World News

The persecution of ex-Muslim Christians

One of the fundamental tasks of the media is to provide an impartial account of news around the world. However, many secular Western societies do not seem to care about persecuted Christians.

The European Centre for Law and Justice released a report on Freedom of Religion or Belief. According to this, even though Sharia law is not enforced in Europe as it is in many Muslim countries, the growing presence of important Muslim communities in major European cities poses a threat to the religious freedom of those seeking to leave Islam. Converts from Islam face both family and community pressure.

Rahmiya, a Christian from Pakistan gives an account of continuous attacks on followers of Jesus, with their homes being burned down and families harassed. She attempted to help the victims, but Muslims prevented her from doing so. She has video footages of arson incidents against churches and Christian homes, but she is afraid of sharing it on social media because she is afraid of retaliation from Muslims. She thinks the media “doesn’t want to highlight the issue, because it’s a very sensitive issue”. 

Naomi, a Somali Christian says it’s impossible to live openly as a Christian and share one’s faith: “Somali Christians are in danger from Somali Muslims anywhere on the planet, whether they are in a Muslim country or not. We have heard so many anecdotes of people, especially Muslim converts to Christianity unable to live their lives freely as believers in supposedly free Western countries due to the Muslim communities they live in. There have been cases in Europe where Somali Christians have been physically assaulted when they were spotted walking out of a church.” Anyone who has an outstanding online presence “face religious-based threats and harassment every single day. They have also received two death sentences from the Islamic court in Somalia. Somali Muslims have messaged us, threatening our lives and saying we are their ticket to heaven. To point out any ills of Islam or the Muslim community would make the Western media outlet a target. Media representatives know if they report anything negative that this could cause danger for them as well.”

A human rights activist from India, whose name has been withheld for security purposes, stated: “I feel that mainstream Western media hesitates to report about persecution against Christians because religion does not make news.” Western media puts an emphasis on “politics and glamour because it wants secularized or irreligious reporting. Anything that will take people away from religion and into commercialism.” He is concerned about the level of persecution in India: “Christian evangelical groups are increasing and believe in wearing Christianity on their sleeve. Christians are divided and have no strategy or action plan to prevent or face it. Persecution is rising and we look up to them to speak out to the politicians who can stop it. Christians abroad need to be more vociferous.”



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