Ramadan 2013 – Day 20 – Christians – An Endangered Species

2013 Ramadan PrayerOmar M. Ahmad, former leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was quoted in 1998 as saying, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.” He has since claimed that he never made the statement, however the reporter and editor that first published the story continue to be quite certain that he did.

Regardless, simply by an examination of the trilogy of Islamic texts and an observation of the history of the Middle East, it is clear this idea of Islamic supremacy exists and has thus far triumphed. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than with the Christian population of the Middle East.

During the last nine years of Muhammad’s life, he and his followers averaged one act of violence every six weeks. Immediately after Muhammad’s death in 632, the first major conquest of Islam occurred in Arabia. These were known as the “Ridda Wars” or Wars of Apostasy. According to historical accounts, tens of thousands of Arabs were attacked and forced to re-submit to Islam. After conquering Arabia, Islam conquered Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Persian Empire. All of North Africa, Spain, central Asia and India were all brought under Islamic control by the early 8th century. Overall Islam murdered over 60 million Christians since Islam began its conquest of the non-Muslim world.

The incredible growth of the Islamic world eventually slowed, and in 1856 the Ottomans (leaders of the Islamic caliphate), under pressure from European powers issued a decree that said non-Muslims should be treated equally and given the freedom to worship.

In 1924, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk abolished the Islamic caliphate and brought in reforms to modernize Turkey including giving women the right to vote, adopting the Western (Gregorian) calendar rather than the Islamic calendar, and requiring the Islamic call to prayer and public readings of the Qur’an to be done in Turkish rather than Arabic.

Following the abolishment of the caliphate, the non-Muslim world experienced a time of relative peace until fundamental Islamists began to gain power and reassert themselves beginning at an accelerated pace in the 1970s.

The result of this acceleration is a disappearance of Christianity in the Middle East. In 1900, twenty percent of the Middle East was Christian.  Today, it is estimated that less than 2% of the region is Christian. The number of Christians currently under assault range from 100 to 200 million, and forty-two of the top fifty countries persecuting Christians either have a Muslim majority or a sizeable Muslim population.

In Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia, a strict sharia adherent nation, converting to a religion other than Islam is punishable by death. Prior to the war in Syria, Christians lived peacefully in the nation, but in a civil war that has claimed more than 93,000 lives, rebel forces often made up of foreign radical Islamists have killed thousands and forced tens of thousands of Christians to flee. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said, “The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year…Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt.”

Paul Marshall of the Hudson Institute estimates that if religious discrimination is included as part of the persecution of Christians, there are 600 to 700 million Christians. Persecution can range from a loss of life to a loss of livelihood. Secular media outlets in the western world for the most part completely ignore persecution of Christians in part because they fail to perceive the religious root of much of the persecution.

Prayer Points:

Pray for a shift and an awakening for agencies such as the United Nations to not support regimes and nations that are guilty of religious persecution.

Evidence shows that with civil wars and persecution of Christians, 150,000 to 160,000 are martyred every year. Pray for the protection of the persecuted church and imprisoned believers around the world.

Ask God to enlighten Christian leaders and cause them to unite and insist upon action by western governments to stop the slaughter of Christians around the world.

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