via Raymond Ibrahim.
“The city of Mosul alone had 45 churches. Now there is not a single one. The buildings have been destroyed. Four hundred churches have been destroyed in Syria. … The same is happening in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Northern Africa.” — Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia
Just two months after the Islamic State [IS] published a video depicting its membersslaughtering 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, on Sunday, April 19, the jihadi Islamic groupreleased another video of more Christians in Libya — approximately 30 Ethiopians — disparagingly referred to by an IS spokesman as “worshippers of the cross” — being butchered for not paying jizya, extortion money demanded of the “People of the Book” who refuse to convert to Islam, according to Koran 9:29.
Some of the Christians were shot execution-style in the back of their heads, the others had their heads carved off, like the Copts before them.
The IS spokesman further addressed “Christians everywhere”:
We say to Christians everywhere, the Islamic State will expand, with Allah’s permission. And it will reach you even if you are in fortified strongholds. So whoever enters Islam will have security, and whoever accepts the Dhimmahcontract [subjugated, third-class treatment and social status] will have security. But whoever refuses will see nothing from us but the edge of a spear. The men will be killed and the children will be enslaved, and their wealth will be taken as booty. This is the judgment of Allah and His Messenger.
In a statement, the Coptic Christian Church of Egypt pointed out that the Ethiopian martyrs, like the 21 Copts before them, were “murdered purely for refusing to renounce their faith.”
Al Shabaab Murders 147, Separates Muslims from Christians
On April 2 in Kenya, gunmen from the Somali Islamic group, Al Shabaab — “the [Islamic] youth” — stormed Garissa University, singled out Christian students, and murdered them, beheading some. A total of 147 people were killed in the attack — making this jihad more “spectacular” than the 2013 Al Shabaab attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, which left 67 people dead (then too, Islamic gunmen singled out Christians for slaughter).
Islamic gunmen were careful to separate Christians from Muslims before beginning the carnage, eyewitnesses said. (While Kenya is 83% Christian, it still has an 11% Muslim minority.) Collins Wetangula, vice chairman of the student union, said he could hear, from inside his room where he was hiding, the gunmen opening doors and inquiring if the people inside were Muslims or Christians. “If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot. With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.”
Al Shabaab has a long history of singling out Christians from among Muslims for slaughter (here are four examples). Other jihadi groups, including Boko Haram and theIslamic State, also make it a point to select out Christians before slaughtering them — a fact often omitted by the “mainstream media.”
Egyptian Churches under Attack
On April 5, as Coptic Christians were celebrating Palm Sunday, a church was attacked in Alexandria, Egypt. Gunmen in a vehicle opened fire on the church during the night, injuring a police officer and two civilians.
On April 12, Easter Sunday according to the Orthodox calendar, two explosions targeting churches took place in the Zagazig area. One car explosion took place near a Coptic Orthodox church and another bomb exploded near the Evangelical Church in the same area. Although no casualties were reported, large numbers could have easily resulted, based on precedent. For example, on January 1, 2011, as Egypt’s Christians ushered in the New Year, car bombs went off near the Two Saints Church in Alexandria, resulting in 23 dead worshippers and dozens critically injured.
Muslims rioted because President Sisi had agreed that Copts could build a church in Al-Our, where 13 of the 21 Christians beheaded by the Islamic State had grown up, and where their families still live. Local Muslims arose in violence soon after Islamic prayers on Friday, April 3. They shouted that they would never allow a church to be built, that “Egypt is Islamic!” By nightfall, Molotov cocktails and stones were thrown at another Coptic church, cars were set ablaze — including one belonging to a relative of a man decapitated by the Islamic State — and several people were injured.
A day later, on April 4, Muslims rioted and attacked the Christians of the village of Gala’, Samalout district. After waiting for years to repair their dilapidated church (see pictures), local Copts finally received all the proper permits to begin restoration. Soon Coptic homes, businesses and persons were attacked with hurled rocks. Christian-owned farms were destroyed and their crops uprooted. Islamic slogans were constantly shouted, including “There is no god but Allah” and “Islamic! Islamic!”
After waiting for 44 years, the Christians of Nag Shenouda, in the city of Sohag, finally received the necessary permit to build a new church. Muslims rioted and burned down the tent the Christians had erected to worship under. The Christians of Nag Shenouda were forced to celebrate Easter in the street (picture here). When one of them tried to hold a worship service in his home, a Muslim mob attacked him and his household.
More Islamic Attacks on Christian Churches
Syria: The Islamic State destroyed at least three churches under its control:
On Easter Sunday, the Islamic State destroyed the Virgin Mary Church — an Assyrian church built and consecrated in 1934 — in Tel Nasri, northeast Syria. Tel Nasri, loosely translated as “Christian Hill,” is one of the dozens of Assyrian Christian villages along the Khabur river; all were attacked and occupied by the Islamic State in late February (more here and here).
On April 28, the St. Odisho Assyrian Church in Tel Tal, and the St. Rita Tilel Armenian Church in Aleppo, were also destroyed.
Nigeria: A Muslim mob set fire to a church in a Christian village in Nigeria’s northern Kano State on April 1. Muslims were searching for a young man in order to kill him; he had renounced Islam and re-converted to Christianity. The mob with machetes also attacked Christian villagers, torched the home of a pastor, and killed one of his daughters. According to a local official, General Dikko:
The church and all the properties were burnt down in the presence of the Christian community despite all pleadings for them to stop the destruction. The arsonists gathered cornstalks and put them inside the church in order to cause greater damage…. We have the right to belong to any religion of our choice and live anywhere in this country. We call on the authorities at all levels to rise up to their responsibilities of protecting lives and properties of every citizen in this country.