Syrian and Iranian Christians continue to face increasing persecution

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (Worthy News)-- Syrian and Iranian Christians are being targeted for further persecution, according to Christian news reports.

In an e-mail to The Jerusalem Post, Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, wrote: "After the ethnic cleansing of Jews in 1948 from the Arab countries, Islamic fundamentalism is now trying to push away the Christians from the region. They want to establish a pure Islamic environment and the mass exodus already began under our noses"

"In Syria, Christians will be persecuted after Assad’s eventual fall, since they were the most loyal allies of the Baathist regime. Christians will be slaughtered, or squeezed from Cairo to Damascus; (the) Arab Christian era is near to its end everywhere," wrote Meotti.

The Pakistan Christian Post also reported that "The Christian community in Syria has been hit by a series of kidnappings and brutal murders; 100 Christians have now been killed since the anti-government unrest began. A reliable source in the country, who cannot be identified for their own safety, told Barnabas Aid that children were being especially targeted by the kidnappers, who, if they do not receive the ransom demanded, kill the victim."

In Iran, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani -- who has been on death row since 2010 -- has again refused to renounce his Christian belief in exchange for his freedom.

According to the International Christian news agency BosNewsLife, "Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has rejected an offer to be released from prison if he publicly acknowledges Islam's prophet Mohammed as 'a messenger sent by God.'"

Nadarkhani was first arrested for questioning the dominant role of state-sponsored Islamic religious instruction in his children's public school.

According to Clifford D. May, president of the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the persecution of Christians in numerous Muslim-majority countries is the most pressing news story ignored by the mainstream media.

"If the situation were reversed, if such a war were being waged against Muslims, it would be the top story in every newspaper, the most urgent item at the UN, the highest priority of all the big-league human-rights groups."