Archive for attacks

Religious Tensions in Egypt

Posted in Egypt with tags , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by Mike

The Middle East Times has an interesting article about the increasing religious tensions between the country’s Muslims and its Coptic Christians.

Still, to say that Egypt’s Christian Copts — 16 million in a country of 81.7 million — have coexisted peacefully with the Muslim majority may be stretching the truth. While the two communities have largely gotten along over the years, there have been periodic clashes, some of them violent, some of them leaving many dead and wounded.

Ever since the Muslims became the majority in Egypt around the middle of the first century, Egypt’s Christians and followers of St. Mark the apostle and evangelist, known as Copts, found themselves relegated to the position of second-class citizens. Their situation began to improve in the early 19th century under the stability and tolerance brought to the country under the dynasty of Mohammad Ali.

Yet, despite Egypt’s generally more moderate approach to religion when compared with other Muslim countries — such as Saudi Arabia, for example — strife between the country’s Muslim and Christian communities will periodically make the headlines.

Ahmad al-Aswani, an Egyptian writer, posted on June 7 an essay on the liberal Web site Aafaq.org, in which he sheds light on a series of escalating attacks on members of the Copts community.

“What is happening to our Coptic brothers … is no longer a matter of sporadic incidents,” writes al-Aswani. “It is open season on Egypt’s Copts,” said the Egyptian writer in a dispatch translated from Arabic by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

“It is no longer a matter of sporadic incidents,” said al-Aswani.

Read the rest of the article for examples of the violence that Muslims have committed against Christians.

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Pastor Beaten, Robbed in India

Posted in India with tags , , , , , on May 30, 2008 by Mike

Journal Chretien is reporting that a pastor was attacked, beaten, and robbed by two Hindu village leaders in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

…two village leaders of the Hindu Radical group Bajrang Dal (Monkey Brigade) attacked him with iron rods and wooden clubs. One of the men hit Rampal on his head with an iron rod, and he fell to the ground unconscious and bleeding heavily. They then robbed Rampal of 3,000 Indian rupees ($70.4722 USD), which was in his shirt pocket, given by one of the believers for some work to be done.

Hearing the pastor’s scream for help, the believers of the village rushed to the spot and took Rampal to the nearby Government hospital and got his head wound dressed. He gained consciousness and he was given medicines too.

Christian Loses Eye at Hands of Pakistani Muslims

Posted in Pakistan with tags , , , , , , , on February 17, 2008 by Mike

In yet another story of Muslim mobs attacking Christians, Christian News Today is reporting that a Muslim gouged out the eye of a Christian Pakistani with a dagger after he refused to kneel down.

“We will take out eyes of every infidel who shall dare to look straight in our eyes,” the PCP quoted one of the Muslims as saying.

Khariat Masih, who advanced to release John from the mob’s clutches suffered injuries to his head, abdomen and legs after he was attacked with an axe.

The area Christian Councilor, Basharat Masih, rushed to defuse tension and to prevent attackers but he was brutally beaten with sticks. His mother Salima Bibi fell to save his son Basharat Masih from attackers but she was also dragged by hair in courtyard, said the story.

Later, Muslim mob broke out doors, which have been closed in fear of attack and dragged out children, men, women and elders. In gunfire, mob disgraced women and tortured men before their families, the story said.

The police came after attack and arrested Christians instead to registering any case against the Muslims. The police officials later started inquiry of incident in light of a property dispute between the two groups, the story maintained.

On the intervention of senior officials, John Masih, Khariat Masih, Basharat Masih, Salima Bibi, and three other were admitted in hospital. John Masih and Khariat Masih are said to be in critical condition.

Christian Students Attacked in Nigeria by Muslims

Posted in Nigeria with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2008 by Mike

Muslim students in Nigeria are turning to deception and violence to get Christian students thrown out of public high schools, according to report in Christian News Today. A group of Muslim students accused a Christian student of writing a “blasphemous” article about Muhammad, and consequently went on a rampage.

One of the injured minors who suffered knife and machete wounds, Ahmadu Inuwa, said the accused Christian student, Ashiru Danlami, could not possibly have written the alleged English-language article as he could hardly speak in English, much less write in the language. Inuwa said school authorities had established this fact.

The Rev. Samaila Kogo of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), from Sumaila, told Compass his investigations showed that Muslim students wrote and published the blasphemous article as a pretext for attacking Christian students. This strategy, he said, is used in schools across northern Nigeria to force Christian students out of schools.

The enfuriating part is that the school tried to expel the student, not because it believed he had written the article, but because the school knew about the Muslim students’ plans to attack the Christians if they continued attending the school.

“In spite of the suspension of Danlami from school, the plan to attack Christian students there went on, and this forced all these Christian students to flee from the school,” Rev. Kogo said. “It was at this point that the school authority and the police met and decided that the Christian students be called back to school with an assurance that nothing would happen to them.”

Nevertheless, only two of the 57 Christian students who had fled threats dared to return to the school, he said. Inuwa and Isiaku Dogo – final-year students with only a few months to graduate – felt they needed to be in class to prepare for finals. Muslim students assaulted them with knives and machetes.

Having injured the two Christian students, Christian sources said, the Muslim students went directly to the town’s police station, where they killed the Christian police officer and burned down the police station.

This is another case of a society that cows in fear of violent Muslims instead of standing up to them and demanding that they obey the laws of civility and common decency. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Nigeria that they will stand strong in their faith and defend the Gospel.

More Details on Orissa

Posted in India with tags , , , , , , on January 29, 2008 by Mike

CBN News is providing more details on what exactly has happened to the hundreds of Christians that have been attacked in recent weeks in Orissa state, India.

Hundreds of homes and churches were destroyed. More than 2,000 Christians are in refugee camps. Hundreds more are hiding in the jungles for fear of another attack.

“As the mob was destroying our churches I could hear them chanting ‘Victory to our Hindu gods,'” said Kandhamal pastor Solomon Nayak. “All we could do was hide in our homes and pray.”

Dr. Sajan George, who heads the Global Council of Indian Christians, was asked if he had any evidence that the violent onslaught was a coordinated and planned attack.

“This was well coordinated, well orchestrated because it has happened in 80 different places,” he replied.

George’s organization documents the persecution of Christian in India. He says the attacks weren’t just random acts of violence.

“They marked the houses, they knew were the churches were and they spontaneously went and attacked,” George said.

George and other Christian leaders believe the attacks are part of a much larger campaign by Hindu fanatics to stop lower-caste Hindus known as Untouchables or Dalits from converting to Christianity.

“God is moving among the Dalits and setting us free. The Hindus don’t like this. So they accuse us of bribing and forcing others to convert and this is not true,” Dalit convert Daniel Digal said.

More details on Indian attacks

Posted in India with tags , , , , , on January 20, 2008 by Mike

World Vision office destroyed by Hindu attackers in OrissaChristian Today has more details on the attacks on Christians that occurred this week in Chhattisgarh, the neighboring state of Orissa.

Around 100 unknown attackers armed with lathis weapons (sticks) and petrol bombs attacked a prayer meeting led by Pastor Mohan C Thomas and Jose Kajur in Bothli village of Gurur area of Durg district., reports the Evangelical Fellowship of India.

The attackers rushed to the attack site in a truck where around 2,500 people from nearby villages had gathered to attend an open air prayer meeting last Wednesday.

The innocent Christian worshippers and workers were targeted on the pretext of forceful conversion. In a brutal attack lasting around 10 minutes, the attackers beat them mercilessly and burnt the huge pandal (tent) where they were assembled down to ashes, according to the EFI’s General Secretary, the Rev Dr Richard Howell. The incident was witnessed by viewers on a prime News Channel IBN 7.

Hamas Failing to Protect Gaza Christians

Posted in Gaza Strip with tags , , , , on December 13, 2007 by Mike

The World Tribune is reporting that Hamas has done virtually nothing to protect the tiny community of Christians who live in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources said the Islamist regime has not arrested suspects in attacks on the estimated 2,500 Christians in the Gaza Strip. They attributed the assaults to either Hamas operatives or their allies.

“Hamas has limited its response to attacks on the Christian community to verbal condemnations,” a Palestinian source said. “It has not taken efforts to capture those who have targeted Christians.”

The attacks have focused on churches and homes around Gaza City. On Dec. 8, four masked gunmen dressed as Islamic fundamentalists sought to abduct a guard at a church in Gaza City, the second attack since October 2007.

The attempted abduction was foiled by shopkeepers near the church who began shouting. The gunmen fired several shots in the air and drove away in a waiting car.

The sources said the attackers have sought to intimidate Christians into handing over deeds to property. They said the church was attacked because it contains many of the valuables that Christians would not keep at home.

“We believe there are elements who want to drive Christians out of the Gaza Strip,” a church source said. “We have gone to the government and there has not been a response.”