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“The Kafirs [Unbelievers] Should Be Killed, All of Them”: The Persecution of Christians, October 2022

“The Kafirs [Unbelievers] Should Be Killed, All of Them”: The Persecution of Christians, October 2022
By Raymond Ibrahim

Originally Published by the Gatestone Institute.

The following are among the murders and abuses Muslims inflicted on Christians throughout the month of October 2022:

The Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): On Oct. 1, machete-wielding militants of the so-called “Allied Democratic Forces” (ADF), a wing of the Islamic State, slaughtered 14 men and women in a surprise attack on a village in the Christian nation (96% Christian, 1% Muslim). According to another report, the bodies of those hacked to death “were found bearing signs of torture.” Before leaving, the militants had torched the village, destroying the survivors’ livelihoods, and had abducted two children.

Again, on Oct. 5, the jihadists slaughtered between 10 and 20 Christians, including a pastor, during a raid on another village, which they also torched before leaving. An additional 20 villagers were also reported missing. According to a survivor:

“I heard them. They were shouting in Arabic and Swahili, saying that the kafirs [unbelievers] should be killed, all of them, and make Congo an Islamic state. Shoot all of them. Kill all of them, and burn their houses, these notorious Christians.”

On Oct. 19, during a raid on another village, the jihadists burned two people alive, one of whom was a nun, Sister Marie-Sylvie Kavuke Vakatsuraki, of the Little Sisters of the Presentation of Our Lady in the Temple, from Butembo. Discussing the “terror” of that midnight assault, Father Marcelo Oliveira, the Portuguese-born head of the Comboni Missionaries in the DR Congo, said,

“The ADF rebels attacked the village, and more precisely the hospital. They looted everything they could find, taking medicines, and at the end they set fire to the building. A nun, who is also a doctor and was on night duty, was burned alive, along with a patient….. [Once the hospital was destroyed] the rebels continued on their way and set fire to another hospital nearby.”

The report adds:

“As soon as she realized that they were under attack, Sister Marie-Sylvie called the local parish so that the priests and religious could flee. Otherwise, the situation could have been even more tragic. Besides the two victims, there are many people still unaccounted for and who were likely taken by the jihadists to carry the looted goods.”

“The terror continues,” Father Marcelo concluded. “The people are afraid, everybody tries to escape. This is a hidden war, silent — or silenced — so that nobody does anything, and the population continues to suffer.”

Discussing the ongoing terrorization of the DRC, one human rights group said:

“These predominantly Christian communities are attacked by an Islamic extremist group with a clear Islamic expansionist agenda…. It is a reminder of what is happening in other parts of the central Sahel region – groups like Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria, for example. The ideology, the agenda of establishing a ‘caliphate’ in the region, and the way they operate is the same, and we can see how they afflict terrible suffering on innocent people.”

An Oct. 5 report offers still more details on the current situation:

“The ADF — which the Islamic State group claims as its Central African offshoot — is among the most violent of more than 120 armed groups active in eastern volatile DRC. It has been accused of slaughtering thousands of Congolese civilians and carrying out bomb attacks in neighbouring Uganda. The DRC and Uganda launched a joint offensive against the ADF in November 2021, but the militia continues to wreak havoc across swathes of territory.”

Nigeria: Some of the genocidal assaults on the West African nation’s Christian population throughout the month of October 2022, follow:

On October 4, Muslims connected to the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) raided a village where they killed three Christians and wounded dozens of others. One resident related that “ISWAP terrorists also set fire to six houses and looted five shops belonging to Christians in the village, and afterward burned down the shops.”

After an Oct. 8 night raid on his village, Peter Ahemba said:

“Ten corpses of Christians killed during the attack on Gidan Sule community were recovered on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 9, by survivors in the community. The attackers, who we strongly believe are herdsmen and terrorists, shot sporadically on Christians who were sleeping in their houses.”

Most of the Christians killed were women, children and the elderly, unable to escape.

On Sunday, Oct. 16: two gunmen stormed and opened fire on Celestial Church during worship service. A Christian woman and her young daughter were killed and several others hospitalized. According to a survivor:

“when they entered, they started shooting at every one outside the church. I now went and hid inside a cassava farm. What I saw yesterday was like an action film in a movie. Kogi is no longer safe.”

“It looked like it was organized against that particular church, because their altar was burned with petrol they went with,” said Jerry Omodara, a security official.

On Oct 18, Muslim Fulani herdsmen raided three Christian villages in central Nigeria, where they slaughtered more than 70 Christians.

During an Oct. 21 late night raid on a Christian village, Muslim Fulani herdsmen slaughtered two Christians. A resident recalled:

“A Christian woman … was injured when the herdsmen cut off one of her breasts. The herdsmen during the invasion of our village shot randomly at our people who were sleeping in their houses.”

Mozambique: More details were revealed concerning a fatal terror attack on a Catholic mission where one of the nuns, Maria De Coppi, 83, was shot in the head and killed as she ran towards a burning dormitory to assist the few remaining students hiding there. Bishop Alberto Vera Aréjula of Nacala reported:

“This was told to us by one of the brothers of one of the victims. He said the terrorists were dressed in military uniform, they gathered the population, and they said it was because they were here to save them. When they were all gathered, they started asking who is Muslim and who is Christian. Those who identified as Christian, they started tying their hands behind their back and they cut their throats. One Christian managed to flee and he is the one who told the story. This is what happened on the night of Sept. 6 and the following day—11 people were murdered in total and they left a trail of destruction and a lot of fear.”

Of the 83-year-old nun, Sister Maria, Bishop Alberto said:

“I knew her, and she was the image of a mother, she was really helping everyone with simple love and humility…. Sister Maria de Coppi was a nurse who would help malnourished children in a little room where there was milk and flour, and they destroyed that room as well. The Sister they murdered worked with malnourished babies and children, [and] they are telling us very clearly that they don’t want us there. For now, we won’t return there, but we will work with the mission in another way.”

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

West Bank: On Friday night, Oct. 28 — Friday being the one day of the week Muslims meet in mosques and can often get riled up against infidels — dozens of Muslim men surrounded and hurled stones at a church in Beit Sahur, near Bethlehem, that is affiliated with the patriarchate of Jerusalem. Several people were injured. The attack came after a “quarrel between some young men,” a statement from church leadership said, adding, “We condemn this attack and demand that the Palestinian Authority bring the attackers to trial as soon as possible.”

Indonesia: On Friday, Oct. 7, an unknown person in the world’s most populous Muslim nation attacked the Jesus Shepherd Congregation, a Pentecostal church. Described as a “terror act,” the perpetrator arrived at the church by motorbike, barged through the gate and into the courtyard “while shouting.” The police noted:

“After that, the perpetrator broke the glass and the headlight of the pastor’s car. The perpetrator also kicked the trash can and broke the window glass of the pastor’s residence before fleeing.”

Bongga Lasarus, the head of Kendari city, where the incident occurred, urged Christians to be calm, “Because whether it is violence, attack, radicalism, or other acts of intolerance that interfere with the life of our nation, we must fight and persevere together.”

Pakistan: A group of Muslims forcibly appropriated a Christian community center and savagely beat Christians who dared to protest. The Oct. 31 report relates:

“A Christian Community Hall was locked by the son of a Muslim man who later claimed ownership without authority. Christians were kept out of their own building for 24 hours after police refused to take action.”

A few days after they eventually got the police to respond and return their property, the Muslim father, Shehzad Goga, came and defaced the Christian property by splattering graffiti on the pillars of the main gate, including the phrases “Oh Allah, Oh Muhammad,” and similar words claiming the property for Islam. According to eyewitness, George Choudhary:

“He was hurling abuses at the Christian community while spraying this message in broad daylight. He threatened Christians of dire consequences, if someone tried to remove it. It felt as if Muslims were planning to ensnare us under false blasphemy charges, or would burn our houses like they have done to other Christians before. The community was terrified [and] many fled their homes again fearing an attack.”

The report continued that soon thereafter,

“A gang of Muslim youth … attacked the church building. They pulled down the fence and main gate of the community hall and stamped over the cross emblem on the gate in an act of defiance and hate. When Ashraf Masih a local Christian asked them not damage the property, the men attacked Ashraf Masih who ran into his home for safety. The gang broke into and entered his house where they beat him with clubs and kicks and also slapped and intimidated his wife Shaheen Bibi (45 yrs) and his sister-in-law married to his brother who was present in the shared home. They tore their clothes during the violence which the whole street witnessed. The frightened Christian community neither retaliated nor helped the beleaguered family that was attacked before them. They were all fearful that they would become the next targets and froze on the spot.”

Muslim Attacks on Christian Blasphemers and Evangelists

Pakistan: Since Oct. 5, when he was falsely accused of blasphemy, the life of James Masih, a 42-year-old Christian husband and father, has been in constant jeopardy. On that day, a Muslim woman named Nazia arrived at the hospital where James for a medical checkup. She inexplicably began yelling at and accusing James of committing blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad. James, knowing the danger of this, rushed to his supervisor, who intervened, and, after talking with Nazia on the side, determined that James had not, in fact, blasphemed. Despite Nazia’s confession to the supervisor, someone attending her had secretly recorded her berating James for his supposed blasphemy. Before long, the video went viral on social media, and was even broadcast as “breaking news” by TV9, which referred to James as a “sanitary worker” — code in Pakistan for both Christians and the lowest of the low. In James’ own words:

“I knew the sensitivity of this news; it was a death warrant against me. That same night, we decided to move somewhere safe for myself and my family. Since then, I have been hiding at an unknown place. I am very concerned about my safety and that of my family, and don’t know how we can continue living here. [Blasphemy] is a very sensitive matter, and in such cases, people become very emotional. They could kill me on the spot, as normally happens in such cases. There are a number of examples where innocent people have been killed based on one person’s accusations.”

According to James’ wife, Shumaila, who is acquainted with Nazia, this is simply the Muslim woman’s way of avenging herself on the Christian family a few days after a monetary dispute that had nothing to do with religion:

“Nazia accused my husband of committing blasphemy. The matter was brought to the attention of the hospital’s medical superintendent who involved the police superintendent and assistant superintendent. James was found not guilty, and the matter was resolved. But this didn’t satisfy Nazia, and she wanted to teach us a lesson. This time, she has involved the media. Her false accusations have endangered our whole family’s lives, and if this matter is not resolved we have no future. My children have already stopped going to school, and we have no permanent place to live but are moving from one place to another to stay safe.”

Discussing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws in the context of this case, Nasir Saeed, Director of CLAAS-UK (Centre for Legal Aid & Assistance) said:

“[It is] an easy way to settle personal scores against someone. People don’t even think twice before using this law against someone, as victims of this law have to spend 8-11 years in prison to prove themselves innocent…. It is a hanging sword over the head of Christians and other religious minorities, because when someone is accused of committing blasphemy it is not against a single person, but the whole community comes under threat. Nearly 100 people, including women, have been extra-judicially killed, and hundreds more languish in jail for years for their fate to be decided. False accusers are never brought to justice, and this continues to encourage people to take the law into their own hands and make false accusations against other persons to settle their personal scores.”

Uganda: On Oct. 7, Muslims attached, beat, and slashed with knives two Christian evangelists. According to Wilberforce Mutenga, 38, a father of two, he and Robert Okia, a 43-year-old father of six children, “were beaten because of taking the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the purely Muslim community of Ikule village. We didn’t know that Muslims in this place had heard about our successful mission in Busakira village.” Before long, a Muslim mob had surrounded them:

“One shouted the Islamic slogan of ‘Allah Akbar [Allah is the greatest]’ three times, and everyone began to get hold of sticks and started beating us badly….After beating us, they carried and threw us near the swamp that separates Busakira and Kigandaalo, where a herdsman saw both of us bleeding and screaming for help. The man rushed and called local authorities, who took us to a nearby clinic for treatment.”

Wilberforce suffered a knife wound to his head, a dislocated knee, and other injuries to his legs. Robert suffered knife stabs to the knee and ribs, as well as hand injuries, swelling to his mouth and face and body pain throughout, all of which required he be transferred to a separate hospital for more specialized treatment.

In a separate but similar incident reported on Oct. 7, two other evangelists, Andrew Dikusooka, 35, and Ronald Musasizi, 26 “sustained deep knife wounds after leading several Muslims to Christ at debates on Islam and Christianity.” During one particularly fiery debate, more than usual numbers of Muslims embraced Christ. “The conversion of these people angered Muslims who began shouting to disrupt the occasion,” Andrew said from a hospital bed. Afterwards, on their way home, a group of Muslims blocked them near a railroad crossing. “They are the ones — beat them, beat them,” the Christians heard. “They then started beating us with blunt objects,” Andrew continued. One of the Muslims “hit me with a sharp knife right on my head,” while another knife-wielding Muslim “struck my friend in the belly and hands.” Both Muslim assailants were among the Muslims the Christians had just debated.

“Both of us fell down as a bright light flashed from a coming vehicle that appeared from the opposite direction. From that time onwards, we did not know what happened. We only found ourselves in the hospital in Iganga town with deep wounds.”

General Hostility for and Discrimination against Christians

Iran: In the Islamic Republic, “Simply being a Christian is enough to get you arrested,” was one of the findings of a UK governmental report detailing the horrific persecution Iran’s Christian minorities experience. It states, among other thngs:

“In general, a person who is found to have converted to Christianity and who seeks to openly practice their faith in Iran, are [sic] likely to be subject to treatment or discrimination by the state that is sufficiently serious, by its nature or repetition, to amount to persecution….. We do not however find it safe to assume that ‘ordinary’ Christians [as opposed to Muslim converts], that is to say individuals with no role beyond attending collective worship at house churches, escape the attention of the authorities. On a general level the language used by the sources indicates that to the contrary, simply being a Christian is enough to get you arrested: ‘authorities continued to arrest members of unrecognized churches’, ‘many arrests reportedly took place during police raids on religious gatherings’, ‘Christians, particularly evangelicals and converts from Islam, continued to experience disproportionate levels of arrests and detention.'”

Egypt: The president of Cairo University, Muhammad Uthman al-Khosht, assigned 31 new directors, deputy directors, managers, and researchers to head a number of departments, including those of agriculture, medicine, engineering, nursing, dentistry, statistical research, and African Studies. Although the Copts — Egypt’s indigenous, Christian, people — make up anywhere from 10-20% of its population, notable among these new Cairo University hires is that not a single one of them is Christian. All are Muslim.

This is just the latest instance of overt discrimination. Earlier this year, 98 female judges took the legal oath in preparation for assuming judicial roles in Egypt’s State Council. This was considered a major and unprecedented development; since its inception 75 years earlier, not a single woman had sat on the podium of the State Council court—and now 98 are. Yet, not one of them is a Christian — again, despite the fact that the Copts account for between 10-20% of the nation’s population, suggesting that at the very least 10 of the 98 should have, for proper representation, been Christian. (More examples of Egyptian discrimination are available here.)

Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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