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Christian Suffering


5 November 2000

Where Christians have been Targeted by Supporters of bin Laden: A Summary of Attacks to Date

Local Christian communities in the Islamic world are living in fear of revenge attacks by Muslims sympathetic to Osama bin Laden and the Afghan people. Many see Christians as traitors and natural allies of the West, and nothing they can say or do can convince them otherwise. “We have nothing to do with what’s going on in Afghanistan, we are innocent people,” cried one survivor of a massacre of Christians in Bahawalpur, Pakistan on Sunday 28 October. Nevertheless, Christian minorities in the Islamic world are bearing the brunt of the anger of Muslim supporters of Osama bin Laden.


AUSTRALIA - October

Twelve churches in Sydney, Australia, were attacked by arsonists during October. One church was attacked twice in three days as extremists threw Molotov cocktails through the windows. A telephone caller to the police later claimed, “It was for bin Laden.”

THE HOLY LAND - 8 October

A Christian convert from Islam was stabbed to death by a supporter of Osama bin Laden on 8 October. The murderer shouted, “You are an apostate!” as he stabbed him.

INDONESIA - 23 October

Four Christians were dragged from their cars and beaten by gangs of Muslim students who stopped traffic in Makassar, Sulawesi, on 23 October. The following day two other young Christian men were also violently assaulted. The violence was carried out in response to a peaceful demonstration against Osama bin Laden two days earlier.

KENYA - 26 September

Two churches in Isiolo, Kenya, were burnt to the ground in an arson attack on Wednesday 26 September. Carved into the charred remains of the two buildings were the phrases, “God is Great” and “We condemn America”.


MALAYSIA - 23 October

Eight Christian workers from the headquarters of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship in Malaysia were sent to hospital on 23 October after coming into contact with a letter containing white powder. The powder came with an offensive letter promising death to the staff when they opened it because it contained anthrax, threatening to destroy the NECF offices, and calling down curses on Christians.

MAURITANIA – 17 October

The National Director of World Vision in Mauritania and his young daughter were shot and injured whilst out walking on 17 October. They seem to have been targeted by a Mauritanian man angry at the attacks on Afghanistan, because they were Westerners.

NIGERIA - 12 to 14 October

As many as 200 people were slaughtered in riots in Kano on 12 to 14 October when supporters of Osama bin Laden turned on the city’s Christian minority during anti-US demonstrations. Hundreds were injured and 18,000, mainly Christians, fled to military and police buildings seeking protection from the violent mobs. Over 16,000 have been made homeless.

PAKISTAN - September

Several Islamic religious leaders in Pakistan issued a fatwa in September stating that two Pakistani Christians would be killed for every Muslim who dies during American strikes on Afghanistan. On 20 September a 13-year-old Christian boy was beaten to death by five Muslim men who refused to pay for a meal they had brought from his stand, saying, “Take your payment from America.” In Rawalpindi five Christian families were dragged from their homes and savagely beaten by Muslim mobs during anti-American protests. In Lahore a gang of Muslims set fire to a church and beat a Christian minister. Another church was stoned by Muslim rioters, and a Christian school broken into and vandalised. At least three more churches were also attacked.

PAKISTAN - 28 October

Sixteen Christian worshippers and a Muslim policeman were brutally shot and killed in an attack on St Dominic’s Church, Bahawalpur, on Sunday 28 October. Their attackers shouted “Pakistan and Afghanistan, graveyard of Christians,” “God is Great,” and “This is just the start,” then opened fire on the congregation, most of whom were women and children.

SUDAN

Many Islamic militants in Northern Sudan are now seeing the ongoing civil war against the mainly-Christian African population of the South as a direct retaliation against American/Christian forces “The Kifr [infidel] airplanes are bombing the Emirate of Afghanistan, and our Islamic airforce is retaliating against the black kifr in Sudan. The south Sudanese rebels have received assistance from America, therefore they will suffer,” said one.