- WND - http://www.wnd.com -

Christians persecuted
in Islamic nations

Amid the current unrest in Saudi Arabia in the wake of America’s war on Islamic terrorists, Middle East Newsline is reporting arrests and even torture of Christians in the “moderate” Saudi kingdom.

“Christian sources in the kingdom said at least 15 Christians from Africa have been arrested in Jedda over the last few months for conducting non-Islamic services in private homes. Three of them are said to have been tortured in prison,” said the defense news service.

It was the first confirmed report of physical torture of Christians detained for worship in the kingdom, according to the report.

“Saudi Arabia does not allow the worship of any other religion other than Islam. Jews are not allowed in the kingdom and Christians are warned that they risk arrest if they participate in private prayer gatherings,” said the report.

Persecution of Christians rampant

Indeed, according to the November issue of Whistleblower magazine, titled “JIHAD: The radical Islamic threat to America,” the current report from Saudi Arabia is part of a widespread pattern of persecution of Christians throughout the Islamic-controlled nations of the Middle East, northern Africa and elsewhere.

In his Whistleblower article, “Islam: from toleration to terror,” Paul Marshall, one of the world’s leading authorities on religious persecution, states: “The Saudi restriction on the expression of any religion besides Islam means, quite simply, that Christian worship is banned. It is illegal to wear a cross or to utter a Christian prayer. Christians cannot even worship privately in their own homes.”

Because they operate under the Islamic Shari’a law, adds Marshall, “the Saudi government pressured the allies in Operation Desert Storm about religious observances. They demanded that Christian and Jewish soldiers not be allowed to wear any symbols of their faith when they were in service in Saudi Arabia. This was mandated, even though the troops were there to defend Saudis from invasion by Iraq.”

Religious repression in Saudi Arabia has only increased since the Gulf War, says Marshall.

While the West frequently focuses on Shari’a law for its brutal punishments, including amputations, “its legal procedures can be equally terrifying,” notes Marshall. “The Saudi judicial system provides little chance of a reasonable defense against accusations, since defendants have no right to be represented by lawyers. Torture is widespread. Confessions obtained under torture can be accepted by courts as evidence — sometimes the sole evidence — for a conviction.”

While scarce Western press attention has focused on the horrendous persecution – including forced conversion to Islam, slavery, torture and crucifixion — meted out to the Christians and animists in southern Sudan by the radical Islamic regime in the northern capital of Khartoum, even less Western media focus is drawn by the persecution of Christians in so-called “moderate” Mideast nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Egypt — kidnapping, rape, forced conversion

In November’s Whistleblower magazine, Marshall, author of “Their Blood Cries Out,” documents a number of examples of Christian persecution and forced conversion in modern Islamic nations. Here is one:

“These circumstances exist not simply despite Islam,” notes Marshall. “Unfortunately, they are expressions of a particular and increasingly powerful form of militant Islam.”

Marshall’s in-depth piece in Whistleblower focuses on the plight of Christians in five Islamic countries — Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the U. S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is urging the Bush administration not to ignore flagrant human-rights abuses in the interests of holding together its coalition with Saudi Arabia and other “moderate” countries. According to Middle East Newsline, the commission wrote a letter to Bush demanding that, “in forging alliances against terrorism, the United States not compromise its commitment to human rights including religious freedom and democracy. We oppose such policy trade-offs.”

Subscribe to Whistleblower magazine, beginning with “JIHAD: The radical Islamic threat to America.

“Their Blood Cries Out” by Paul Marshall is available from WorldNetDaily’s online store.