Editor’s note: What follows is a much-abbreviated version of the February cover story in WorldNet magazine. Readers can subscribe to WorldNet at WND’s online store.

By Greg Nyquist

© 2000, WorldNetDaily.com



The twentieth century will go down in history, not merely as the
bloodiest and most genocidal of all centuries, but also as the century
in which Western Civilization suffered its greatest setbacks since the
rise of Islam in the seventh century.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the West more or less
controlled the entire world. By the 1960s, most of Asia, Africa and
Eastern Europe had fallen out of the orbit of the West, devoured in
large part by the two most formidable anti-Western creeds, Communism and
Islam. One of the least appreciated consequences of this transformation
is the resumption of a type of persecution that would have been
unthinkable a hundred years ago: namely, the persecutions of Christians.

WorldNet magazine’s February 2000 edition

Case in point: Mary, a young Egyptian girl who grew up as a Coptic
Christian. When she was 18 years old, a group of radicals from the
“Gamat Islamiya” kidnapped and raped Mary, forcing her to convert to
Islam. Her captors poured sulfuric acid on her wrist in order to remove
a tattooed cross, and threatened to throw the acid in her face if she
didn’t consent to wear the traditional Islamic veil. When Mary’s father
went to the Cairo police, he was told to forget his daughter and was
ordered to sign a document pledging that he would cease all efforts to
recover her.

Mary eventually escaped her captors and received assistance from the
clandestine group “Servants of the Cross,” which facilitated Mary’s
re-conversion to Christianity. According to one of the representatives
of the organization, there have been in recent years anywhere between
7,000 and 10,000 forced conversions to Islam in Egypt.

By Muslim standards, Egypt is almost moderate. No place in the world
are Christians more brutally persecuted than in Sudan, Africa’s largest
country. In 1989, militant Islamic military officers seized power over
the democratically elected government and declared a virtual jihad
against southern Sudanese “infidels” — which is to say, against
Christians and animists. A scorched-earth policy was adopted in
southern Sudan and the
Nuba Mountains, scene of some the most horrifying religious persecution
since the holocaust.

Whole villages have been bombed, burned and looted. Many inhabitants
have been relocated into concentration camps where they have been
starved until they agreed to convert to Islam. Christians have been
subject to torture, imprisonment and assassination. Enslavement, rape,
deprivation of water and systematic starvation are also commonplace.
As a result of these policies, more people in Sudan have been murdered
than in Bosnia, Kosovo and Rwanda combined.

Or take the plight of Christians in China. In recent years, the
Chinese government has made a special effort to crack down on house
churches. According to the Far Eastern Economic Review, between
February and June 1996, “police have destroyed at least fifteen thousand
unregistered temples, churches and tombs.”

Believers can be arrested and tortured merely for holding
unauthorized prayer meetings or distributing Bibles without state
approval. Reports have surfaced of Chinese women being hung by their
thumbs with wires and beaten with heavy rods, denied food and water and
shocked with electric probes. Religious leaders are fined, thrown into
prison, tortured and sent to “education through labor” concentration
camps.

It gets worse. Even in the ostensibly “democratic” Russia it appears
that the persecution of non-Orthodox Christians may soon begin to
parallel the persecution of Christians under the Soviet regime.

On Sept. 26, 1997, President Yeltsin signed a new anti-religious law,
which, in effect, outlaws every religious organization that has appeared
in Russia during the last 15 years and subjects them to surveillance by
the secret police. Within weeks after Yeltsin signed the anti-religion
law, police began breaking up Catholic and Protestant gatherings.

“Inquiries, interrogations, police raids and groundless church
closures will likely once again become commonplace in Russia,” warned
Rev. Steven L. Snyder, president of
International Christian Concern.

Last August, police and security agents raided the Word of Life
Church in Magadan, a city in far Eastern Russia, near Siberia. Church
members were taken away for interrogation in the middle of the night.
They were stripped of their jewelry, their fingernails and pockets were
slit, and they were threatened with the loss of their homes and
possessions.

“This persecution is no different from those which were done under
the Communist regime,” stated Nickolay Voskoboynikov, the church’s
pastor.

Michael Horowitz, an activist on behalf of persecuted Christians
around the world, has warned that unless a serious effort is made to
confront the horrors of the persecution of Christians and put a stop to
them, Christians are likely to become “the Jews of the twenty-first
century, the scapegoats of choice of the world’s thug regimes.”



The preceding story is a brief synopsis of WorldNet Magazine’s
upcoming, in-depth, February cover story documenting the current
persecution of Christians worldwide. Readers may subscribe to
WorldNet
by visiting WorldNetDaily’s online store.

A contributing editor to WorldNet Magazine, researcher Greg
Nyquist is an expert in economics and philosophy.

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