“We Are Going to Kill You and Destroy Your Church”: The Persecution of Christians, November 2022/By: Raymond Ibrahim/Gatestone Institute/December 21, 2022/سوف نقتلكم وندمر كنائسكم/ريموند إبراهيم من موقع كايتستون: قائمة مفصلة بحوادث اضطهاد المسيحيين في العالم خلال شهر تشرين الثاني/2022

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سوف نقتلكم وندمر كنائسكم/ريموند إبراهيم من موقع كايتستون: قائمة مفصلة بحوادث اضطهاد المسيحيين في العالم خلال شهر تشرين الثاني/2022

“We Are Going to Kill You and Destroy Your Church”: The Persecution of Christians, November 2022
Raymond Ibrahim/Gatestone Institute/December 21, 2022

Without any prior notice, government authorities bulldozed the church and homes of 200 Christians in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, leaving them homeless. “The timing is particularly concerning, coming so soon after costly and devastating floods, and with winter already here and temperatures plummeting.” — The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement, November 26, 2022.

108 Medieval and early modern Armenian monasteries, churches and cemeteries, between 1997 and 2011, have already experienced “complete destruction,” according to Caucasus Heritage Watch. “[N]ew satellite imagery….showed how a monastery, more than 700 years old , was destroyed, then re-erected as a mosque. — theartnewspaper.com, November 25, 2022, Azerbaijan.

“There has been a marked uptick in religiously motivated attacks by Palestinian Muslims on Christians in Bethlehem….. The Palestinian Authority, responsible for security in the area, did nothing.” — Israel365.com, November 21, 2022.

“I want to burn Christianity … we have incinerators and holocausts like Hitler, a lesson from history…. I swear to Allah we will cause chaos and kill the non-believers…. Whoever is not happy, a bullet in their head, I don’t want a single person alive who would oppose Sharia.” — Tarek Namouz, 42, a barber shop owner in London who, on seven separate occasions, sent £25,000 to ISIS fighters in Syria, Daily Mail, December 15, 2022.

“We will escalate the war against you until you submit to Islam… Our desire is to kill you or be killed, for we are martyrs before Allah, so submit or run from us.” — Message on social media addressed to “the Mozambican crusader army,” it also targeted Christians and Jews, whom it offered “three choices: submit to Islam, pay tax [jizya], or accept endless war.” — Zitamar News; November, 18, 2022, Mozambique

“Even when an abducted girl is found by police she will not be returned to her family. Instead she is sent to a Women’s refuge centre that is meant to be impartial but is corruptible. Muslim rapists or their friends gain access to these protective centres and threaten to kill the girl and her family unless she states she willingly married the Muslim man…. Christian children are bullied in school and even killed for their faith. This prevents Christian families sending them to school which perpetuates levels of illiteracy. …. Provincial Curriculum text books caricature and demonize Christians and other minorities.” — British Asian Christian Association, November 27, 2022, Pakistan.

Throughout the month of October 2022, at least 21 Christians were slaughtered by “Islamist extremists” in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique. Pictured: Burned and damaged huts in the village of Aldeia da Paz, Cabo Delgado Province, following an August 1, 2019 attack on the village by an Islamist group. (Photo by Marco Longari/AFP via Getty Images)
The following are among the murders and abuses Muslims inflicted on Christians throughout the month of November 2022:

The Muslim Slaughter of Christians
Nigeria: Muslim terrorists slaughtered “at least” 40 Christians in Plateau and Kaduna states alone, according to an end of month report published on Nov. 30. They also wounded at least 20 Christians, burned down a village church and many Christian homes. One of the Christians murdered was originally abducted and held for ransom. His brother shared the treacherous outcome:

“My brother, a father of two children, was kidnapped in early October … The bandits contacted us and demanded that we pay a ransom of the amount of 200 million naira (US$450,418), but after a long process of negotiations, they reduced the ransom to 10 million naira (US$22,520). We were able to raise 3 million naira, but unfortunately after collecting the money from us, they still killed my brother on Nov. 17.”

After breaking their part of the deal by slaughtering their ransomed victim, the Muslim terrorists demanded another ransom merely to return the man’s corpse to his family. The brother continued:

“The bandits said that if we pay them [an additional] 10 million naira [US$22,520], they’ll release my brother’s corpse to us. This is a very sad and depressing situation for us as my brother was tortured to death.”

Mozambique: Throughout the month of October 2022, at least 21 Christians were slaughtered by “Islamist extremists,” a Nov. 9 report revealed:

“The Islamists … announced the killing of 20 Christians [and another in a church-burning incident below] and the displacement of hundreds more in Cabo Delgado between October 3 and 20. The attacks were carried out by an Islamic State (IS)-affiliated organisation Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, known locally as Al Shabaab (not the Somali-based group of the same name). They were announced in al-Naba, the weekly magazine of IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL, Daesh).”

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches
Mozambique: According to a Nov. 9 report, “Jihadists set fire to a church building and several houses in the Chiure district of Cabo Delgado Province on October 26, killing one person.” Along with the church they torched, the Muslim terrorists said in a communique that they had also destroyed “other church property in Cabo Delgado,” although no details were given.

Uganda: Muslims demolished a Christian church and beat its pastor for reportedly “leading 23 Muslims to Christ in August,” which “angered Muslims,” said Pastor Agaba Ezera. On Nov. 8, during evening prayers:

“From out of nowhere, people came shouting and chanting Islamic words as if they were going to attend Eid prayers. They started beating us and pushing the church building down, as well as pulling off the iron sheets.””‘You brought kafiri [infidels] here and converted our elderly woman by giving her salt and soup,” one of his assailants said, “you must die today.”

The pastor said from his hospital bed:
“I was beaten badly with blunt objects, but glory be to the Lord Jesus because I survived though they thought that they had killed me. This incident happened because of our evangelistic activities in the Muslim community of Katantala and Kapapali villages.”

Separately, in Uganda, Muslims barged into a church meeting, and attacked and stabbed a Christian pastor and his wife, and seriously wounded them. Earlier, in August, five Muslim men between the ages of 19 and 27 had converted to Christianity. Soon after, Pastor Jude Sitaalo, 56, began to receive threatening messages, in person and by phone. “Pastor, let our children come back to Islam, and if not we are going to kill you and destroy your church,” one text read. Then, on the evening of Nov. 18, while holding a Bible study in his church with his wife and 10 other church members, he saw a mosque leader followed by a band of Muslims approach the building: “They got hold of me and started beating me with sticks while one of them cut me with a long knife,” he said. “One member of the church and my wife tried to rescue me, but they were seriously beaten up with sticks.” The rest of the congregation fled for their lives. The pastor sustained knife wounds on his head, hand, and back; his wife was also slashed on the forehead and back. “We are suffering for pastoring converts from Islam,” the pastor concluded.

Pakistan: Without any prior notice, government authorities bulldozed the church and homes of 200 Christians in Islamabad, leaving them homeless. Because they were not given any warning or time to remove their belongings before the demolition, “These Christians have lost everything—their homes and all of their worldly possessions,” said the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS-UK), a human rights group, in a Nov. 26 statement:

“Many of them have lived in the colony for years, raising their families here and investing their life savings into building and maintaining their homes. It is a travesty of justice that their homes have been wiped out without any alternative provision of accommodation. The timing is particularly concerning, coming so soon after costly and devastating floods, and with winter already here and temperatures plummeting.”

In August, monsoon floods killed more than 1,700 people in Pakistan, and left hundreds of thousands of homes destroyed or damaged, prompting the government, which estimated losses to be worth $40 billion, to declare a state of emergency. Sabra Saeed Athwal, whose home was among those bulldozed, called the demolition a “criminal act” and expressed fears that two other Christian neighborhoods could be demolished next. She also indicated that “hardline Muslims” had pressured the authorities:

“This injustice has happened as Christians in Pakistan and around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas in just a few weeks…. The Pakistani government must either rebuild the homes or provide suitable shelter before Christmas as many of the colony’s residents are now living under the open sky or in tents and this is simply unacceptable. It is the state’s responsibility to treat its citizens equally and protect their lives without any distinction of race, religion and colour. The lack of care in this instance simply beggars belief…. Although we are Christian, we are Pakistani citizens too.”

Indonesia: Local officials on Java Island formally added their names to calls by Islamist organizations to block construction of a Christian church, leading to complaints of governmental interference with religious freedom. One Christian leader responded:

“This incident harms the 1945 Constitution, which guarantees equality of every citizen to adhere to a certain religion and to worship freely in accordance to their own religions.”

As is the case for churches in other Muslim nations, according to the Nov. 2 report,

“[R]equirements for obtaining permission to build houses of worship in Indonesia are onerous and hamper the establishment of such buildings for Christians and other faiths…. Such processes typically have to pass through four levels of bureaucracy before reaching the municipal level. Besides the opposition that the church faces, most applications for church construction permits in Indonesia take decades to process without support from high-ranking officials.”

United States (Pennsylvania): On Nov. 12, a 24-year-old Syrian refugee who had plotted to bomb a Pittsburgh church was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment. Citing court documents, the report says,

“[Mustafa Mousab] Alowemer plotted to bomb a church located on the north side of Pittsburgh using an explosive device. His stated motivation to conduct such an attack was to support the cause of ISIS and to inspire other ISIS supporters in the United States to join together and commit similar acts…. Alowemer was aware that numerous people in the proximity of the church could be killed by the explosion.”

Azerbaijan: A form of “cultural erasure” progresses as many ancient and medieval churches and monasteries continue to be demolished in the Nagorno-Karabakh and Nakhchivan regions, historically Armenian regions now under Azerbaijani control. According to Caucasus Heritage Watch, 108 Medieval and early modern Armenian monasteries, churches and cemeteries, between 1997 and 2011, had already experienced “complete destruction.” More recently, however, according to a Nov. 25 report, “new satellite imagery shows ongoing destruction of Armenian heritage sites. Images show disappearance of churches and cemeteries.” As one example, images showed how a monastery, more than 700 years old, was destroyed, then re-erected as a mosque.

Turkey: On Nov. 15, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Turkey had violated the human rights of a Greek Orthodox church, which it had prevented from registering in Istanbul. According to the report:

“The ECHR said that Turkey’s refusal to the Greek Orthodox Church to declare its property constitutes discrimination and ordered the country [Turkey] to pay 5,000 euros in costs and expenses.”

Before the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453, Greeks (or “Rum,” Romans of the “Byzantine” Empire) formed the majority of the population. Since then, they have been dwindling in numbers. According to the report, there were still “nearly 1.8 million [Greeks in Constantinople] in 1910 but the population was devastated following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.”

“Subsequent Turko-Greek wars, a population exchange agreed upon between Turkey and Greece in 1923, and continuous political pressure on the community have reduced their numbers to several thousand. Their foundations, churches, and their properties have also become a major political topic in Turkey as governments seized, closed or denied them registration.”

Generic Muslim Hostility for Christians
Palestinian Authority: According to a Nov. 21 report,
“There has been a marked uptick in religiously motivated attacks by Palestinian Muslims on Christians in Bethlehem. Just over two weeks ago, a Muslim man was accused of harassing young Christian women at a Forefathers Orthodox Church in Beit Sahour near the city of Bethlehem. Soon after, the church was attacked by a large mob of Palestinian men who hurled rocks at the building while congregants cowered inside. Several of the congregants were injured in the attack. The Palestinian Authority, responsible for security in the area, did nothing.”

United Kingdom: On Nov. 24, a court heard how Tarek Namouz, 42, a Muslim barber shop owner in London and recipient of thousands of pounds in taxpayer-funded Covid grants, had on seven separate occasions sent £25,000 to ISIS fighters in Syria. The court also heard how he had said:

“I want to burn Christianity … we have incinerators and holocausts like Hitler, a lesson from history…. I swear to Allah we will cause chaos and kill the non-believers…. Whoever is not happy, a bullet in their head, I don’t want a single person alive who would oppose Sharia.

Iraq: During a G20 Religion Forum in Bali, Indonesia, that was attended by more than 300 religious leaders around the world, a Christian archbishop from Iraq made several important remarks, including by warning that Christianity is “on the verge of extinction” in Iraq, where it had been for nearly two thousand years. According to Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil:

“[W]e Christians of Iraq now find ourselves on the very edge of extinction…. Now we face the end in Iraq, the same end faced by the Iraqi Jews before us, and the same end now being faced by the Yazidis, with whom we have suffered so much pain, alongside us.”

Concerning the source of all this suffering and pain, he said that there is “a fundamental crisis of violence within Islam” that “can no longer be ignored” and which “continues to affect the entire Middle East, Africa, Asia and beyond…”

“And if this crisis is not acknowledged, addressed, and fixed, then there can be no future for Christians or any other form of religious pluralism in the Middle East.

“Indeed, there is little reason to see a future for anyone in the Middle East, including within the Islamic world itself, other than in the context of continued violence, revenge, and hatred…. [Iraqi Christians are] not forgetting, but still forgiving. Can our Muslim brothers and sisters follow us in this, or will their own story of violence continue, destroying themselves eventually?…. Fundamentally, this change in direction can only come about as the conscious work of the Islamic world itself.”

After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the number of Christians was decimated, going from about 1.5 million to under 200,000 now. Even though the Islamic State’s stronghold in the Nineveh Plains was overthrow in 2017, the rapidly dwindling Christian population continues to be harried. According to a fact sheet:

“In June 2020, Christian villages were bombed in Turkey’s largest operation in the area since 2015, forcing many Christians to flee. In May 2021, Christian villages were evacuated following Turkish bombing in the region. Christians were not protected by the local government. Many Christians are also seriously affected by intolerance and persecution. This is perpetuated mostly by militant Islamic groups and non-Christian leaders. They also face discrimination from government authorities. In central and southern Iraq, Christians often do not publicly display Christian symbols (such as crosses) as this can lead to harassment or discrimination at checkpoints, universities, workplaces and government buildings. Outspoken believers in the region have frequently become targets. Blasphemy laws can be used against Christians suspected of carrying out outreach among Muslims.”

Mozambique: On Nov. 10, images of a handwritten announcement from the Islamic State in Mozambique (ISM) appeared on social media. Addressing the army, ISM asserts:

“We will escalate the war against you until you submit to Islam… Our desire is to kill you or be killed, for we are martyrs before Allah, so submit or run from us.”

As the message was addressed to “the Mozambican crusader army,” it also targeted Christians and Jews, whom it offered “three choices: submit to Islam, pay tax [jizya], or accept endless war,” said a Nov. 18 report:

“The three choices have appeared across Islamic State propaganda. In August, IS Central African Province released a video addressed to ‘Congolese Christian rulers’ declaring that they would wage war ‘until Allah establishes one of these three for you: Islam, jizya, or [continuous] fighting.’ Jizya refers to a tax levied on non-Muslims in many Islamic societies across history. The previous issue of the IS weekly newsletter Al Naba, published 10 November, also carried the demand that Jews and Christians convert or pay jizya…. [T]he message represents an attempt to adopt the trappings of a ‘caliphate’ in line with the stated objectives of the Islamic State leadership….”

Italy: On Sunday, Nov. 27, as locals were putting up Christmas lights in the city of Sora, a Muslim man “terrorized everyone” by suddenly hollering Islamic slogans, including the jihadist cry, “Allahu akbar!” [Allah is the greatest!” ] According to the report:

“In the historic district of Canceglie, … real ‘moments of fear’ have been experienced. Once he was gone, having literally terrorized everyone present with the equally classic exclamation associated with terrorism, a[nother] young man continued to rail against the lights that are about to grace Sora.”

Sudan: On Nov. 21, Muslim authorities arrested and jailed a church leader on the charge of “witchcraft,” after Muslims began coming to his church for healing. Earlier, Pastor Abdalla Haron Sulieman led a prayer meeting for his ailing mother, and she recovered. On learning of what was deemed a miracle, local Muslims began crowding the church in search of healing, which, according to the report, “angered Muslim extremists who persuaded police to arrest the pastor on charges of claiming to be a witchdoctor (Case No. 6737/2022 under the Sudan Criminal Code of 1991.)”

“Sudanese Christians took to social media, some demanding the pastor’s immediate release, and others terming the jailing more evidence of ongoing and systematic persecution of Christians in Sudan. ‘We need to continue to pray for our brother because he is jail for the sake of the gospel,’ said one Sudanese Christian on his Facebook page.”

Indonesia: After an earthquake that killed at least 321 people, damaged 62,000 homes, and displaced more than 73,000 people, several human rights groups rushed with aid. Native Muslim groups, however, had other concerns. According to a Nov. 29 report, “a conservative Islamist group tore off labels from tents that were donated by a church for survivors of the Cianjur earthquake.” In a Twitter video that went viral, a group of people, who were later identified as members of the Islamic Reformist Movement—which has links to the banned extremist group Islamic Defenders Front, and even ISIS—were seen tearing off labels emblazoned with the words “The Reformed Evangelical Church of Indonesia” from the blue tents donated by the church to support survivors of the disaster. “Let’s destroy it,” one man can be heard saying in reference to the tents. Another man, wearing a long robe and white cap, can be seen recording while smiling.

“Cianjur police chief Doni Hermawan said the men dismantled the tents donated by the church in four villages, although they were not from the areas. Doni said the police questioned the men in the video, adding that they had been reprimanded. ‘Those who removed it were not the refugees. The refugees accept what is given from any group, regardless of religion,’ Doni said, as cited by CNN Indonesia. ‘So I warned them, I made sure they would not do that again. Every [donation is given out of] humanity.'”

Pakistan: On Nov. 27, the British Asian Christian Association, which tracks the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, published a comprehensive, well documented report. It showed how attacks on Christians are disproportionate compared to attacks on other minorities. For instance, 30 percent of all extrajudicial killings for blasphemy were committed against Christians—though they only form 1.27 percent of the population. Other findings follow:

“Despite [being] a larger demographic than Christians in Pakistan, Hindus seem to have a lot less attacks on their communities… There are rare cases, of course, of Hindu’s being accused of blasphemy. This may be based on the fact that Hindu’s live in large enclaves and would seem more daunting to attack; they are more established as a community and less vulnerable… Christians are more likely to interact with the majority Muslim population and this contributes to their persecution. Hindu and Muslim communities are more likely to segregate themselves from other faiths, something which is mirrored in India… Christians have also faced a large number of terrorist attacks and the twin bomb attack in Peshawar 2012, Lahore Twin Church attack 2013, Easter day attack at Gulshan park 2015, and Quetta church bomb attack 2017 are some of the major ones in recent times. Though Hindus were killed in a bomb attack at Orazaki market in 2018, they were not the main target…. The reason Christians are targeted by Islamist groups on more occasions, is believed to be linked to a perception that they are spies for the west and in retaliation for the war against terror. So you see Innocent Christians in Pakistan are more likely to be persecuted during times when the US, Britain and other Western nations are at war with Islamic nations…Even more galling is the estimated 700 Christians girls abducted, raped and forced into Islamic Marriage. … Even when an abducted girl is found by police she will not be returned to her family. Instead she is sent to a Women’s refuge centre that is meant to be impartial but is corruptible. Muslim rapists or their friends gain access to these protective centres and threaten to kill the girl and her family unless she states she willingly married the Muslim man…. Christian children are bullied in school and even killed for their faith. This prevents Christian families sending them to school which perpetuates levels of illiteracy. …. Provincial Curriculum text books caricature and demonize Christians and other minorities.”

*Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

About this Series
While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by extremists is growing. The report posits that such persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location. It includes incidents that take place during, or are reported on, any given month.

**© 2022 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/19238/persecution-of-christians-november

Previous reports
October, 2022