Christians persecuted this Christmas

2 January 2013

I hope all readers had a happy and peaceful Christmas.

As this is the first day back at the office for most of us, I thought I would cheer everyone up with how Christians around the world experienced the period.

Here is what Christians in Indonesia had to put up with.

In Egypt a prominent cleric issued genocidal threats against the country’s Christians, and taunted them:

‘What do you think — that America will protect you? Let’s be very clear, America will not protect you. If so, it would have protected the Christians of Iraq when they were being butchered!’

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Meanwhile, in post-Arab Spring Tunisia, the locals were warned by a hard-line preacher of increasing popularity: ‘Sharing the feast days of the infidel or even sending them greetings to mark them is a big sin,’ Sheikh Beshir Ben Hassine said in sermon posted on Facebook, ‘Wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year is forbidden by Islam.’

And in case anybody thinks this is all just random lunacy from the fringes, here is what happened in our great ally Saudi Arabia: Saudi religious police stormed a house in the Saudi Arabian province of al-Jouf, detaining more than 41 guests for ‘plotting to celebrate Christmas’, a statement from the police branch released Wednesday night said. The raid is the latest in a string of religious crackdowns against residents perceived to threaten the country’s strict religious code.

The list could easily go on.

Fortunately for these Christians, and millions of others suffering around the world, Britain has a crack-squad of top religious leaders to address such problems.

Which is why the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, chose to use his most prominent sermon of the year to address the issue of women bishops.

And the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, used his most prominent sermon of the year to oppose civil marriage equality for gays.

People sometimes wonder about the marginalisation of Christianity in our culture. Those looking for answers need look no further than these two church leaders – men too ignorant or too terrified even to dwell on the sufferings of their co-religionists.

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Show comments
  • rndtechnologies786

    Good view.

  • margaret benjamin

    We cannot rely on the mainstream Christian clergy to speak out about the dangers of Islam in the UK. We were a Christian nation So why are we overrun with the talk of sharia law in Britain! Were are those Christian radicals we use to hear about? far far better than Islamic radicals who seek to dominate the UK!!!!

  • Graeme Thompson

    With respect Mr Murray, the Cardinal Archbishop addressed a crucial issue for the Church, as did His Holiness The Pope. I do understand your personal interest in the subject they addressed, but is it no being intellectually dishonest to pretend they were somehow betraying the calling of their faith?
    Thank you very much all the same of giving a ladle of water to persecuted Christians, almost all of whom suffer at the hands of a religion, Islam, that any true Christian would have to objectively denounce as Satanicly evil.

  • Simon Morgan

    Well, spare a thought for the young of the Kandahar:

    Listening to music or dancing, were you? Well, it’s the chop for you, my child. And after the chop it’s straight to hell for eternity. No possibility of parole, I’m afraid (and you can forget about any virgins too).

    Don’t blame us though – it’s Mo the Mad (pbuh) that gave bearded apes like us this power over life and death. And please know that your entire family will shortly follow you, because…well, because we are completely bereft of any humanity and intend to stay that way, thank you very much.

    But in fact you can do us a small service in your beheading – we will record it on tape so that it can act as a warning to others that may be thinking of straying (and frankly it does provide us with a bit of light entertainment, strictly between you and me).

    Okay? Well then, Lights, Camera, Action!!

  • moni

    hello everybody , Im tunsian and I would like to say that the majority of the people in tunisia have no problems with x-mass ore new years celebration, so its true that there were some sermons of hard line preachers such as Sheikh Beshir Ben Hassine, but mostly they are NOT popular on national scale, they are more on an extrimism vision.

    This Beshir Ben Hassine was also critisized in tunisian media for this on tv/news papers/internet.

    Tunisia is a countrie for all peopel jews/christian/muslim etc.

  • MartiniHeidegger

    ridiculously tragic esp since the quran places jesus in the same line of prophethood as muhhamad, moses and abraham

    • AY


    • yasmin1

      Jesus/Moses/Abraham are just a few of the 100k+ prophets of Islam. They’re nothing compared to Muhammad and Muslims follow nobody else’s teachings.

      • Simon Morgan

        Why are Jesus/Moses/Abraham ‘nothing’ compared to your Mo? What has Mo said or done that is any less barking mad? I’ll answer for you – nothing.

  • Sarah

    “even to dwell on the sufferings of their co-religionists.”

    Addressing the issue of women bishops goes right to the heart of the sufferings of 70% of their co-religionists. What greater religious persecution exists in this world than that of men against women, not just physically, but emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, philaophically.

    Besides, he does mention the murder of a Christian at the hands of an anti-Christian mob in India.

    • Simon

      It is not sexist for A Christian to adhere to Scripture. Scripture does not change with the times. The times must either adapt to scripture or ignore it. That is the decision to be made, it is very clear. The bible clearly teaches respect and honour toward women. It also teaches that men and women have different roles in life and that women are NOT to have authority over men in the church. If this is deemed sexist by todays way of thinking by a majority of non biblical accepting people then so be it ….. but what will you do about it? force people who believe this to change? persecute them? or accept their view and leave them be? Its a very clear moral choice that you have to make, The ball is not in the Christians court its in yours.

      • mr. blobby

        The point of a priest is he is supposed to represent God – that is God ‘the father’, not God ‘the mother’. He is meant to be a father figure. That makes him a man. That’s the deal. The bleating about female priests etc. is daft.

        • Simon

          God is not man He is Spirit. Sounds lhemike a contradiction I know, but “He created them Male and Female in His Image He created them” Genesis Ch1 vs 7. It is True that God appeared as Jesus the Man, but from God comes all the beautiful inner attributes of a woman as well as a man. My position is not a misogynistic one just a biblical one. If people truly understood this they would not need to elevate Mary (how wonderful she was) to a deity and pray to her. They misunderstand the nature of God.

          • Simon Morgan

            My dear chap – Gods and Allahs are a complete and utter nonsense anyway. How you choose ‘understand’ this BS is equivalent to my interpretation of a Simpson’s episode. Who cares?

            • Simon

              Chap …Psalm 14 Vs 1 “The fool says in his heart there is no God”. It is imperative that you care

  • Teddy Bear

    Excellent article Douglas.

    Naturally all the accounts of persecution you detail have been avoided in full by our national broadcaster. For the BBC, Islam is the ‘religion of peace’ and they aim to keep people believing that as much as they can.

  • The Elderking

    Not to mention our political leaders. Cowards one and all.

    They stand aside whilst genocides, persecution and “cleansing” – often supported and funded by the west – aid, “arab spring”, toppling dictators etc., take place

    How can these people be held to account wonder?

    • Wessex Man

      You’ve said it, the rebel “freedom fighters” that Haig has already sided with have beheaded Christians already in Syria.

  • James Strong

    Islam is a totaltarian political system that is more than happy to use violence.
    It should be opposed vigorously at every opportunity.
    Its true attitudes and behaviours should be pubilscised to all those in the UK, and elsewhere who are still under any delusion that it is the ‘Religion of Peace’.
    Those parts of the mainstream media who refer to ‘Asian’ gangs of men abusing young girls for sex are knowingly peddling untruths. Those men don’t do it because of their race, they do it because of their beliefs.
    We need to oppose Islam vigorously now with all the words at our disposal,we need to stop its advance, because if we don’t we face a very violent future.

    • Robin Hood

      send a Gunboat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chris

    Our ancestors were forced to build vast expensive churches for the christians. There was the death penalty for anyone in England who said they didn’t believe in the christian god. They’ve persecuted the rest of us for centuries. It’s nice to see them getting a taste of their own medicine.

    • Austin Barry

      Chris, I salute you, Sir. Guess how many fingers.

      • Chris

        Thanks for a demonstration of the politeness and decency we’ve all come to expect from christians. I imagine it’s a huge regret that you aren’t allowed to set fire to me anymore.

        • Austin Barry

          You can’t ignite a damp, sad rag.

          • Daniel Maris

            LOL Also, shouldn’t our Chris change his “Christ-follower” name? Deeply inappropriate – like the Pope being called Dionysius or Nero.

          • DazEng

            Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

        • Dogsnob

          Get over yourself fellah

    • Colonel Mustard

      The rest of us? I always thought you were odd. Your last sentence reveals you are a nasty piece of work too.

    • The Elderking

      I take it that you therefore approve of the treatment being meted out to Christians in Muslim majority countries – you know, murder, rape, persecution of men, women and children . If not, what is your point?

    • Simon

      Your ancestors were pagans. Pagans were lovely people who did things like sacrificing children to pagan gods and giving their daughters to whoever showed interest, for sexual gratification, if there were some gain to be made. Christianity brought civilization to Britain and a moral compass which far surpassed that of the pagans. Don’t get Christianity confused with a corrupt state/monarchy whatever. The church and the state should be separate. When they are not pagan morals i.e. corrupt human nature creeps in. The effects of which then sadly represent the ‘church’ not the true church which Christ came for, but a hybrid of church and state.

      • Brian Westley

        What they did was change “give your daughter” to “sell your daughter”

        • Simon

          Agreed…thanks for the correction

          • Simon

            Although “giving ” did also happen

      • Simon Morgan

        “Christianity brought civilization to Britain and a moral compass which far surpassed that of the pagans.” ROFL.

    • Teddy Bear

      YOUR ancestors are like YOUR present day mates – they still have the death penalty for anybody within their society who says they don’t believe in Mohammed and the rest of their lies and deceit.

      Your medicine is coming.

  • Austin Barry

    Our clerics are of one supine, submissive, scared voice: Don’t, ever, ever, say or do anything which may upset the Religion of Peace.

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