Christians: The world’s most persecuted people

By Paul Vallely in The Independent

The former Chief Rabbi [Jonathan Sacks] is appalled at the lack of protest about the treatment of Christians round the globe, and so should we be.



One woman, at least, is safe. Throughout much of her pregnancy, she had been in prison in Khartoum, capital of the Republic Sudan, living with the dread expectation that she would be hanged once her baby was born. Her crime was that she had married a Christian and been accused by the authorities of apostasy, renouncing her faith, even though she maintained she had never been a Muslim in the first place. on Thursday, Meriam Ibrahim’s eight-month ordeal finally ended when she was flown out of the country to Rome where she, and her new baby daughter, met the Pope in the Vatican.

But it has been a different story for the 3,000 Christians of Mosul who were driven from their homes in northern Iraq last week by Islamist fanatics who broadcast a fatwa from the loudspeakers of the city’s mosques ordering them to convert to Islam, submit to its rule and pay a religious levy, or be put to death if they stayed. The last to leave was a disabled woman who could not travel. The fanatics arrived at her home and told her they would cut off her head with a sword.

Most people in the West would be surprised by the answer to the question: who are the most persecuted people in the world? According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular group with members in 38 states worldwide, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. The Centre for the Study of Global Christianity in the United States estimates that 100,000 Christians now die every year, targeted because of their faith – that is 11 every hour. The Pew Research Center says that hostility to religion reached a new high in 2012, when Christians faced some form of discrimination in 139 countries, almost three-quarters of the world’s nations. Continue reading…


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18 Responses to Christians: The world’s most persecuted people

  1. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    Are these just interesting times or are they diabolical times……..?


  2. toadspittle says:

    …Are all times diabolical – and are current times more diabolical than World War Two, for example? I think not.
    Interesting times certainly, though.
    Anyway, much to chew on here.
    “All this seems counter-intuitive here in the West where the history of Christianity has been one of cultural dominance and control ever since the Emperor Constantine converted and made the Roman Empire Christian in the 4th century AD.”
    Which, put another way, subtly reminds us that Christianity has traditionally been one of the prime cutters-off of dissenting heads for the past sixteen-hundred or so years.
    …And which, of course, in no way makes the fact – that they are currently on the receiving end of the sword – any more palatable.


  3. Tom Fisher says:

    Oh shut up Toad.
    The annihilation of the Christian people in some of our Faith’s most ancient homelands, and the violent persecution of Christians across large swathes the globe, is just one half of an unfolding disaster. The West is engaged in deliberate cultural amnesia, at the very time that it most needs to remember it’s own identity.


  4. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    No Toad please don’t shut up. I think you have too much to offer. But Please……. ?


  5. toadspittle says:

    Tom, am I suggesting – for as much as a millisecond – that it isn’t?
    And, yes it needs considerably more media cover.

    It is the latest chapter in an ongoing, and clearly endless, succession of acrimonious and bloody religious disputes over what Montaigne dryly categorises as, “…differences of opinion.”

    There will be yet others to follow, in due time, no doubt.
    …Surely, you don’t disagree with that?


  6. GC says:

    Toad, I am not aware of any Catholic teaching that requires the cutting off of any dissenters’ noggins. Most fortunately for you, dear Toad, I’d say.


  7. toadspittle says:

    Are you telling me that such a thing as lopping off “dissenters’ noggins” never happened, GC?
    Or that “Catholic Teaching” required that roasting alive was the preferred method of readying heretics for eternity?

    Did I ever suggest that beheading people is a required, and in any way acceptable, item in “Catholic Teaching?” …Any more than child molesting? (But they do it anyway.)

    If I absent-mindedly did, (and it’s possible) I apologise unreservedly. I was wrong.


  8. kathleen says:

    Many of the Catholic reports and graphic photos I have come across on the web are just too horrific to be able to publish them on our blog – it is nothing but a brutal carnage of innocent people for being what they are – followers of Christ! This tragedy is of such a magnitude, and it pulls so much on my heart-strings, I find it hard to work out why every other Christian does not feel the same way as I do. The public Media is full of Gaza bombings (also horrible), plane crashes, and other troubles in the world, plus lots of rubbishy bits of unimportant information as usual…. but hardly anything has been mentioned about the ethnic cleansing of Christians in Mosul, or indeed anything of the enormous tragedy of such outstanding magnitude for Christians, and the whole Church – this ongoing persecution in so many countries of the world. Where is that “justice” which social do-gooders and the secular Media predicate so much about? Really, I believe there is an undercurrent of biased bitter hatred against Christianity (especially Catholicism) and all it stands for. We are fighting a lonely battle for God and His Bride, the Church.


  9. toadspittle says:

    “Really, I believe there is an undercurrent of biased bitter hatred against Christianity (especially Catholicism) and all it stands for.”
    There certainly still is in Spain although, I think, steadily dying out with time.
    I felt absolutely none in the U.S., (quite the reverse) – and none personally in the U.K. when I was there until 1990. Good deal of indifference, there though, but how painful is that?
    The rest of the world, I can’t speak of, from experience.
    Although, in the Middle East, particularly, but also Asia and Africa – it’s probably fair to say they take religion a bit too seriously, at times. And that leads to hatred, I’ve noticed.


  10. kathleen says:

    The Iraqui people are crying out for help.

    “Several hundred people gathered in front of the White House on Saturday, chanting, “Obama, Obama, where are you? Iraqi Christians call for you!”’

    “His Beatitude Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan called on the U.S. last week to intervene on behalf of persecuted Iraqi Christians.

    Younan said that the United States should combat the terrorist regime known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which increased in power substantially after the U.S. withdrew from Iraq in 2011.

    In spite of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands being forced to leave their homes in recent weeks, Ignatius Younan said the West has turned a blind eye to the travesties taking place in Iraq and Syria.

    “We are so saddened that the civilized world doesn’t really care,” he told Sirius XM host Father Jonathan Morris. “Surely there are other dramatic problems — wars around us in the Middle East… Gaza or Syria but here it’s … genocide … just because they are Christians.”….”


  11. toadspittle says:

    Well, the U.S. needs to intervene – and toot sweet as well – because this is all the Land of the Free’s fault* – for invading in 2003, making an utter balls-up of it all, and utterly destabilising the country.
    Obama’s not personally to blame – but since he foolishly put his name down to hold the presidential bag, he must pull on his rubber gloves, stick a peg on his nose, and get down to dealing with the vile results of Bush and Cheney’s befouling.

    * With a gallant assist from “Toni” Blair, we must not forget. Never.


  12. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    Toad: When all said and done and at the end of the day you are attempting to provide a political cause and solution to a debacle that is of the making of the ‘Father of Lies’ . satan is not at all interested in the Politics, but will use it to further his own cause.
    Politics and the machinations of man are not going to solve this problem. There is a greater battle going on here


  13. toadspittle says:

    “Satan is not at all interested in the Politics,”
    With respect Geoff – I must strongly disagree – and so, I suspect, will very many others.
    Everything is politics. And if Satan exists, at all*, he is a politician.
    …Ask Tony Blair.

    “Politics and the machinations of man are not going to solve this problem…”
    …Is a statement I’m strongly inclined to agree with.
    It hasn’t solved Israel so far – and I’m inclined to doubt it ever will.

    *Which I doubt.


  14. toadspittle says:

    …Although the second half of that reply will give Kathleen and others of like mind (including myself, on this) little comfort.
    Pray by all means – but also send in the drones against ISIS.
    Do not “…turn the other cheek.” (What an idea.)


  15. JabbaPapa says:

    Are you telling me that such a thing as lopping off “dissenters’ noggins” never happened, GC?

    Are you telling me that your toadal amnesia, cultural or otherwise, is once more leading you to conveniently forget the fact that the persecutions by Christians is minuscule in comparison to the persecutions of Christians since the First Century AD ?

    Or what — are you telling me that because some schoolteachers have been recently arrested for paedophile crimes that therefore all schoolteachers must all be accused by mere association ?

    Are you telling me that all of Christianity must be held to account for the crimes of some Christians some centuries ago ?


  16. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    Toad: (And if satan exist at all, which I doubt)
    Hang on a minute. This comment give rise to a whole new perspective when ‘debating’ with you. If you in fact believe that satin does not exist, then it is a whole new ball game. Maybe you have been given far too much credit in the past by people using these pages. Credit that you do not deserve. Just what do you believe? Perhaps you should come clean with your agenda….


  17. toadspittle says:

    “Are you telling me that all of Christianity must be held to account for the crimes of some Christians some centuries ago?”
    Good God no, Jabba. Where do you get such extraordinary ideas? Star Wars?
    Nor do I think that because some priests have been recently arrested (or should have been) for paedophile crimes – that therefore all priests must all be accused by mere association. Perish the thought.
    Undoubtedly, “…persecutions by Christians is minuscule in comparison to the persecutions of Christians since the First Century AD…”…Whoever suggested it wasn’t?

    But am I wrong, then, to suggest that Christians – of various assorted dogmatical stripes – have over the years, made quite a habit of doing one another in over differences of opinion? …Or not?

    Well, Geoff, I do doubt that Satan – as an “independent entity,” for want of a better expression – exists. Though I don’t know for sure, of course. In fact I doubt it far more strongly than I doubt the existence of a benevolent, caring God. Illogical, perhaps, but there we are. Although I’m prepared to accept the possible existence of some 7.5 billion “devils,” if you like to put it that way – one for each human.

    I do little else on here except try to “come clean” with my agenda.
    But, being notoriously thick, fail every time. Which agenda, roughly put, is “How do you know that?” – coupled with “We haven’t got a clue, any of us, really – have we?” Not very impressive, I admit.
    “Maybe you have been given far too much credit in the past by people using these pages.”
    …No argument there.


  18. kathleen says:

    Be careful with what you say Toad; as one of the baptised, you are really challenging your Catholic Faith.

    When a woman announced to St. Padre Pio: “I don’t believe in the Devil”, he looked into her eyes and replied chillingly: “Well, you will when you meet him!”

    P.S. “Undoubtedly, “…persecutions by Christians is minuscule in comparison to the persecutions of Christians since the First Century AD…”…Whoever suggested it wasn’t?”

    You, of course, by continually (and boringly) bringing up the sins of a few to justify the massive horrors committed against Christians.


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