cronache arabi dell'Islam del primo secolo

[tutti i complici dei #satanisti #americani, #Spa, #FMI, per la #sharia #imperialismo #saudita, neanche, la vita dei #wahhabiti, #salafiti, ha valore.] Nuovo video sulla strage nel centro commerciale in #Kenya,  19.10.2013, Nuovi particolari dell'attentato, del #centro #commerciale #Westgate a #Nairobi, #Capitale del Kenya, sono stati rivelati dal video, registrato con le camere di videosorveglianza, fatto il primo giorno dell'assedio. Sul filmato i visitatori del centro inizialmente sembrano affaccendati nelle consuete attività, ma poi si girano bruscamente, percependo l'attentato. Sulle facce delle vittime si legge la #paura. I #terroristi, girando nella sala di commercio, #uccidono i visitatori a casaccio. Inoltre c'è il video dal parcheggio, dove i #guerriglieri #sparavano contro la folla. Le camere nelle sale di depositi mostrano, come, i #terroristi pregavano a turno. Durante l'attentato contro #Westgate a #Nairobi, del 21-25, settembre sono morti, almeno, 67 persone.





Non ci sono cronache arabi dell'Islam del primo secolo dell'Islam. Molti dei primi documenti conosciuti sull'Islam si riferiscono ai seguaci di Maometto come "hagarenes," e la "tribù di Ismaele", in altre parole, come discendenti di Agar, la serva che gli ebrei patriarca Abramo utilizzato per padre di suo figlio Ismaele.

Questa stessa qualità di trasmissione si trova per quanto riguarda la Bibbia ebraica e cristiana non si può dire del Corano islamico. Il Corano islamico è stato in gran parte scritto da conti a mano 3 ° e 4, e da alcune riflessioni scritte su carta di scarto, foglie di palma e pietre - e compilato più di 150 anni dopo la morte di Maometto nel 632 dC Nel lMasabih il Mishtatu ', capitolo 3, veniamo informati che dal comando del primo califfo, Abu Bakr, il testo del Corano è stato "raccolto" da Zaid ibn Thabit "di foglie di palma e le pietre e dal petto di coloro che aveva imparato a memoria" le rivelazioni varie. "copia di Abu Bakr è entrato in possesso di Hafsah, una delle vedove di Maometto. Qustalani afferma che dopo la morte è il suo Hafsah copia è stata fatta a pezzi da Mirwan, che fu governatore di Medina.

La datazione più antica di tutto Corano 790 dC (dopo Cristo), ed è nella British Library. E '158 anni dopo la morte di Maometto. Vedi Corano corrotto qui.

I musulmani spesso affermano che il manoscritto del Corano nel Museo Topkapi di Istanbul, la Turchia è una delle più antiche fonti. I musulmani dicono che risale da circa 650 dC Vi è un problema insormontabile con questo. Questo documento è scritto in cufico (noto anche come al-Khatt al-Kufi) script. Monete in mostra al British Museum che le prime monete con la data cufico script dalla metà alla fine del 8 ° secolo (750-800 dC). Lo script utilizzato solo durante e dopo giorni di Maometto era lo script Jazm. Le prime copie del Corano sono scritti senza vocali e punti diacritici che la moderna araba usa per mettere in chiaro ciò che la lettera è destinato. Nei secoli VIII e IX, più di un secolo dopo la morte di Maometto, i commentatori islamici aggiunto segni diacritici per chiarire le ambiguità del testo

There are no Arabic chronicles of Islam from the first century of Islam. Many of the earliest documents known about Islam refer to the followers of Muhammad as "hagarenes," and the "tribe of Ishmael," in other words as descendants of Hagar, the servant girl that the Jewish patriarch Abraham used to father his son Ishmael.

This same quality of transmission we find regarding the Jewish and Christian bible cannot be said of the Islamic Qur'an. The Islamic Qur'an was mostly written down from 3rd and 4th hand accounts; and from a few thoughts written on scrap papers, palm leaves and stones --and compiled over 150 years after Muhammad died in 632 A.D. In the Mishtatu 'lMasabih, chapter 3, we are informed that by the command of the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, the text of the Qur'an was "collected" by Zaid ibn Thabit "from palm leaves and stones and from the breasts of those who had learned by heart" the various revelations." Abu Bakr's copy came into the possession of Hafsah, one of Muhammad's widows. Qustalani states that after Hafsah's death her copy was torn to pieces by Mirwan, who was governor of Medina.

The oldest Qur'an dates from around 790 A.D. (after Jesus), and it is in the British Library. That's 158 years after Muhammad's death. See corrupted Qur'an here .

Muslims often claim that the manuscript of the Qur'an housed in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the oldest sources. Muslims say it dates from around 650 A.D. There is an insurmountable problem with this. This document is written in Kufic (also known as al-Khatt al-Kufi) script. Coins in the British Museum show that the first coins using the Kufic script date from the mid to end of the 8th century (750-800 A.D.). The only script used during and after Muhammad's days was the Jazm script. These earliest copies of the Qur'an are written without vowels and diacritical dots that modern Arabic uses to make it clear what letter is intended. In the eighth and ninth centuries, more than a century after the death of Muhammad, Islamic commentators added diacritical marks to clear up the ambiguities of the text.

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24. Comoros

Although Comoros went down in the World Watch List 2012 from position 21

to 24, the persecution dynamics stayed the same: though hardly any incident

was reported, government restraints remained tight and mainstream Muslim

society firmly stayed alert for “dissidents.” In the context of Islamic extremism

both government and society acted as drivers of persecution, but the emphasis

was on society.

A referendum passed in May 2009 installed Islam to be the state religion,

infringing seriously upon freedom of religion. The penal code prohibits

proselytizing for any religion except Islam. Any converts from Islam to

Christianity can be prosecuted in court. Therefore, Muslim Background Believers

operate in underground fellowships. Only expatriates are allowed to operate

churches in the country. Police are vigilant and question foreigners closely so

that they don’t distribute religious materials.

The indigenous Muslim community puts much pressure on non-Muslim citizens

and foreigners to practice elements of Islam in Comoros, particularly during

Ramadan. This intimidates non-Muslims and causes them to worship in

seclusion and in fear. To see such harshness from the Islanders is unexpected.

Most citizens know each other well and are friendly to each other regardless of

faith. The influence of radical elements from Iran, however, causes Muslims in

local mosques to be vigilant about Christian activities. A source person stated,

“Through them the Christian faith is constantly vilified, they hype the emotions,

and encourage persecution.”

Iranian influence goes back to Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi, the previous

President of Comoros elected in May 2006. He was a cleric and businessman

who studied Islamic political theory in Iran and was a close friend to Iranian

President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad. They developed bilateral ties on economic

issues and exchange of research, technology and information in 2006. Ever

since, the two countries have had cultural and political commonalities, and

have maintained close relations. The political and religious influence of Iran has

been very strong, now even more with the demise of Col. Muamar Gadaffi of

Libya, who was trying to compete with Iran.

The new believers have withstood a lot of pressure, and now they have more

acceptance in some parts of society than before. For instance, in Gran Comoros

the believers have to worship in secret. Relatives of the people have accepted

the new faith of the believers, while the other parties (police, extremist

elements, Mosque leadership) are not open to this. In the region Anjouan,

especially the town Mutsamadu, the believers and their place of worship are

known, but nobody has bothered them. This positive tendency is however

balanced by a mainstream society that sternly guards Muslim rules and

worship, and radical elements from Iran who eagerly correct signs of

weakening of anti-Christian sentiment. Whether actively involved or not,

government has established the necessary framework for this persecution

dynamic. Open Doors expects persecution to grow in the near future. The

number of believers is reported to be growing in size and strength. Although

numbers are still very limited, that can’t but encourage negative reactions from

the different parties involved in the religious setting in the Comoros.

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25. Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan ranks lower than last year, but increased in points.

The Republic of Azerbaijan, bordering Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey and

Iran, is officially a secular state, somewhat comparable to the Turkish model.

The majority of its population is Muslim. The government has a negative

attitude towards any form of religion. The attitude towards Christians is not

different. Fundamentalist Islam is perceived as a destabilizing factor for the

country’s rulers. The presence of a huge Azeri community in Islamic Iran to the

south is a cause of concern.

The influence of traditional Islam is growing in various regions of this country.

The oppression of Christians is not only religious, but also nationalistic/ethnic.

Azeri believers are considered traitors as Christianity is associated with the

country’s archenemy, Armenia.

The general perception of Christians in Azerbaijan is negative. According to our

reports, official checks are becoming increasingly strict. The government has

become more active in controlling religion, and, compared to previous years,

the position of Christians has deteriorated. All churches and religious groups

were required to renew their registration by Jan. 1, 2010, but since that date

no new churches have been able to get registration. Unregistered religious

activities are punishable, and the fines on breaking the law are high, but

successful registration is close to impossible. Almost all Protestant

denominations are still without legal status. Private homes cannot be used for

holding religious services. Congregations without registration get into trouble

with the police. Protestant churches are raided, with church leaders arrested or

fined.

There is no freedom at all to build church buildings. Churches need explicit

permission to do so, and this is hardly ever granted. Over the past year no such

permission was given. Christians often refrain from even beginning the

permission procedure. Under the December 2010 legislation, it is illegal for

unregistered churches to meet, but some take the risk anyway.

Many Christians are unable to find or keep jobs and are watched closely by the

secret services. The role of the secret services and police is important, but there

is also a Committee on Religious Affairs which controls almost everything.

However, the number of indigenous believers continues to grow, and some

continue to be active in outreach despite the risk. The growth of the church is

encouraging, but under increasing legislative restrictions, oppression is also

expected to increase.

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26. Libya

Libya drops one position on the WWL to number 27, but increases in points.

Under the despotic rule of Muammar Gaddafi, the situation for Christians in

Libya was already extremely harsh. There were some freedoms for expat

Christians, who are mostly temporary workers from neighboring African

countries. Black and non-Arab Africans faced racism. Immediately after the

revolution, it was difficult for them as they were seen as possible mercenaries

working for Gaddafi. During Gaddafi’s reign, Libya did not have a real

constitution. There was a book with some legal prescriptions called the Green

Book, but in practice Gaddafi’s will was law. The feared and omnipresent secret

police made sure that restrictions on the organization of church activities and

distribution of Christian literature were enforced and evangelism was

criminalized.

As in most Muslim countries, converting from Islam brings social pressure.

Muslim Background Believers are always at risk from their families; there were

some reported cases of beatings by family members. Most Libyan Christians are

afraid to meet with other believers, as any kind of religious gathering (other

than Islamic) for Libyans is forbidden. Expats are allowed to have their own

churches, but Libyans are not allowed to attend. This last year, many expat

churches had their permits withdrawn, and at least two Christians were

imprisoned and possibly tortured. Christians that are released from prison are

generally expelled from the country.

The revolutions in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia, and the military support by

NATO, gave Libyans the courage to fight Gaddafi, who had been in power since

1969. But after a bloody civil war that led to the death of Gaddafi, it is feared

the future will be worse than under Gaddafi. During the uprisings that started

in February and led to civil war, Christians were more open about their faith in

Jesus Christ. These Christians now fear the consequences of their witness.

Because of the unrest, 75% of the expat Christians left the country and it is not

clear how many Christians remain or will return in the future.

The National Transition Council (NTC) that took over after months of fighting

has already revealed its intentions regarding religious freedom by setting a

dangerous precedent. Under their supervision the Saint Georges Church in

Tripoli was ransacked when they took control of Tripoli. Also, two Christians

have been held hostage by the NTC because of importing Christian books. The

NTC is expected to implement sharia law and make Libya an even more Islamic

state than before. The then president of the NTC publically announced a

“democracy according to sharia,” which is a contradiction in itself. This would

make the position of Christians even more difficult than before, in a country

where all citizens were already considered Sunni Muslims by law.

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27. Oman

Oman has seen protests and civil unrest since January 2011, which caused

the deaths of two people. However, after promising to create 50,000 jobs,

allowing citizens more freedom of speech, improving the social welfare

system and changing the cabinet, most turmoil faded away.

There is no visible change in the situation of the local Christians. The Omani

Constitution declares that “the freedom to practice religious rites in

accordance with recognized customs is guaranteed provided that it does not

disrupt public order or conflict with accepted standards of behavior.” Islam is

the state religion and legislation is based on Islamic law. All public school

curriculums include instruction in Islam. Apostasy is not a criminal offense,

but it is not respected by the legal system either, which assumes that all

citizens are Muslims. The very concept of change of faith for an Omani citizen

is an anathema. A converts faces problems under the Personal Status and

Family Legal Code, which prohibits a father from having custody of his

children if he leaves Islam. During the reporting period, deportations of

foreign workers (because of Christian activities) continued.

Almost the entire Christian population (around 35,000) is expatriate; there

are only a few indigenous Christians. All religious organizations must register,

and Christian meetings are monitored for political messages and nationals

attending. Foreign Christians are allowed to discretely worship in private

homes or work compounds. Their facilities are restricted in order not to

offend nationals. Muslim-background believers (MBBs) risk persecution from

family and society. MBBs can lose their family, house and job and even could

be killed.

There was a minor increase in points (now 42 versus 41 for the last WWL) for

Oman which was mainly caused by the above mentioned deportations and by

more information on the constitution and national laws, which are more

restrictive on religious freedom than previously assumed. The small increase

in points does not lead to a higher ranking on the WWL: Oman holds position

42 (versus 41 last year). This apparent paradox is explained by the

considerable increase in numbers for other countries on this year’s list.

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28. Brunei

Brunei is a small state on the South East Asian island of Borneo, embedded in

the Malaysian State. The observation of the small Christian minority has

tightened, thus bringing a slight increase in the country’s position in this

year’s World Watch List.

Brunei Darussalam is an Islamic nation, based on an ideology called Melayu

Islam Beraja (Malay Muslim Monarchy). The religion of Brunei Darussalam is

the Muslim Religion according to the Shafeite sect of that religion. All other

religions may be practiced in peace and harmony by the person professing it

in any part of the country. In practice, this means that only non-Malays are

able and allowed to choose their faith. If a Malay converts, this “disturbs

peace and harmony” and he is automatically scheduled for re-education to

the Islamic faith.

In the reporting period the Sultan announced his aim to introduce an Islamic

Criminal Law which will complicate the situation for the small Christian

minority even further, especially for Muslim-background believers known to

have converted. The monitoring of churches and Christian meetings seems to

have increased. The state sends spies to those gatherings, so Christians have

to exercise more caution. In one case, a pastor was openly warned by

authorities to be cautious with his Christian activites and with whom he

meets.

It is very difficult for existing churches to get the government’s permission to

renovate a church building. Permission for expansions is never granted,

whether churches are registered or not. Importing Bibles, Christian literature,

and other materials is restricted to personal use only. Importing for ministry

purposes is not possible. Materials in the national language are especially

suspect and thus difficult to obtain. Accordingly, churches have to be careful;

they experience challenges in training and work.

As long as the state demonstrates preference for one specific religion, denies

freedom of religious choice, and links conversion with peace and harmony in

society, nothing substantial will change for the Christian minority.

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29. Morocco

The revolutionary wave that went through North Africa and the Middle East

known as the Arab Spring has also flooded Morocco. In the case of Morocco,

the protests did not bring the monarchy to an end, but King Mohammed VI

had to adopt a number of reforms in order to restore social peace. The protests

were finally subdued in July, forcing the King to vast political concessions,

including government changes, a referendum on constitutional reforms, a

greater commitment to respect civil rights and an end to corruption.

Out of pragmatism, Mohammed VI—who is considered a direct descendent of

the prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam—has given in to the pressure of

the moderate Islamic Justice and Development Party (PJD). In the parliamentary

elections that were held at the end of 2011, the PJD obtained a huge victory,

and based on the new constitutional procedures, must now provide a Prime

Minister.

The Moroccan church is not recognized by the authorities, but the expat

Church is. The expat Moroccan church has always suffered from oppression,

although it was never as harsh as in neighboring North African countries. The

main source of persecution is Muslim fundamentalist influence on the

authorities and in society.

Islam is the official state religion, but the constitution provides some freedom

of religion. There are, nevertheless, a number of practical restrictions in

exercising this freedom. For example, the government prohibits the distribution

of Christian religious materials, bans all proselytizing, and tolerates several

small religious minorities with varying degrees of restrictions. Foreign Christian

communities openly practice their faith. Voluntary conversion is not a crime in

Moroccan law, and is therefore implicitly accepted. However, Moroccan

Muslims who convert to Christianity are treated as criminals by the police and

face rejection from friends and most family members.

Compared to 2011, the situation of Christians in Morocco seems to have

improved a little. Morocco, nevertheless, goes up on the WWL, basically

because Islamist forces are becoming more visible in the country. While 2010

was characterized by big pressures on the Moroccan church and the expulsion

of over 150 missionaries and Christian expatriate workers, 2011 did not see

many incidents against Christians. The authorities dedicated most of their

energy and resources to control the uprisings throughout the country, which

gave them less time to monitor Moroccan Christians and churches.

The Arab Spring gave the younger Christian generation a feeling of hope and

so they are encouraged to struggle for more freedom. The future will tell

whether this hope will become a reality, or if government restrictions will

increase again. “Can Morocco’s Islamists check al-Qaeda?” Le Monde

Diplomatique asked in 2007. This is still a valid question today. The answer to

this question will depend on how moderate the Islamists in government will be,

and if moderate Muslims will be able to form a coalition to withstand the

pressures of al-Qaeda and other fundamentalist groups.

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30. Kuwait

“The popular uprisings witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa

region since early 2011 have inspired some protests in Kuwait, but these are

unlikely to lead to any radical changes in the system,’’ stated a November 30th

report of the Economist Intelligence Unit. However, Kuwait’s Prime Minister

Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah and his cabinet resigned in December

2011 over an alleged corruption row with their parliamentary opponents.

The Kuwaiti Constitution declares that the State protects the freedom of belief.

However, it also mentions some limitations: the practice of religion should not

conflict with public order or morals and be in accordance with established

customs. The government implemented these restrictions from time to time.

According to the constitution, Islam is the state religion and Islamic law (sharia)

is an important source of legislation.

Conversion from Islam to another religion is not permitted and the government

actively supported proselytism by Sunni Muslims. For MBBs, the main

persecution engines are family and Muslim extremists, and to a lesser extent

authorities. There are only a few hundred Kuwaiti believers (MBBs), as most

Christians are migrant workers from outside the country. The MBB number is

growing rapidly and they are becoming bolder and bolder in sharing their faith.

Converts risk discrimination, harassment, police monitoring of their activities,

arbitrary arrest and detention, physical and verbal abuse. Also, a change of

faith (away from Islam) is not recognized and is likely to lead to legal problems

in personal status and property matters in court. The government requires

Islamic religious instruction for all students in public and private schools.

Teaching Christianity is prohibited, even to legally recognized Christians. The

Christian community mostly consists of foreign migrant workers. Expat

Christians are relatively free to worship informally. There are four registered

denominations which meet in compounds. However, these are too small for the

number of people gathering and local Kuwaitis are annoyed by the noise and

traffic of these overcrowded meeting places. The extreme difficulty to obtain

property to gather for worship is an extra burden. On the other hand, the

sharing of meeting places has encouraged greater cooperation and fellowship

among churches.

The situation of religious freedom for Christians has been more or less stable

over the past few years. During the previous reporting period we received

reports of a Christian who had to flee for his faith and a Christian was arrested.

Also during this reporting period, a Christian was forced to flee. We did not

report any arrests, but this does not necessarily mean it did not happen. This

year Open Doors gathered more information on the constitution and national

laws, which are more restrictive on religious freedom than previously assumed.

This led to a minor increase in points, from 40 last year to 40.5 this year,

bringing Kuwait to place 30 from position 28 last year.

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31. Turkey

Turkey went from rank 30 in 2011 to rank 31 this year, but increased in points.

In name, Turkey is a secular state, but various forms of persecution of Christians

exist. Government restrictions on religious freedom basically originate in

interpretations of the secular constitution and laws of the country, which are

biased against non-Muslim minorities. There is a huge difference between the

formal interpretation of the country’s secular legislation and the informal

practices by government officials, police officers and judges.

Government restrictions, social hostilities and nationalism are important sources

of persecution, causing human rights violations (hate crimes, unfair judicial

treatments, discrimination, etc.). People with a Muslim background who are

interested in the gospel are often victims of strong discrimination by their

families. In a patriarchal society such as in Turkey, a conversion of one of the

family members is thought to bring shame on the family. Many converted

Christians are disinherited or are told they are no longer part of the family.

Muslims who convert to the Christian faith risk losing their jobs. The government

remains passive when they learn of these types of discrimination, because it only

concerns a very small minority.

Some churches are registered and have authorizations to organize church

services. Preaching in public is allowed, but these preachers risk harassment both

by police and Turkish nationalists. Missionary work is possible, but missionaries

do not get a residency permit if they request it to work as a missionary.

A Bible translation in modern Turkish was made available years ago, and the

printing and distribution of Bibles and Christian literature in churches is

permissible, though open distribution results in problems.

Christians engaged in religious advocacy are occasionally threatened or

pressured by government and state officials. Proselytizing by non-Muslim

religious groups is socially unacceptable and sometimes dangerous.

Police officers are present in some church services to protect church-goers, but

also to monitor the activities of Christians. However, this protection is

intermittent, and from time to time church properties are vandalized.

The traditionally secular state, under constant protection by the national army,

has in recent years become more open to public expressions of Islam under the

government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo an and President Abdullah Gül

of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), in power since 2002.

When Turkey was actively negotiating its membership in the European Union, the

country adopted a series of reforms in order to comply with the Copenhagen

criteria. These initially contributed to increased religious tolerance in the country

and protection for minorities. The Malatya murders in 2007 negatively affected

Turkey’s image on the international stage, and the trial against the murderers is

still ongoing. The needed reforms, however, were not completed, and while

some improvements can be seen, the country has not succeeded in completely

eliminating discrimination against Christians. Only the Armenian and Greek

Orthodox denominations are officially recognized by the government.

Oppression of Christians is expected to continue, as the legal and social position

of Christian minorities is not improving.

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33. India

India’s staying in the same place in the WWL this year shows that conditions have not improved.

Disruptive violence against evangelists, pastors and church gatherings continues to occur on a monthly

basis, usually where the Christians live and work in remote or rural areas. Compiling from several

sources, a total of 109 incidents of anti-Christian violence were recorded in the reporting period, usually

where a pastor or evangelist would be attacked and badly beaten by a mob, and the authorities failed

to respond in an adequate fashion.

The main persecutors are mobs organized by extremist Hindu organizations who

peddle their exclusivist ideology, Hindutva, which believes that those belonging to

other religions have no place in India and should be forced to leave. Despite

being voted out of national power, the Bharatija Janata Party (BJP)—the political

party backed by Hindu extremists that pushes the Hindu extremist agenda—is in

power in states where two-thirds of the population live, and they continue to seek

to embed their extremist and revisionist version of their religion into the cultural

mainstream, with some success. “Hindu extremism going viral is the greatest

threat to the church today,” said a church leader in Delhi in August. Local

governments and police often side with those who commit the violence, resulting

in a virtual amnesty for thugs.

No large scale violence of the kind witnessed in Orissa in 2008 was seen in the reporting period, but

consequences continue. According to the national minorities commission reporting late in 2011, of the

827 criminal cases registered in Kandhamal, 512 cases have been formally charged, and 361 people in

65 cases have been convicted. But a total of 2,246 people have been acquitted due to lack of proper

evidence against them, so far. The remaining 321 cases are under trial.

Sporadic violence continues in the area and last Christmas (2010) some 200 extremists barged into a

Christmas day celebration in the village of Koyi Konda, beat up the worshippers, destroyed furniture,

and set fire to ten Christian homes and crop fields. In Maharashta state on May 2, Hindu extremists

stopped the construction of a church building and organized a boycott against the local Christians, even

to the extent of preventing their children attending the local school. Such incidents are almost

commonplace, and accompanied by the usual accusation that the Christians have been guilty of “forced

conversion” or “conversion by allurement/inducement”—an accusation that carries a legal penalty.

Persecution is drawn due to the amazing success Christianity is having among the low castes and

untouchables, or Dalits, which threatens the Hindu leaders. The Christian Church is growing

significantly. Officially Christians form 2.3% of the 1.2+ billion population, but there is credible

evidence to suggest the percentage may be higher than 5%, or over 70 million Christians. There is also

increasing tension between Muslims and Christians in Kerela, Kashmir and Assam, and Maoist insurgents

and Buddhist fundamentalists are threatening Christians in certain regions also, a minor but growing

trend.

Despite this, India remains a largely pluralistic country, and most Christian leaders find their main

problems deal with the grinding poverty levels. Forty percent of India’s population under 5 are

malnourished; a staggering 72% of Indian children never attend high school; there are 60 million child

laborers and still 600 million people do not have access to electricity. An Indian legislator, Dr Shashi

Tharoor, says India “is destined not be a superpower, but super-poor.”

While most Christians remain relatively free, many parts of the country remain key battlegrounds

between Hindu extremists and Christians. The extremists are especially regrouping in the rural areas,

setting up schools to raise up a new “Hindu Taleban,” and even educated leaders are seeking to make

Hinduism a much less tolerant religion. According to Rev Richard Howell, the General Secretary of the

Evangelical Fellowship of India, “...Christians in India continue to face the worst ever persecution in

India.” Christians are bracing for increasing persecution in the future.

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33. Burma/Myanmar

“The wind of change streams through the country!” In a nutshell, that is what

observers like the International Crisis Group say about Myanmar after its

transition to a new, semi-civilian government in March. Several positive signs

are observable since the new leadership has taken office, stirring hopes that

significant changes are indeed underway. Two of these signs are the

comeback into the political arena for Aung San Suu Kyi and the possible re-

admission of her party, the National League for Democracy, and the release of

hundreds of imprisoned political dissidents. But there are some dark shadows

on the bright prospects connected with the new government: the majority of

the so-called “political prisoners,” totaling at least two thousand, are still

imprisoned. Also the army’s war against ethnic rebels—most of whom are

Christians by name and religious affiliation—is at least as intense as before.

According to several reports, the Burmese Army repeatedly entered Christian

villages of the Kachin tribe, harassing and harming believers and sometimes

forcing them to serve as porters. In one case in August this year, the army

turned a Christian village into a full-fledged military outpost, including

fortifications, trenches and landmines. Though the believers sent a letter of

complaint to the authorities, nothing has been done to help the Christians by

the new government. This event fits into a long history of ethnic conflict with

the Kachin tribe, which lives in the northern border region to China and India.

As international observers stated, the ongoing reaction of the armed forces

doesn’t match the rhetoric of the new president speaking about

reconciliation.

On the other hand, a new Human Rights Commission was established in

September, with minorities duly represented on it. A renowned and respected

member of the Christian Kachin minority is serving as a member. As the

commission has only recently been created, it remains to be seen how

independently this commission will operate and what specific responsibilities

it will have. Nevertheless, its formation is an encouraging sign. Thus, in the

2012 World Watch List, Burma slightly decreased in points, but dropped

considerably in ranking due to changes within other countries. Because of this

considerable drop, it is necessary to stress that there are still no dramatic

visible changes to persecution within Burma.

Whether the winds of change will alter the predicament of the Christian

minority remains unclear. Pressure from society and the military appears to be

unchanged at this time. One Protestant church leader expressed concern,

saying the new measures could be a short-lived effort to get the rotating chair

of ASEAN (the association of South East Asian States) for 2014—which the

country obtained recently—while convincing the international community to

lift its sanctions.

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34. Tajikistan

This year, Tajikistan ranks a little lower than in 2011. Unfortunately, this has

nothing to do with an improvement in the situation for the Christian minority

in the country, but rather with the unusual situation of the split of Sudan which

boosted Northern Sudan up almost 20 places in the list. Though there have

been no substantial changes, the country dropped down two places on the list.

The new laws on religion distinguish between registered and unregistered

churches in a very strict way and are likely to cause more trouble for MBBs in

the future. It is not completely clear how the laws will be implemented, but

given the experiences of the believers until now, a further deterioration seems

possible.

In August 2011, authorities introduced a new “Parental Responsibility Law”

which holds parents fully responsible for the religious activities of their

children. This law singles out Tajikistan compared to the other Central Asian

states—less in practical, but rather on the legal and ideological level. It had

been difficult and cumbersome to conduct Sunday School activities or youth

camps in the past, but now the new law restricts all participation of persons

under age 18 in any religious activity, except funerals. Children can only receive

religious education in government-licensed institutes. More than half of

Tajikistan`s population is under age 18. Parents disobeying this law face heavy

fines and even prison sentences from between 5 and 8 years. The government

recently proved its determination in religious matters by stopping young

Muslims entering mosques for the Eid-al-Fitr prayers celebrating the end of

Ramadan in August 2011. Given this example, the small Christian minority

might face growing problems in the future.

Believers, especially MBBs, encounter attacks and harassment, and are

monitored and being pressurized into renouncing their Christian faith. A very

strong source of persecution is the family, but also society as a whole. As long

as the overall situation in the Central Asian region does not change, the

Christian minority will face constant and probably increasing restrictions on

their freedom.

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35. Tunisia

Tunisia is the country that started the movement of demonstrations, protests

and revolutions that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, later

known as the “Arab Spring.” It is also the country where the democratic

transition seems to have the greatest chance of success based on its politically

activist tradition and its generally well-educated population. Tunisia is known

as the most liberal country in the region, depending heavily on tourism. This

being said, the country faces important challenges. According to the

International Crisis Group (ICG), Tunisia “will need to balance the urge for

radical political change against the requirement of stability; integrate

Islamism into the new landscape; and, with international help, tackle deep

socio-economic problems.”

A broad coalition of the unemployed, lawyers, intellectuals, middle class

workers and trade unions demanding radical political change was behind the

Jasmine revolution of December 18, 2010, that led to the ousting of President

Ben Ali and Prime Minister Ghannouchi. In October 2011, the first election

was held. These elections were won by the Islamic Ennahda party, which has

already announced its intention to move towards the implementation of

sharia law and to transform Tunisia into an Islamic state.

Due to the high levels of polarization in Tunisian between the liberal, secularist

elite and the well-organized Islamists, it is unclear how much of the Islamic

agenda will be implemented, but the country has been affected by constant

turmoil in the aftermath of the revolution. Radical Muslims, most of them

exiled to France, are returning to the country and spreading their

fundamentalist messages. They are organizing violent demonstrations that the

weakened security services of the government find difficult to contain.

The extremely violent murder of Father Marek Rybinski, a Polish priest and

Salesian missionary, in February 2011 is a clear example of the increasing

religious violence in the country. Another example of religious violence is the

case of a local church leader who had to leave the country because of grave

threats against the lives of him and his family.

At the moment, although the constitution of Tunisia respects freedom of

religion and conversion from Islam is not prohibited, representatives of the

administration at every level often act differently. Foreign Christian residents

experience more inspections and suspect their phones to be tapped. Pastors of

expat churches are monitored, and importation of Christian books in the Arabic

language is obstructed. National churches cannot register—since independence

(1956) no new church has been granted official registration—and local

Christians are questioned and beaten once their conversion is known.

Reports from the field indicate that pressure on Christians, coming both from

the authorities and from the families of Muslim-background believers, has

increased since the Jasmine revolution. In this context, it is yet to be seen

whether the democratic transition will improve the situation of the small

Christian population in the country.

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36. Syria

Violence and protests against the government of President Bashar al-Assad

have lasted for months, and the situation in the country can best be

described as chaotic. “The current stage [of Syria] is defined by an explosive

mix of heightened strategic stakes tying into a regional and wider

international competition on the one hand and emotionally charged

attitudes, communal polarization and political wishful thinking on the other,”

analyzes the International Crisis Group in its most recent brief on Syria (the

Nov. 24, 2011, brief on Syria by the International Crisis Group). Three central

messages can be distilled from this analysis: the social and political climate of

Syria is extremely explosive—the country is on the verge of civil war—and if

the current regime would collapse, whatever regime replaces it will not

necessarily be more democratic.

Syria has more than 20 million inhabitants and 1.9 million of them are

Christians. The Christian community lived in relatively peaceful circumstances

under the secular regime of President Bashar al-Assad. As long as Christians

did not disturb communal harmony or threaten the government, they were

tolerated and had freedom of worship. The recognized church of Syria is not

a hidden or secret church. It is respected in society, although every Christian

meeting is monitored by the secret police. However, these churches often

cannot and will not evangelize openly in Syria because of political pressure

and agreements with other religious leaders. Muslim background believers

face many problems, mostly from family and friends.

The government has to deal with extremist Islamic groups who are against

Christians and other minorities. Many extremist foreign fighters (mostly from

other Arabic countries) have been living and operating in Syria since March

2011, as a hegemony battle between the Iranian axis and the U.S.-Saudi/Gulf

Arab axis is being fought in the country. These foreign fighters have been

entering houses and threatening many Christians and other minority groups.

Anti-Christian sentiments are clearly on the increase amidst the current

violent and chaotic situation in the country.

As one of the minority religions, most Christians have been supportive of the

Alawite regime in the past, since that regime gave them relative peace and

rest. But nowadays most Christians are not supportive of any regime; they

just want a peaceful agreement and situation. But supporting the Alawite

regime in the past has made them vulnerable to attacks from the opposition.

They are also at risk for religious reasons, as fundamental Islamic groups

oppose any religion other than Islam in the country.

Since March mostly Sunni and Salafi protesters have been taking the streets

to demonstrate against the government. Frustrations of the majority religious

group have mounted after decades of domination by the minority Alawite

elites. Anti-Christian tensions first appeared in the form of threats. During

several demonstrations, Christians were forced to participate or were called

upon to immigrate to Lebanon; Alawites are threatened with death. The

situation has further worsened. Recently, Christian meeting places—mainly

churches—have been raided, resulting in physical damage. In one city,

Christians are afraid to leave their homes and do not attend church meetings

any more. Local Christians report that fundamentalist taxi drivers made a vow

that they will harm any unveiled female client. These women, mostly less

World Watch List 2013:
Worldwide 100 million Christians are persecuted for their faith in Jesus.

Every year, Open Doors publishes the World Watch List, illustrating the countries where Christians are most persecuted. The Open Doors World Watch List is the only annual survey of religious liberty conditions of Christians around the world. It measures the degree of freedom of a Christian to live out their faith in five areas of life - private, family, community, congregation and national life, plus a sixth element measuring the degree of violence.

Download the World Watch List now >>

In 2012, Christians in Nigeria, Iraq and Syria experienced the most violence, closely followed by those in Sudan and Columbia. In Eritrea, Myanmar, Kenya and Egypt the levels of anti-Christian violence were also extremely high.

North Korea remains the most nightmarish state in which to practice Christianity in the world today, taking out the top spot for the 11th year in a row. However, the 2013 Open Doors World Watch List also highlights the most significant persecution trend of 2012 as a rise of Islamism in every country that experienced the Arab Spring. This has resulted in massively increased pressure on large parts of the church in the Middle East and North Africa.

The trends are not uniformly gloomy however. In the Far East, with the exception of North Korea, the communist states have all marginally improved their treatment of Christians. Laos, Vietnam and China have all moved down the list.

Dropping out of the list this year, for various reasons, are Chechnya, Turkey, Cuba, Belarus and Bangladesh.

Frequently asked questions >>

Click countries below to view profiles of the top 10

    North Korea
    Saudi Arabia
    Afghanistan
    Iraq
    Somalia
    Maldives
    Mali
    Iran
    Yemen
    Eritrea

See More Country Profiles

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orthodox Muslims and Christians, are being kidnapped, raped or even killed.

Some months ago, two Christian women were kidnapped in Damascus. One

managed to jump out of the driving car, but the other was taken and remains

missing. Amidst this threatening situation, Christians intend to celebrate

Christmas quietly, so they don’t draw too much attention to themselves.

Considering these developments, it is not amazing that the total of points for

Syria increased from 34.5 last year to 39 this year; putting it on place 36

(from 38).

What can be expected for the future of Christians in Syria? As long as the

Alawites remain united, the power continues to be in the hands of the Al

Assad clan. The Alawite will continue to control the military-intelligence

apparatus, and the Baath party will continue to hold monopoly on the

political system. Bashir’s regime seems to be quite firmly seated. In spite of

the current deplorable human rights situation in the country, Christians prefer

a continuation of a secular regime that doesn’t have much religious input

from Islam. Though it is hard to predict how events will unfold, a change of

government is expected to lead to a situation of anarchy and struggle for

power. This will likely result in an Islamist extremist take over—leading to a

worse situation for Christians and other minority groups. Should that

happen, Christians will either be isolated or driven from the country en

masse—a situation comparable to the one in Iraq.

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