The violence perpetuated by the "religion of peace"
As the Catholic Church finds new ways to approach the issue of "world peace", it is faced with an unfortunate reality: currently no religious group in the world is subjected to more violence and persecution than Christians. While the Church has been instrumental in eliminating the "discrimination" towards other religions in formerly Catholic countries, not all of those other religions have followed suit.
In particular, the cult of Islam which is now referred to by confused Catholics as a "religion of peace", has shown little sign of letting up on its fourteen-hundred year campaign to eliminate Christianity. While the Pope welcomed the construction of a mosque in Rome almost completely financed by Saudi royalty, the construction of a Catholic Church in Saudi Arabia is strictly forbidden. Measures Catholic nations used to take to prevent the spread of error are subjected to the harsh condemnation of both secular revisionists and modern Catholics alike. But those same tactics employed in the Arabian counties of the Middle East are ignored out of a relativist sense of "tolerance".
The Church has decided to stop fighting its enemies in the interests of "religious liberty" and "dialogue", but its enemies have made no such concession:
During an official meeting on Islamic-Christian dialogue, an influential Muslim, who was addressing the Christians taking part, stated quite calmly and with assurance: "Thanks to your democratic laws, we will invade you; thanks to our religious laws, we will dominate you." 1
The Church has chosen the road of negotiation and is "leading" by example, but such tactics appear to deny a fundamental and obvious truth not lost on the over one billion Muslims: the opposite of truth is error and error has no rights. Error is not something to be flattered, negotiated with, tolerated or accepted. It is offense to God and man and must be eliminated through conversion. The Muslims beliefs are false but their grasp of such a simple concept is irrefutable.
The relativism that considers all religions more or less good is a product of man, not God. The followers of Mohammed are right to completely reject the "enlightened" ideas of modern philosophy as every pre-Vatican II Pope did. Unless the Catholic Church is able to reclaim this truth for itself, it will find itself in an impossible position: having to defend itself from an enemy which Catholics were raised to believe is an innocent and peaceful ally.
There are many examples of persecution of Catholics at the hand of Muslims. Three areas of the world will be examined here.
Recently, a highly-publicized recent massacre in a Pakistani Catholic Church has caused many local Catholics to stay home on Sundays rather than risk a repeat of such a violent attack. Christians comprise less than 3% of the almost exclusively Muslim population of Pakistan.
On October 26, Pakistani newspapers printed the al-Qaeda demand for the death of two Christians in retaliation for every Muslim killed in the U.S. military strikes on Afghanistan. Two days later, masked gunmen opened fire on in a Church in Bahawalpur, putting 142 bullets into the walls, windows and altar and killing fifteen:
The slayers had shouted Islamic slogans while mowing down their victims, declaring their attack was "just the beginning" of making Afghanistan and Pakistan the "graveyard of Christians". 2
"The authorities are always very secretive about investigations into attacks against Christians," a Church leader in Lahore told Compass last week. "They don't want to go out of their way to be seen to punish Muslims." 3
Benjamin Bashir, 25, a member of St. Dominicīs Catholic Church, was riddled with 19 bullets as he guarded the strategic installations at the Quetta airport on Nov. 7. [Bashir] had been the sole provider for his mother and family since his father went blind, said Catholic Bishop Andrew Francis of Multan.4
...another Catholic was shot to death in Peshawar, capital of the northwest frontier province near the Afghan border. Married, with two small children, Waheed Paul was last seen by his wife on the morning of Nov. 9, as he went in the gates to his office. According to CRAA, an Afghan-run NGO that employed him as an accountant, he did not report for work that morning.5
Over the past two years, Muslim extremists have been waging a Jihad against Christians in the Moluccas region of Indonesia, bombing churches, burning homes and killing over 9,000 people.
On November 1st, militant forces trampled through the village of Waimulang, torching 350 homes and displacing over 1,000 people.6
On November 20th, nine Christians merchants were shot down in their boat while bringing goods to the shore.7
On November 26th, Muslim militants fought to overtake a Catholic educational compound and disabled children's center (!) so as to make it their military base:
The compound is apparently seen as a strategic location because of its position overlooking several Christian neighborhoods. ... The aims of the attack are reported to be to use the complex as a Jihad training centre and to use the strategic location of the compound to attack the surrounding Christian neighborhoods. Father Bohm added that if the complex fell into the hands of the militants, they would not only be able to attack the Christian areas but also to cut off the road to Soya village, the only escape route available for the Christians living in surrounding areas.8
Refugees are being housed in churches and government buildings, said Father Langgino Sangkide, who is based in the town of Tentena. ... Fighting between Muslim and Christian villagers in Sulawesi, about 1,000 miles northeast of Jakarta, has claimed at least 1,000 lives in the last two years. Dozens have been killed in recent weeks. ... The Jakarta Post quoted Bishop Joseph Suwatan of Sulawesi as saying armed militiamen had used bulldozers to destroy homes, churches and schools. The United Nations has warned that increasing tension in the region could trigger a flood of refugees. At least 50,000 people have already been displaced.9
To make matters even worse, the Sulawesi region has also been host to al-Qaeda terrorist camps:
Indonesia's intelligence chief said on Wednesday that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network had set up training camps in Sulawesi island where Muslims Jihad groups have been attempting to eradicate Christians. Lt. Gen. Abdullah Hendropriyono said al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups had trained with the local Islamic militants.11
In the northern states of Sudan, the Muslim majority has been working to implement the Muslim Sharia law which includes such things as stoning for adultery, the illegality of any Christian worship or "proselytism" and the relegation of women to second-class citizens.
Christians have been protesting against the imposition of these laws and accompanying "Islamization" of the country by the Khartoum government, but have faced increasing violence. Rather than risk having their children seized and forced into slavery, many have fled to the predominately Christian southern states, which are receiving more refugees than they can handle:
"The situation is disastrous: more than 7,000 families may die for lack of water in Aweil county," said Bishop Cesare Mazzolari, a Comboni missionary who is bishop of the Rumbek diocese. He is seeking support for an emergency campaign to drill new wells.13
In a supposed exchange for information on the terrorist attacks, the U.S. has removed obstacles to the lifting of UN sanctions a move which seems to reward the oppressive Khartoum government. An open letter to the president signed by dozens of religious leaders and human rights activists rightfully criticized the move:
"The evidence points to the horrifying prospect that Khartoum perceives it can wage terror at home without serious American concern or objection. Since September 12, the regime has increased its aerial bombardment of southern Sudan, killing innocent men, women and children, and destroying cattle. On October 4, Sudanīs First Vice president, rallying departing mujahiden troops leaving for the battle front, declared: 'The jihad is our way and we will not abandon it.' On October 9, the regime bombed the UNīs World Food Programme forcing the United Nations to evacuate from areas of northern Bahr al Ghazal. It persists in denying extended permission to USAID to deliver relief to communities in the Nuba Mountains that the United Nations has identified as starving to their death. It continues to tolerate and condone slavery; in late September over 4,000 south Sudanese slaves, the vast majority of whom had been forcibly converted to Islam and subject to physical and sexual abuse, were freed by an international, faith-based group acting in defiance of the regime." 14
"Bin Laden was in Sudan from 1991 to 1996. It was agreed that he should leave, following an attempt on the life of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. They could have handed him over to Bill Clinton, but they didnīt. Bin Laden had workers here producing chemical weapons. His agents are still here, administering large agricultural properties." 15
Sudan is not the only African country where radical Islam is taking hold. In Nigeria, where several northern states have recently implemented the Muslim legal code despite a constitutional prohibition against the establishment of a state religion, a Sharia court recently sentenced a woman to death by stoning for fornication. And Bishop [Akio] Mutek finds worrisome signs in Kenya and Uganda.
But observers fear that for radical Islamists, Sudan is the key to the rest of Africa. "Sudan is a preview of what will go on in all of Africa if the south falls," said William Saunders, who founded the Bishop Gassis Sudan Relief Fund to assist the struggling Sudanese in the Nuba Mountains.
Observers warn of a pattern that may be replicated in other parts of Africa. Initially, the Islamists present themselves as helpful and peaceful. "They go to a place as traders, bring in things people need, try to live with the people, marry, build shops, preach, ask people to convert, marry local girls, give their children Muslim names and build mosques," Bishop Mutek said.16
Father Vincent Serralda, a French priest who lived among Muslims in North Africa for fifty years, prepared a study analyzing the Koran and warning French families of the danger of Islam. He wrote in the preface:
"Islam is always at war, even when it tries smiling. His war is the extinction of Christianity. That is what a careful reading of the Koran revealed to me. It is this combat to death that I am proposing to unveil to the French families who have not yet suffered the Moslem hostility and who cannot suspect the pretension of their Imams for a world imperialism." 17
And what is "authentic" Islam? One need look no further than the beliefs of their human founder himself:
"[Mohammed] approved of assassination, when it furthered his cause; however barbarous or treacherous the means, the end justified it in his eyes; and in more than one case he not only approved, but also instigated the crime." 18
1 From the Interventionis in scriptis on 13 October 1999 of His Eminence Mgr Giuseppe Germano Bernardini, OFM, Archbishop of Smyrna, at the Synod of European Bishops
2 ZENIT, "Christians in Pakistan Fear a 'Christmas Bloodbath'" (12/5/2001)
6 FIDES, "New Attacks by Muslim Extremists on Christians in Indonesia" (11/9/2001)
7 ZENIT, "9 Christians Shot Dead in Indonesia" (1/12/2001)
8 CWNews, "Indonesian Catholics Under Siege by Jihad Forces" (11/26/2001)
9 ZENIT, "Indonesian Christians Suffering New Attacks" (12/8/2001)
10 ZENIT, "4 Churches Bombed in Indonesia" (1/2/2002)
11 CWNews, "Indonesia says al-Qaeda Set Up Camps in Sulawesi" (12/13/2001)
12 Source: East Timor Action Network
13 FIDES, "Thousands Face Death in Sudan for Lack of Water" (1/11/2002)
14 ZENIT, "Letter to Bush Regarding Rapprochment with Sudan" (11/20/2001)
15 ZENIT, "Sudan Supports Terrorism, Bishop of Rumbek Says" (11/25/2001)
16 J. Burger, "Sudan's Christians Fight for Survival" National Catholic Register (12/2/2001)
17 Fr. J. Emily, "September 11 and the True Face of Islam" (2001)
18 Catholic Encyclopedia, "Mohammed and Mohammedanism" (1911)