Christianity Near Extinction in the Ancient Lands of Its Origin

(Washington Times) Jeffrey T. Kuhner - Many Christians across the Middle East are in peril: Muslim fanatics seek to exterminate them. After al-Qaeda gunmen stormed an Assyrian Catholic church in Baghdad during Mass, slaughtering 51 worshippers and two priests, al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia issued a bulletin claiming that "all Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for" jihadists. The Assyrians are one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, going back to the time of Christ. Some even speak Aramaic. Nearly two-thirds of the 500,000 Christians in Baghdad have fled or been killed. In Mosul, about 100,000 Christians used to live there. Now, just 5,000 remain. In Egypt, Coptic Christians routinely are murdered, persecuted and prevented from worshipping. In Saudi Arabia, Muslim converts to Christianity are executed. In Turkey, Islamists have butchered priests and nuns. In Lebanon, Christians have dwindled, menaced by surging Shiite and Sunni populations. If Muslims - funded and supported by Saudi Arabia - can build mosques and madrassas in Europe and America, then Christians should be entitled to build churches in the Arab world. Clearly, some Muslims cannot live in peaceful coexistence with non-Muslim peoples - especially in countries where Muslims form the majority. Christian minorities living in the overwhelmingly Muslim-dominated Middle East pose no possible danger to Islamic hegemony. Hence, why the hatred against them?

2010-12-24 08:20:49

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