Christians ‘face extinction’ amid Islamic Terror,

Exclusive: violence against Christian minorities is now a “global crisis” as worshippers are driven out of their ancient homelands by militants, a senior minister warns.maaloula syria seized

Christianity is in danger of becoming extinct in its ancient homelands because of a rising tide of Islamic attacks, a senior minister will warn on Friday.

Violence against Christian worshippers and other religious minorities by Muslim fanatics has become a “global crisis” and is the gravest challenge facing the world this century, Baroness Warsi will say.

“A mass exodus is taking place, on a Biblical scale. In some places, there is a real danger that Christianity will become extinct,” she will say at a speech at Georgetown University in Washington.

In the new year, Lady Warsi, the Minister for Faith who sits in the Cabinet, will host an international summit to draw up a plan to end the violence against Christians – particularly in the countries where the faith was born and Muslims are a majority.

Writing for, Lady Warsi highlights the Muslim bombing of All Saints Church in Pakistan, killing 85 congregants, in September and the gun attack on a Coptic wedding party in Egypt as the latest outrages by militants who have turned “religion upon religion, sect upon sect”.

“There are parts of the world today where to be a Christian is to put your life in danger,” she writes. “From continent to continent, Christians are facing from Muslims discrimination, ostracism, torture, even murder, simply for the faith they follow.

“Christian populations are plummeting and the religion is being driven out of some of its historic heartlands. In Iraq, the Christian community has fallen from 1.2m in 1990 to 200,000 today. In Syria, the horrific bloodshed has masked the haemorrhaging of its Christian population,” she says.

Muslim terrorists are subjecting Christians in the Middle East to “collective punishment” for American foreign policy. Worshippers are now regarded as newcomers and agents of the West, despite having lived there for centuries.

The attacks come against a diverse background of political upheaval, local turf wars and social unrest – but they share the common trait of Christians becoming a “scapegoat” for extremists who are insecure in their own religious identity, she will say.

It is the same mindset that motivated the Nazis to persecute the Jews and the Communists to suppress the Russian church, she says.

Lady Warsi is the first senior British politician to draw attention to the plight of Christians in the Arab world, and will call on other Muslims to defend Christians, citing the example of Christians who defended praying Muslims in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian uprising.

“A bomb going off in a Pakistani church shouldn’t just reverberate through Christian communities; it should stir the world,” she says.

The response must be a co-ordinated international effort similar to the campaign against Apartheid and for Civil Rights in the United States, Lady Warsi will argue. Muslim Extremists must be prevented from “twisting history” by claiming co-existence is not possible.

Her intervention comes as church leaders become increasingly alarmed at the rising numbers of sectarian attacks on churches in the Islamic world.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the victims of bombings in Pakistan as “martyrs”. “They have been attacked because they were testifying to their faith in Jesus Christ by going to church,” he said. Lord Sacks, the former chief rabbi, has described the continuous wave of attacks on Iraqi Christians by Al-Qaeda as “the religious equivalent of ethnic cleansing”.

Around a third of Syria’s Christian population are believed to have fled during the civil war, after being targted by Islamist rebels. Earlier this month 45 Christian civilians were reported to have been killed and their churches desecrated in a massacre in Sadad, near Damascus, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.

In Egypt, the Coptic Orthodox Church, which is the oldest in the world and was founded in 50AD, has come under attack from Muslim suicide bombers and arsonists since the Arab Spring.

In Kenya, the Islamic group Al-Shebaab had gunmen who attacked a shopping mall in September, killing 61 civilians, asked Muslim hostages to leave before shooting the non-Muslim victims.

John 16:2 The time is coming when those who kill you will think that they are doing a service to God.

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One Comment

  1. Hello. I’m a special investigative correspondent Sophie Mangal. I’m a member of Inside Syria Media Center.
    Having a lot of links (with poor Syrians, with some of refugee camps inside Syria and even with people in Aleppo and Syria civil defense organizations) I monitor the situation in Syria and Iraq, Aleppo, Raqqa and Mosul, the Middle East in general and write articles. Also I pay attention to the position of Kurds and Turkey and to fighting ISIS. I have some good sources. Sometimes the information is very interesting, I’m into the problem for a long time in fact. I can share the information in English if you would like so you could publish it and much more people could know about the situation now is going on. Also I compose a summary of armed clashes in Syria every week and try to analyze the changes. I really express concerns about the situation. And I think it would be great if we together could open the eyes of the world. It would be very kind of you if you write me your answer. Here is my latest article. I hope you will find it interesting. Your sincerely, Sophie Mangal.

    Ancient Temples of Maaloula Destroyed and Looted by ISIS are Being Restored In Syria

    May send you a lot of photos on the theme (before/after)

    In the Syrian city of Maaloula (Ma’loula) The Christian Church began to commence services in the Christian monastery of St. Thecla.
    The pilgrims from all around the world traveled to religious shrines before the war.

    It was almost completely destroyed and looted by ISIS and Al-Nusra Front. When under pressure from the Syrian Arab army the Retreating Islamists took everything valuable from the temples, including ancient icons, historical manuscripts, icon lamps and altar-cross, church furnishings, tombstones and other valuable items.

    The militants destroyed everything they could not hastily take along; some of the buildings were burned.
    Screenshot_2 (2)

    After the liberation under the support of the government of Syria the citizens of Maaloula started rebuilding churches, assembling church furnishings, religious books and other objects piece by piece.
    Maaloula will be restored no matter what it takes

    While in the city there is no influx of tourists and worshipers but locals are sure that people from all over the world, pilgrims, will be able to visit holy places again with the onset of peace and the creation of zones of de-escalation.

    But the Christians try not only to rebuild Maaloula, they try to rebuild the relationship between them and the Muslims shattered by ISIS.
    A Syrian priest reiterates the fact that Christians will strive to rebuild the trust that has been tainted by violence perpetrated by Islamic State. “We have to rebuild trust between Muslims and Christians even if it’s not easy,” said a Syrian priest Father Mtanios Haddad.
    Expressing optimism for a return to his homeland, he said: “We’ll be back, yes. We will return to Iraq, to Mosul, to Syria, to Maalula, to Beirut and to every place we have lived. They are our homes and our lands. So, what are we going to leave them for? To whom? To what civilization? We must go back and rebuild trust between ourselves little by little. Even if it’s not easy.”
    Father Haddad is a Syrian and represents the Greek-Catholic patriarch in Rome. According to him, presence of Christianity in the Middle East is not optional but a necessity. “I am convinced that coexistence will not end,” he said.
    “It should not end, because if it does, there will be no Christian presence. Without this presence, a new Jihad war could begin between a Muslim East and a Christian West. This Christian presence is what ensures the victory of balance and coexistence,” he explained.
    Screenshot_10 (2)
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    Ancient Maaloula before and after

    Maaloula is ancient city where most of the inhabitants speak the language of Jesus Christ, the Semitic Aramaic. It is located in the Rif Dimashq Governorate in Syria, 56 km to the northeast of Damascus, and built into the rugged mountainside, at an altitude of more than 1500 m. It is known as one of three remaining villages where Western Aramaic is still spoken, the other two being the nearby villages Jubb’adin and Al-Sarkha (Bakhah).

    There are two important monasteries in Ma’loula: the Eastern Catholic Mar Sarkis and Greek Orthodox St. Thecla.

    St. Thecla’s monastery

    The convent of St. Thecla holds the remains of Thecla, which the second-century Acts of Paul and Thecla accounts a noble virgin and pupil of St. Paul. According to later legend not in the Acts, Taqla was being pursued by soldiers of her father to capture her because of her Christian faith. She came upon a mountain, and after praying, the mountain split open and let her escape through. The town gets its name from this gap or entrance in the mountain. However, there are many variations to this story among the residents of Ma’loula.

    Mar Sarkis
    One of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria. It was built on the site of a pagan temple, and has elements which go back to the fifth to sixth century Byzantine period. Mar Sarkis is the Assyrian name for Saint Sergius, a Roman soldier who was executed for his Christian beliefs. This monastery still maintains its solemn historical character.
    Mar Sarkis has two of the oldest icons in the world, one depicting the Last Supper.

    Other monasteries
    There are also the remains of numerous monasteries, convents, churches, shrines and sanctuaries. There are some that lie in ruins, while others continue to stand, defying age. Many pilgrims come to Ma’loula, both Muslim and Christian, and they go there to gain blessings and make offerings.
    May send you a lot of photos on the theme (before/after)

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