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Christians in Muslim world are attacked in violent reaction to Pope's remarks

The well organised expressions of rage across the Muslim word in response to a quotation about jihad cited by Pope Benedict XVI last Tuesday 12th September prove once again that there are aspects of Islam which are intrinsically linked to violence.

Various Muslim leaders have called for demonstrations and protests, including the influential cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has called for a "day of rational anger" and has also warned Muslims not to attack churches. Sadly, however, indigenous Christians and expatriate Christian workers have already become victims in the outburst of Muslim anger against the pope. The perpetrators of these attacks have shown the truth of the very allegation they loudly reject and protest against. Following are some of the violent incidents linked to Muslim anger about the pope's remarks.

Palestinian Authority

In Gaza a 1,425 year-old church was repeatedly hit by homemade explosives on Friday15 September. On Saturday 16 September attackers hurled firebombs and opened fire at four churches in the West Bank (two of them in Nablus). On Sunday 17 September 2006 another two churches in the West Bank were attacked: a stone church in Tulkarm built 170 years ago was torched before dawn and a church in Tubas was attacked with firebombs and partially burned. A group claiming responsibility for the attacks called itself the "Lions of Monotheism" and said it was protesting against the pope's words.

Somalia

In Somalia a prominent Mogadishu cleric, Sheikh Abulbakar Hassan Malin during Friday prayers on 15 September called on Muslims to "hunt down" and kill then pope for his remarks: "Whoever offends our Prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim". One day later, on Saturday 16 September 2006 an Italian nun was shot dead in a hospital in Mogadishu. Gunmen entered the SOS hospital and shot the nun before escaping. The nun, in her 70s, was one of the longest-serving members of the Catholic church in Mogadishu.

Iraq

In Basra a bomb exploded on Friday 15 September in front of a church in the Al-Ashhar neighbourhood when the guard opened the church door. The guard was mercifully not hurt. This incident is thought to be linked to the pope's remarks because of the date on which it occurred.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    • Praise God that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has instructed the government to take specific steps to protect religious minorities from violence and intolerance. The ruling was issued partly in response to the deadly attack on All Saints Church in Peshawar in September 2013, which claimed over 100 lives. The court ordered the formation of a National Council for Minority Rights, a special police force to protect places of worship, and a taskforce to develop strategies to counter intolerance, along with further corrective measures. Campaigners for the rights of Christians in Pakistan welcomed the moves but expressed reservations about whether they would be implemented. Pray that the measures will achieve a tangible improvement in the condition of the country’s Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 14 hours ago

    • Loving Father, we cry out to You for the loved ones of ten Egyptian Christians who were murdered in Libya in February and March this year. We ask that You will bring your healing and peace to their families and friends and comfort their congregations in their loss. We pray for protection for Egyptian and other expatriate Christians in Libya and ask that their neighbours will not yield to requests by the militants to hand them over and get a reward in return. We pray that further Islamist attacks against Christians will be prevented and that the Libyan authorities will establish a greater measure of control over the country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Aug 2014 00:00

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    • A young Christian woman in Somalia was killed by a group of armed men who broke into her house in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, earlier this year. The assailants dragged her outside and shot at neighbours who tried to rescue her. Her parents were present when the attack took place. The Islamist group al-Shabaab has killed dozens of Christians since 2008, when it seized control of large parts of the country, and although it has now been driven from its strongholds, its deadly hostility to Christians is unrelenting. Pray for other Christian converts in Somalia as they face terror on every side (Psalm 31:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

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