Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territories are amongst the most dangerous places on earth for Christians, according to a new report.
Although Christians claim the area as their Biblical heartland alongside Israel, persecution and discrimination, especially in the past 15 years, means they now constitute no more than three to four per cent per cent of the region’s population, down from 20 per cent a century ago.
Hard-line Islamic views and state-sanctioned “religio-ethnic cleansing”are the key drivers behind the Christian genocide.
Just 12 months ago, the Islamic State branch that operates in and around Egypt designated the northern African country’s Christian minority their “favorite prey” in a 20-minute propaganda video.
Now the latest report released by the British Christian charity group Open Doors, an organization that monitors ill-treated Christians worldwide, reveals Egyptian Christians in particular are found to suffer in “various ways” such as pressure to convert to Islam, severe restrictions on building places of worship and congregating, and outright violence.
Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, which comprises roughly 10 percent of the country’s population, has been the frequent target of Islamic terrorism with Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta both struck by suicide bombers last April, killing 49 and leaving more than 100 injured on Palm Sunday.
Last December, a squad of terrorist gunmen attacked the Mar Mina church in southern Cairo, killing between eight and ten people and wounding at least five more.
“Christians in Egypt face a barrage of discrimination and intimidation yet they refuse to give up their faith. It is hard for us…to imagine being defined by our religion every single day in every sphere of life,” Open Doors UK and Ireland CEO Lisa Pearce said in a statement. full story