30 countries: photos & brief descriptions:
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria, Mauritania, Iraq, Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, Kenya-Somalia, Tanzania, Mali, Philippines, Tunisia, Sudan & South Sudan, Thailand, Brunei, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, Belgium, Great Britain, France, Spain, United States.
Pakistan: Peshawar church, 2 Muslim suicide bombers, 2013. Photo: NY Times.
Pakistan: Christian church burned by Muslims, 2012. Photo: cited in Catholic Online (no other credit).
Pakistan’s 3 million Christians face economic marginalization and persecution at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists, besides the random and major attacks and church bombings in recent years. (USA Today; edited).
For five million Ahmadis, religious persecution has been particularly severe and systematic in Pakistan, which is the only state to have officially declared that Ahmadis are non-Muslims… As a result, persecution and hate-related incidents are regularly reported from different parts of the country. (Wikipedia).
Violence against Hindus, Christians, any non-Muslim minority. Arson, rape, murder in random attacks. False accusations of blasphemy ‘justify’ violent attacks.
The suppression of opposition – whether ideological or political – has become habitual in Bangladesh. The government jails leaders of the opposition and sues newspaper editors for defamation and sedition.
The army occupies large tracts of southern Bangladesh, turning indigenous lands into a militarized zones. Religious minorities are driven from their ancestral homes, their daughters and wives intimidated by rape (in article in the Guardian).
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any nation. Muslim extremism is on the rise here, as it is in many nations in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Pictures of churches destroyed either by Muslim mob action (1st pic) or by Indonesian government (2nd pic). (no citations).
Theoretically, Indonesia is a model democracy with a 90% Muslim population. The reality on the ground is one of conflict, riots, persecution in certain areas of the vast island archipelago, especially in the western Aceh area, and in the northern more isolated smaller island chains. There have been both Muslim & Christian casualties in riots in some areas since the late 1990s. Informative articles over recent years are @–
where it can be seen that persecution of Christians and forced closing of churches is increasing over time in Indonesia into 2016.
Attacks on Christians in the North and central part of Nigeria have been going on for 15 + years, killing more than 60,000 people. It has been a combination of Boko Haram Islamic militants and militant-supported Fulani Muslim tribal herdsmen, who want the Christian farmers driven out. Church bombed. Photo: AlterNet, Agence France Presse.
The conflict has pushed food insecurity and malnutrition to emergency levels in northeast Nigeria, according to the Nigerian government.
Muslim extremism became violent toward Coptic Christians after Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhod was deposed as President of Egypt in 2013. As President, Morsi had issued a temporary constitutional declaration in late November that in effect granted him unlimited powers and the power to legislate without judicial oversight or review of his acts. The temporary constitutional declaration was called for a referendum, an act that his opponents called an “Islamist coup”. These issues, along with complaints of prosecutions of journalists and attacks on nonviolent demonstrators, brought millions of protesters to the streets in the 2012 Egyptian protests that continued into 2013. (Wikipedia, et. al.).
Photo: Coptic Christians pray in their ruined church (by Muslim mob). Raymond Ibrahim (no credit supplied).
Church destroyed by Muslim mob. Photo: BosNewsLife. Christians are 62%, Muslims 33% of the population. The State policy is against any religious persecution, and no political party is allowed to be based on a religion. But extremists sometimes take action on their own. (Summary of information from Wikipedia, et.al. )
Deliberate destruction of Christian churches by Islamic militants of all stripes: ISIS, Al-Qaeda, & numerous other jihadist groups during the Syrian conflict from 2011 to the present. Photo: Barnabas Fund.
after setting off explosives Wednesday. Members of the al-Qaida affiliated group, which seeks to make Somalia a fundamentalist Islamic state, detonated an explosives-filled car at the hotel’s gate, and followed with a siege of the four-story hotel. (Jihad Watch). At least 13 people and three attackers were killed… 40 injured, a security official said. (CNN).
June 26, 2016: 14 Killed In Hotel Attack In Somalian Capital Mogadishu.
Fire is seen at the scene of a car bomb attack claimed by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab terrorists which killed at least 5 people, on the Naasa Hablood hotel in Mogadishu on June 25, 2016. (AFP Photo)
Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the latest in a series of hotel attacks in Mogadishu. (NDTV)
The Mali mission is the most dangerous active deployment for UN peacekeepers and it has been hit by sharp internal tensions since its launch in July 2013 to face jihadist uprising.
As of May, 2016: at least 64 MINUSMA peacekeepers have been killed while on active service, while another four have died in friendly fire incidents, UN figures show.
The north has seen repeated violence since it fell under the control of Tuareg-led rebels who allied with jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in 2012.
The Islamists were largely ousted by an ongoing French-led military operation launched in January 2013, but they have since carried out sporadic attacks on security forces from desert hideouts. (AFP Source).
Sudan & South Sudan:
May 29, 2016: Sudanese gov’t (Muslim) drops barrel bombs on Christian primary schools for children in the Nuba mountains. Also bombs dropped in general area, for random effect.
“Heiban locality has been targeted repeatedly in recent weeks. A baby died in a raid on the area on Monday, and six other people were wounded. In a raid on Heiban on 1 May, six children perished.”
“The civilian deaths have prompted widespread condemnation and outrage from organisations within Sudan and abroad.” … “The members of the ‘Troika’ (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States) are appalled by the Sudanese government’s aerial bombardment of civilians in Kauda and the Heiban area of South Kordofan, including the bombing of St Vincent Elementary School on 25 May.” Link to complete story.
Small country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo. Islam is the official religion of Brunei, specifically that of the Sunni branch, as dictated by the Mudabh of Shafi’i. Two-thirds of the population, including the majority of Bruneian Malays and Bruneian Chinese, adhere to Islam. Other faiths practised are Buddhism (13%, mainly by the Chinese) and Christianity (10%). (Wikipedia)
Brunei’s revised penal code came into force on April 22, 2014, stipulating the death penalty for numerous offences— insult or defamation of the Prophet Mohammed, insulting any verses of the Quran and Hadith, blasphemy, declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim, robbery, rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims and murder. Stoning to death was the specified “method of execution for crimes of a sexual nature.” Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) declared that, “Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offences contravenes international law.” (Wikipedia)
While religious freedom is guaranteed under Brunei’s constitution, Christians face a variety of restrictions, including confiscation of religious materials intended for distribution and sale, and prohibitions on religious teaching in private, non-Islamic schools. Evangelism and conversion to Christianity is prohibited, Bible importation is forbidden and the government regularly ignores requests to build or expand churches. Even religious symbols on imported magazines are censored. There are only three registered churches in the country, all built during the colonial era. No new churches have been permitted, so believers must meet secretly. (Voice of the Martyrs).
Photo below: Jay Leno attends a rally protesting against Brunei’s new strict Sharia law penal code outside the Beverly Hills Hotel on May 5. Photo by Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters
Sharia law has been fully implemented since 2011 for all Muslims in the country. Islam governs all spheres of life in Brunei. Christian pastors and workers are considered ‘enemies’. Entering a tribal village will be monitored by government spies and police. In Brunei, there is a community of expatriate Christians, as well as a community of converts who have to remain largely in hiding. Anglican and Catholic churches are the only recognized Christian communities in the country, but even they have to be very careful. They are able to celebrate services, but apart from that, they are restricted. (Open Doors).
In some instances, people may even take matters into their own hands and beat an apostate to death without the case going to court. A few apostasy cases have been handled by the person being allowed to leave Afghanistan and seek asylum elsewhere, to escape execution. BBC News.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocratic monarchy in which Sunni Islam is the official state religion based on firm Sharia law and non-Muslims are not allowed to hold Saudi citizenship. Children born to Muslim fathers are by law deemed Muslim, and conversion from Islam to another religion is considered apostasy and punishable by death. Blasphemy against Sunni Islam is also punishable by death, but the more common penalty is a long prison sentence. There have been no confirmed reports of executions for either apostasy or blasphemy in recent years. Religious freedom is virtually non-existent. Sharia applies to all people inside Saudi Arabia, regardless of religion. (Wikipedia).
Germany: May 23, 2016 report in Breitbart London: ‘Religious War’: Muslim Migrants Ambush Yazidis With Knives And Baseball Bats.
A gang of Chechen Muslims wielding knives and baseball bats have allegedly “ambushed” a group of Yazidi migrants in Germany, sparking a “religious war” involving more than 100 people and leaving several hospitalised….. Multiple reports and studies on migrant centres and the migrant crisis in Germany have found that religious conflict and sexual violence is common and widespread among the new arrivals. Complete story here.
Sweden: Article comparing Sweden’s & Japan’s different policies on letting in Muslim migrants: “Sweden began opening its doors to Muslim immigrants in the 1970s. Today it pays a high price for having done so. The group suffering the severest consequences of such an open door policy has been Swedish women. As Muslim men immigrated to Sweden, they brought with them an Islamic culture sanctioning rape.” Complete article in Daily Caller.
Interview: Retired Swedish Police Chief Says Malmo Crime Skyrocketing Due To Uncontrolled Immigration, No Go Zones. Complete article here. The word “Muslim” is not used by the chief, due to gov’t pressure on officials.
Attitudes of Muslims in Sweden: Swedish Imam to Muslims: “Do Not Befriend the Unbelievers”. Complete article here.
June 28, 2016: Three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers opened fire and blew themselves up in Istanbul’s main airport, killing 41 people and wounding 239.
Sources, Reuters, BBC, AP, AFP, Open Doors.
(AFP Photo/Ozan Kose)
The attack on Europe’s third-busiest airport was the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings this year in Turkey, part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State and struggling to contain spillover from neighboring Syria’s war.
One of the attackers blew himself up outside the terminal after the group opened fire at a security check, allowing the other two to enter the building and detonate explosives there.
Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag says that 128 people remain in hospital, including nationals of Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Switzerland, the Associated Press reports.
Besides these kind of attacks, Turkey’s government has become more oppressive of Christians over recent years. Here is a statement from Open Doors:
There are three notable trends in Turkey at the moment: the presence of radical Islam, the ethnic conflict, and the changing political scene. Each of these trends are linked to each other, and all of them will affect Christians in Turkey. Persecution in Turkey is shaped by Islamic extremism, and is increasingly marked by violence. This suggests that the ever-present pressure on the Church is now translating into open opposition. Pressure on believers from Muslim backgrounds is especially acute due to the Islamic social environment. Increasing pressure on Christians is fueled by Turkish nationalism and a regime that aims to Islamize the country. In August 2015, fifteen Turkish protestant pastors received death threats from Islamic State militants, just one example of the growing dangers Christians in the country are facing.
On the morning of 22 March 2016, three coordinated nail bombings by Muslim terrorists occurred in Belgium: two at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and one at Maalbeek metro station in Brussels. In these attacks, 32 victims and three perpetrators were killed, and over 300 people were injured. (Wikipedia). ISIS claimed responsibility. The bombings were the deadliest act of terrorism in Belgium’s history.
Photo: Destruction from the bombing in Brussels Airport; the Sun.
July 7, 2005 Muslim extremists bomb London. 52 civilians were killed, over 700 more injured. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/PA Wire/Associated Press.