Christians and churches.

Patriotism and love of country are not at the root of such outrageous behavior. The root is religion—in this case, Islamic fanaticism. There exists in almost every country violent people who are willing and even eager to slaughter innocent Christians. This fact is especially true of those who are professedly aggrieved by others who have left religions they did not choose for themselves but, rather, were born into and therefore considered adherents for life—like it or not. For radical Islamists, choosing Christ and Christianity is a capital offense punishable by death; thus the motivation for such infamous acts as the bloody murders in Turkey.

A major consideration for free societies is their inability to protect peaceful people against roving bands of assassins who have no regard for laws guaranteeing religious freedom for all citizens. And such religious vigilantism is not restricted to converts only. It goes after any “infidels” branded offenders against Allah and the Qur’an. These self-appointed protectors of Islam are willing to attack and destroy as they see fit, all in the name of their religion. Therefore, with the surge of an international crusade to establish a global, Islamic caliphate, few safe havens now remain.

Nowhere are Christian leaders issuing religious decrees (fatwas) against offenders of Christ and the church. It is not Christian believers who are sending decapitation squads into publishing houses with murder on their minds. It is ours, rather, to encircle our believing family worldwide with prayer and tangible acts of love and mercy to show the world that Christ and Allah are not the same. And neither are their followers.

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