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Rising Persecution
Mosul's Christians Are Not Alone

It’s official: ISIS has now expelled all Christians from Mosul. The NYT reports that ISIS declared this past Friday that every Christian in the city had to be gone by noon on Sunday. More:

Interviews on Friday with Christian elders and leaders suggest that in fact many had hung on, hoping for an accommodation, a way to continue the quiet practice of their faith in the city that had been their home for more than 1,700 years. Chaldeans, Assyrians and other sects, including Mandeans, whose Christianity is close to that of the Gnostics, could still be found in Iraq, and many made their home on the plains of Nineveh in the north of the country, an area mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Genesis.

Friday’s edict, however, was probably the real end. While a few scattered souls may find a way to stay in secret, the community will be gone.

This tragic persecution is a particularly egregious example of a phenomenon that is global and growing. According to the Barnabas Fund, Sri Lanka recently has seen two incidents of mob violence against Christians. Now a hardline Buddhist group called Ravana Balaya has threatened to “take firmer action” if Christians don’t stop trying peacefully to evangelize the country’s citizens.

Meanwhile, in China, the government’s systematic campaign to pull down Christian churches has become violent. Reuters reports that several people were injured in China’s Pingyang county recently when they attempted to stop police from removing a cross from a church. In much of the world, these days, it’s increasingly dangerous to be a Christian.

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  • Andrew Allison

    It seems to me that what’s going in Mosul, is aggressive evangelization and that, while the results may been similar, there’s a distinction between rooting out long-established religious groups (anti-semetic, -Christian or, as in Myanma -muslim and proselytizing.

  • stefanstackhouse

    Being dangerous to be a Christian is actually the normal state of affairs. It is what Jesus warned His followers to expect. It has been a different situation for much of the era of “Christendom”, but then much of the danger was not being an officially approved sort of Christian (i.e., being a full-blooded real one instead of the watered-down fake sort). We are now hearing the death rattle of Christendom. Mourn or celebrate, that is the reality. Welcome to the new normal, which is the same as the old, pre-Constantinian old normal.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Islam is not a pre-Constantinian problem. Neither is communism.

      • stefanstackhouse

        Persecution is a pre-Constantinian problem. It doesn’t really make all that much difference whether it is done by Romans or Muslims or Communists or whoever.

        • FriendlyGoat

          I happen to think it makes a huge amount of difference since we all now benefit from an extra 1700 years or so of recorded education, understanding and experience.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Christians should organize to defend themselves. Allowing themselves to be victimized like this is disgusting.

    • stefanstackhouse

      No, Jesus told us that we should expect this. Either turn the other cheek, or if things get bad enough just flee and leave behind the dust on your shoes. Those are the options that Jesus gave us.

  • lukelea

    Are they eligible for asylum?

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