By Martin Mawyer
Let’s start with Afghanistan.
Brutal, heartless and gruesome beheadings happen all over that country.
Just recently, a 12-year-old boy was beheaded in Kandahar because his killers wanted to punish his family for allowing his older brother to work with U.S. forces. In northern Afghanistan, a 15-year-old girl was beheaded for refusing to accept an arranged marriage.
In southern Afghanistan, 17 young Muslims were beheaded for partying too hard – yes, their dancing and singing was found inappropriate to their Sharia-compliant murderers.
There’s nothing unusual about the ghastly practice of Muslim beheadings in Afghanistan -- a nation which American forces supposedly set “free” of such Islamic tyranny.
But the brutality of these Muslims who are killing other Muslims does not end there.
I recently had the displeasure of watching a video of a Christian being beheaded in a small village somewhere in western Afghanistan. The Christian man met his gruesome death because, as his male executioners explained just before taking a knife to his neck:
“You who are joined with pagans…your sentence is to be beheaded.”
As he lay on the ground, a foot to his neck, he pleaded with his captors to spare his life. “For God’s sake,” he can be heard shouting, “I have children.”
His plea did not matter. After reading the charges against him, his executioners knelt beside him and carried out their horrendous deed. They then proudly shouted to the cameraman who was filming the event, “Allah Akbar,” meaning “God is Great.”
These Muslim killers believed they were offering a service to God.
It’s easy to look around the world, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, and be shocked at the remarkable number of Muslim fanatics who think they are offering a service to God by attacking men, women and even children of the Christian faith.
And just as remarkable, it’s difficult to understand why the western world does notice, or seem to care, that Christians are being slaughtered at the hands of Muslim assassins.
Just take a look (and certainly this is not an exhaustive look) at Christians who have been murdered by Muslims since Christmas.
In Iraq, a Christian university student was killed instantly by a car bomb while he sat in front of a supermarket. And this occurred just one day after a Christian teacher was murdered by having her throat slit.
In Nigeria, 15 Christians were shot to death while praying in their church. The Muslim attackers then went and burned their homes.
In Sudan, the Muslim government bombed a Christian village, killing 11 people.
In Pakistan, Christians coming out of a church service on Christmas Eve were met with a Muslim mob carrying automatic rifles, pistols, sticks and iron rods. Not only were the men and women victims of this horrific attack, but even children were shot and beaten. The Pakistani Government has yet to charge anyone with the crime.
In Syria, the Islamic group calling itself the Syrian Free Army, beheaded a Christian man and then fed his body to the dogs.
(By the way, England believes this Islamic group, the Syrian Free Army, should eventually succeed the Assad Regime in Syria, if that revolution ever succeeds.
Great. Just what Syria needs -- an Islamic government that beheads Christians, feeds them to them the dogs, supported by a Western country – England – whose Sovereign holds the title, the “Defender of the Faith.” Does anybody else see the irony here?)
I could go on with these mass killings of Christians – which have occurred just during the past several weeks, and perhaps I should, because Christians in America need to know what is happening to their brothers and sisters overseas.
Few American Christians, for instance, have ever heard of a fanatical, crazed and murderous group of Islamists called Boko Haram.
Operating in Nigeria, which is the most populous country in Africa, this vile group of Muslims has killed more than 3,000 people during the last three years, most of them Christians.
Translated, Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful.”
The group is also known through its lengthy title, “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.”
No subtlety there. No pretense at political correctness. Boko Harm’s goal is to root out villages using western education and replace it with the teachings of Mohammed or…it’s jihad. It’s just that simple.
Recently, the group ventured into a college town and went door to door interviewing people, asking questions. Anyone giving the wrong answers was executed on the spot. Dozens were murdered.
The group attacks churches, schools, government offices, the media and anyone else who dares to get in their way of spreading Islam.
Last year alone they reportedly murdered 750 people.
Bringing in the New Year, Boko Haram went to the homes of Christians living in northern Nigeria and slit their throats – killing 15. And it’s not as if these Christian had any warning of the impending attack.
“The attackers came in and silently went into homes whose residents were all Christians and slit the throats of their victims,” one resident told police.
The crimes of Boko Haram could make anyone nauseated and I will refrain from listing all of their burnings, shootings, stabbings and bombings.
Yet, despite these atrocities – that are well documented, photographed and investigated – the US State Department refuses to list Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
How is that possible? Despite thousands dead. Despite Christians being hunted down and slaughtered while they sleep in the “safety” of their own homes or while praying at their church. Despite the use of every conceivable weapon to commit these acts of terror against Christians. Despite their own admission that they receive support, weapons and training from Al-Qaeda…
…the State Department refuses to list Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
It makes one wonder what it takes to get on the State Department’s FTO list --it’s clearly not the systematic killing of Christians.
On Christmas Eve, 2010, the group set off seven bombs in the Middle Belt of Nigeria and killed 80 Christians.
In 2011, Boko Haram issued this public statement:
“Very soon, we will wage jihad . . . our jihadists have arrived in Nigeria from Somalia where they received real training on warfare from our brethren who made that country ungovernable.
Yet, again, the State Department refuses to list Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
There is a small glimmer of hope, however. Congressman Peter King has promised to pursue legislation in 2013 that would force the State Department to list Boko Haram as an FTO – a designation that would allow our government to freeze bank accounts and make it a crime to provide Boko Haram with material support.
Admittedly, this will not stop Boko Haram from continuing its genocidal attacks against Christians in Nigeria.
And, unfortunately, the issue of Islamic radicals continuing their murderous and violent rage against Christians in Africa and the Middle East will continue, as well.
In Egypt, just several weeks ago, Christians were warned by the Muslim Brotherhood:
“You are playing with fire in Egypt, I swear, the first people to be burned by the fire are you.” -- Dr. Wagid Ghoneim
In Iran, a jailed American pastor is now facing the death sentence. Saeed Abdeini was arrested shortly after returning to Iran to visit his parents last September. This U.S. citizen was imprisoned and charged with running a secret network of house churches in Iran. (Did you catch that? This is an AMERICAN PASTOR facing execution. Does anyone in our government even care about protecting one of our own?)
Not only does he sit in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, but his case is going before one of Iran’s equally notorious judges, Pir-Abassi, who is known as the “hanging judge.”
Christian persecution at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East has become so severe, deadly and tortuous that some have predicted the eventual end of Christianity in its original birthplace.
“Christianity is in serious danger of being wiped from its biblical heartlands because of Islamic oppression,” says a recent report by the Institute for the Study of Civil Society (Civitas).
The report adds a further observation, one that could be easily predicted:
“But Western politicians and media largely ignore the widespread persecution of Christians in the Middle East and the wider world because they are afraid they will be accused of racism.”
Imagine having gone that far down the line of “political correctness” that you could possibly be accused of racism for objecting to the persecution of Christians in Muslim dominated countries – countries where Christians are shot, beaten, beheaded, bombed, fed to the dogs and jailed.
Twenty years ago, most Christians probably thought that persecution, if it were to come, would be in the form of living in a secularist or atheist society, such as in the Soviet Union, where Christians were routinely jailed for expressing their faith.
But I don’t think ANY American Christian thought about the type of persecution happening today -- where someone chops off your head, or hangs you by your neck, or shoots you while coming out of church, or slits your throat while you were sleeping, or bombs you while sitting in your car or feeds your dead body to the dogs -- and thinks they are doing a service to God.
None of us thought about that type of persecution. But we should have, because it’s right there in the Bible.
“…an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.” John 16:2
I doubt if Jesus was talking about atheists.