All that follows are among the many abuses Muslims inflicted on Christians all around the Globe mostly just throughout the month of May 2020. They are so numerous however, that this article aims to mention only a part of the list. In this second part, attacks on churches, cemeteries, crosses, and Christian symbols are covered.
Gatestoneinstitute.org collected a shocking number of atrocities against believers of Christ which happened during a single month. A week ago we shared the first part of the long list talking about physical attacks against the safety, or rather, the very lives of Christian people all around the world.
Part II: Attacks on Christian Churches, Cemeteries, and Crosses
Greece: Muslim migrants ransacked and transformed a church into their personal toilet. This public restroom was once the St. Catherine Church in Moria, a small town on the island of Lesvos, which has been flooded with migrants who arrived via Turkey. “The smell inside is unbearable,” said a local. “The metropolitan of Mytilene is aware of the situation in the area, nevertheless, he does not wish to deal with it for his own reasons.” According to the report, this is only the latest incident … It has become extremely common for Greek Orthodox Churches to be vandalised and attacked by illegal immigrants on Lesvos….
“As a deeply religious society, these attacks on churches are shocking to the Greek people and calls to question whether these illegal immigrants seeking a new life in Europe are willing to integrate and conform to the norms and values of their new countries.”
“These continued attacks have ultimately seen the people of Lesvos, who were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, become increasingly frustrated by the unresolved situation that has restricted and changed their lives as they no longer feel safe on their once near crime-free island.” the report stated.
Other incidents on Lesvos include “African immigrants ridiculing and coughing on police in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and thousands of olives trees being destroyed.”
Turkey: On May 8, a man tried to torch a church in Istanbul; the church had been attacked in the previous years, sometimes with hate-filled graffiti. When police detained the arsonist, he said “I burned it because they [Christians] brought the coronavirus [onto Turkey].” Discussing this incident, another report said that “Minorities in Turkey, such as Armenians, Rums and Syriacs [all Christians], as well as their places of worship, are occasionally targeted in hate attacks.”
Two weeks later, on May 22, in broad daylight, a man climbed the fence of a historic Armenian church in Istanbul and proceeded to yank off its metal cross and hurl it to the ground, as captured on surveillance footage. The man, who looks more like a Westernized “hipster” than an ardent Islamist, walks up to and stares at the cross for a while — he even looks at and strikes a pose for the security camera — before attacking the crucifix.
Pakistan: After Friday prayers on May 8, an armed Muslim mob shouting “anti-Christian slogans” attacked and tried to set fire to the Trinity Pentecostal Church in Hakeem Pura. Built 22 years ago, the church was desecrated, and a large cross and part of a wall broken. The Muslim man behind the attack had sold land to the growing church a year earlier, and now wanted it back.
Separately, Muslim “land grabbers” seized, desecrated, and ploughed over the graves of a century-old Christian cemetery with a tractor. According to the May 22 report: The Christian community there reportedly protested against the violation and tried to stop the vandalism. However, they were allegedly threatened with guns… All graves that were destroyed had crosses fixed on the top… Some of the houses occupied by the Christians were demolished and people were forced to flee from their homes.
Amid widespread discrimination against the Christian community in Pakistan, the properties owned by the minorities are often subjected to injustice including land grabbing and being the target of criminals. Moreover, the economic disparities and religious bias in Pakistan’s judiciary have increased the struggles Christians face to recover the lost land.
Serbia: On Sunday, May 31, two Muslim migrants entered the St. Alexander Nevsky Church in Belgrade during service and robbed several of the mostly elderly congregants. “There were two of them. They broke into the church during the liturgy, which was in progress, and they stole two purses along with three mobile phones,” a church leader said, adding:”Upon entering the temple, they split up on two sides, and after the people saw what was happening, they managed to catch one of them and take away his mobile phones and the money he stole.”
Egypt: On May 30, 2020 — two days before President Trump recognized Global Coptic Day — Egyptian authorities demolished the only Coptic church in village of Koum al-Farag, even though it had stood for 15 years and served 3,000 Christians. According to the report:
“The destruction of the church was a punishment for the ‘crime’ of building rooms for Sunday school…. When the work began, some extremist Muslims began to attack Christians.”
A separate report on this incident relates:
“According to an ancient Islamic tradition, or common law, churches are prevented from being formally recognised or displaying any Christian symbols if a mosque is built next to them.”
The authorities decided to solve this issue by demolishing the church, which took a tractor “six long hours,” a Copt recalled:”The decision was not welcomed by the Christians in the village, so they protested by appearing at the site in possession of the documents. However, the police and some radicals began to insult and assault Christians, including women and children. The church leader received so many punches in the face and chest that he passed out.”
In a separate attack in the early hours of May 16, “an air conditioning technician threw a Molotov cocktail inside the Virgin Mary Church in Alexandria.” According to the report: “Security camera footage led to his apprehension. Fortunately, no one was injured in this attack.
Mozambique: Islamic terrorists attacked a monastery. The four monks residing in it managed to hide and emerge unscathed. However, the hospital they were building for a nearby village was destroyed by the armed Muslims. According to the May 18 report:”Little is known about the insurgents, and until recently there were doubts they were actually Islamists, but they have claimed to be fighting for the imposition of Sharia law in the North of Mozambique.
The attack on the monastery, which included the destruction of a hospital that the monks were building in the village, is the second most serious attack against a Christian target since the troubles began.
Last month a Catholic mission was also attacked, although, as here, nobody was killed. Other communities have not been so lucky, as the insurgents have left a trail of death and destruction behind them in the towns and villages they attack.”
Nigeria: On May 7, a helicopter bombed and destroyed a church. The building was empty at the time; no casualties were reported. According to a local leader,
“The helicopter used to hover around the area, dropping some things. We don’t know what they have been dropping but yesterday in the afternoon, the helicopter came and dropped a bomb … The Assembly of God church was destroyed including a nearby building.”
Algeria: Four Muslim guards responsible for protecting a church vandalized and overturned its statue of the Virgin Mary. According to the report,
“The chapel of Santa Cruz built in stones extracted from the mountain of Murdjadjo where it is perched, was the object of an attempted theft… Four looters allegedly destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary by attempting to steal it. They have even destroyed other holy monuments in their path…”
It was later found, however, that the chapel’s four hired guards were themselves the “looters” responsible for the desecration. The report continues:
“In addition, the Christian community in Algeria denounces… the intimidation which the faithful are subject to. Many Christians have denounced the series of closings of churches in the national territory. Several evangelical associations and organizations have called for an end to the increasing pressure and intimidation from the Algerian government.”
Iran: On Sunday, May 17, a Christian cemetery was set ablaze, just two days after the tomb of the biblical Esther and Mordecai was also set on fire on the 72nd anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel. Damage at the tomb — a holy site shared by Jews and Christians — was reportedly minimal. Few other details concerning the burned Christian cemetery aside from video footage showing smoke billowing over its walls are available. A Hindu temple was also reportedly set on fire in May.
“While Europe has experienced a growing number of acts of vandalism and profanation of Christian sites, the greatest number of such acts have occurred in France, where churches, schools, cemeteries, and monuments ‘are being vandalized, desecrated, and burned at an average rate of three per day,’ according to reports drawing from government statistics.”
Although the identity of the vandals responsible for this latest outrage is unknown, it appears that Western European nations that have large Muslim migrant populations are seeing a disproportionate rise in attacks on churches and Christian symbols. According to a 2017 study on France — which has the largest Muslim population in Europe.
“Islamist extremist attacks on Christians” rose by 38%, going from 273 attacks in 2015 to 376 in 2016; the majority occurred during Christmas season and “many of the attacks took place in churches and other places of worship.” Similarly, around Christmas 2016, in a German region where more than a million Muslims reside, some 50 public Christian statues (including those of Jesus) were beheaded and crucifixes broken.