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- (Photo: Reuters/Muhammad Hamed)
The mass exodus of millions of Christians from one part of the Islamic world to another as the result of persecution by Muslims has reached epidemic proportions, says a Middle East and Islam expert. In fact, Christians may completely disappear from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt, warns the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
"This matter of Muslim persecution of Christians is a humanitarian crisis at this point," said Raymond Ibrahim in a recent interview with Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch. Ibrahim is the author of the recently released book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians.
"It's something that is little known of or heard of or acted upon. In fact, not only is the Obama administration ignoring it, but it is actually exacerbating it, making it worse, a la the Arab Spring and other matters," said Ibrahim, who is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
He also recently expanded on his observations in an article he wrote, published on FoxNews.com.
"We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world, much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian, came into being," he wrote. "The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently said: 'The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it's increasing year by year.' In our lifetime alone 'Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.'"
Ibrahim said that current reports from Islamic regions support this warning.
"Iraq was the earliest indicator of the fate awaiting Christians once Islamic forces are liberated from the grip of dictators," he pointed out. "The 2010 Baghdad church attack, which saw nearly 60 Christian worshippers slaughtered, is the tip of a decade-long iceberg."
Ibrahim pointed out that 10 years ago, at least one million Christians lived in Iraq.
"Today fewer than 400,000 remain – the result of an anti-Christian campaign that began with the U.S. occupation of Iraq, when countless Christian churches were bombed and countless Christians killed, including by crucifixion and beheading," he wrote.
The same pattern has developed in Syria, Ibrahim said. "Entire regions and towns where Christians lived for centuries before Islam came into being have now been emptied, as the opposition targets Christians for kidnapping, plundering, and beheadings, all in compliance with mosque calls telling the populace that it's a 'sacred duty' to drive Christians away."
Some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled Egypt, their native country, soon after the "Arab Spring," he further lamented. Reports of attacks and evictions by al-Qaida linked Muslims perpetrated on Christians and especially the Coptic Orthodox Church appear commonplace.
Christians are not only fleeing countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, but also "black" African and "white" European nations with Muslim majorities, according to Ibrahim.
As many as 200,000 Christians fled Mali after an Islamic coup last year. According to reports, Ibrahim said, "the church in Mali faces being eradicated," especially in the north "where rebels want to establish an independent Islamist state and drive Christians out … there have been house to house searches for Christians who might be in hiding, churches and other Christian property have been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Christian relatives." At least one pastor was beheaded, Ibrahim wrote.
He gave several other examples of the humanitarian crisis and said that none of the reports come as a surprise to those "following the plight of Christians under Islamic persecution."
"As I document in my new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians, all around the Islamic world – in nations that do not share the same race, language, culture, or economics, in nations that share only Islam – Christians are being persecuted into extinction. Such is the true face of extremist Islamic resurgence," he stated.