There's no disputing that persecution and genocide of Christians worldwide are perpetrated largely by Muslims.
Islamic states dominate the World Watch List of most dangerous countries for Christians, accounting for 9 out of 11 in the 'extreme persecution' category, and 22 out of 29 in the 'very high persecution' category.
This week sees the publication of the Bishop of Truro's comprehensive review of Christian persecution.
Commissioned by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the report estimates that one in three people worldwide suffer some form of religious persecution - ranging from employment discrimination to outright slaughter - with Christians by far the worst afflicted group.
Though the bishop tries to downplay Muslim culpability...
Christian persecution... is certainly not limited to Islamic majority contexts. So this review is not a stalking horse for the Islamophobic far right, and nor does it give the Islamophobic right a stick to beat Islam with.
... and even manages to drag in the 'shame of the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Pogroms', the main body of his report is pretty frank:
Some of the most egregious persecution of Christians has taken place in Sub-Saharan Africa, where reports showed a surge in attacks during the period under review. ... The most serious threat to Christian communities came from the militant Islamist group Boko Haram in Nigeria, where direct targeting of Christian believers on a comprehensive scale set out to 'eliminate Christianity and pave the way for the total Islamisation of the country'. (p. 31)
The act that most people associate with genocide is, 'killing members of the group' and from the outset of the occupation of Mosul, ISIS made it clear that they expected Christians to convert to Islam or die. (p. 53)
Elias Gargous, a Christian man from Rableh, western Syria, described how he and his nephew were among 213 kidnapped by Al Nusra Front, who told them 'Christians are pigs. You don't deserve to live.' (p. 93)
Unfortunately, this report is too little, too late for many Christians and Christian communities.
However, Mr Hunt deserves credit for exposing Christian genocide when other mainstream politicians (and too many Church leaders) would rather sweep the issue under the carpet.
Click here to download the full report.XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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