As millions of Christians around the world were celebrating Easter Sunday, the Christians of the Muslim world were again under attack. The April 2 Islamic jihad attack on a Kenyan school—where the Islamic murderers made sure to slaughter only Christian students, sparing fellow Muslims—was only the most spectacular attack.
On Easter Sunday itself, as some media reported, the Islamic State destroyed the Virgin Mary Church in Tel Nasri—loosely translated as "Christian Hill"—in northeast Syria.
Even lesser known is that other churches and Christians in the Middle East were attacked during Easter weekend. Take Egypt. President Sisi recently decreed that a Christian church should be built in the Upper Egyptian town of al-Our, where 13 of the 21 Christians who were gruesomely beheaded by the Islamic State in Libya grew up, and where their families still live. The church was meant to honor them and the nation of Egypt. more >>
In speaking at the National Press Club on Tuesday, best-selling author, former Muslim and outspoken critic of Islam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, offered five amendments to the religion of Islam that Muslims should take seriously if they really want to bring about a peaceful reformation to their religion.
In discussing her new book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, Hirsi Ali explained that in the last five years she has seen a wave of Muslims throughout the world express interest in reforming Islam so that it is not brutally oppressive toward women, those who break Islamic law, and religious minorities.
Hirsi Ali, who is originally from Somalia and is a survivor of genetal mutialiation, further explained that Islam needs to follow in the footsteps of Christianity and Judaism, which have both previously undergone their own reformation periods. more >>
One week after the Copts of al-Our village in southern Egypt were attacked by an angry mob seeking to stop a church from being built, Copts in el-Galaa village endured the same treatment.
El-Galaa is home to 1,400 Copts who had been served for 38 years by the small 60-square-meter Virgin Mary Church. With their numbers in el-Galaa and surrounding villages growing, and their old church building decaying, the local Copts submitted a request in the early 2000s for building a new church and received a permit in 2004. Religious fanatics in the village prevented its construction by building a mosque next to the new church's designated location: Egyptian law prohibits houses of worship from being built next to each other. Building a mosque next to the location of a proposed church has been a common method used to prevent churches from being built.
Seeking to avoid a confrontation, Copts bought two houses next to the old church and in January 2015 received from the local governor the necessary permit to demolish the preexisting church and build a new one. Still, Copts have been prevented from building the church by a mob and security forces. In early March the mob physically attacked. In what has become a common practice, it also issued a number of demands: The church was to have no outer symbol of Christianity — no dome, no cross, no tower, no bell — and its entrance was to be on a side street. more >>
In the wake of last week's Al-Shabaab massacre of nearly 150 Christians at a Kenyan university, President Barack Obama issued a statement in response to the attack that failed to identify the victims as Christians targeted for their faith and also failed to label the extremist group as having Islamic motivations.
Last Thursday, Al Shabaab militants raided the campus of Garissa University College where they reportedly separated Muslims from the non-Muslims and killed approximately 147 Christians, while injuring 79.
The Somali terror group al-Shabaab, which killed nearly 150 students in a targeted attack on Christians at Kenya's Garissa University College last week, is rooted in a religious ideology and is not too different from the Islamic State in its ambition, said religious freedom scholar Paul Marshall of Hudson Institute in an interview.
Terrorist groups, including al-Shabaab, follow different kinds of interpretations of the Quran, "but they are similar to the Wahhabi school in Saudi Arabia," Marshall, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C., told The Christian Post.
Asked about the al-Qaeda-affiliated group's ambitions outside of Somalia, Marshall said its attacks in Kenya are partly in revenge for Kenyan troops fighting its militants in Somalia, "but its ambition goes far beyond that." more >>
Atheist author Richard Dawkins said in Twitter messages on Monday that Islam continues to uphold punishments such as stonings, and preaches about world domination, while Christianity and Judaism have moved away from such "Middle Ages" teachings.
"Laws designed for 7th-Century tribal desert society are not always well suited to modern conditions. Jews & Christians mostly realise this," Dawkins wrote in a post.
"Yes, Christianity & Judaism are every bit as stupid as Islam. But they don't preach world domination, theocratically imposed law, stoning, etc.," he added in a follow-up post. "And yes, Christianity and Judaism USED TO preach equally terrible things. But we live NOW, not in the Middle Ages. That's kind of relevant." more >>