CNN: Extremism Fuels Abuse of Christians in Mideast

Raymond Ibrahim’s new opinion piece just published on CNN argues that extremism breeds extremism, and that Christians are suffering greater persecution today than at any time in their history. Read on to see if you agree with him.

Extremism fuels abuse of Christians in Mideast

By Raymond Ibrahim

CNN Editor’s note: Raymond Ibrahim, a Mideast and Islam specialist, is the author of “Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians” and “The Al Qaeda Reader.” He is an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum; Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; and a media fellow at the Hoover Institution. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.

(CNN) — The world heard of the plight of a Sudanese Christian wife and mother who, while eight months pregnant, was arrested and sentenced to public flogging followed by execution. Her crime? An Islamic court in Khartoum found her guilty of apostasy, that is, leaving Islam and converting to Christianity. It’s a crime punishable by death, according to some interpretations of Islamic law.

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, 27, who is married to an American, was released, rearrested, and then released again. It’s still uncertain whether her nerve-wracking ordeal is over yet.

But Meriam’s plight is nothing new or isolated. Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, has been languishing in prison since 2010, sentenced to death in Pakistan for “blasphemy.” Her husband and children went into hiding after death threats.

Persecution of Christians is one of the greatest human rights violations in the world today — and certainly the one least known in the West.

Religious hostilities are on the rise around the world, against Muslims, Hindus, Jews, folk religion followers and more. But the situation is so bad for Christians that the normally diplomatic Pope Francis just asserted: “The persecution of Christians today is even greater than in the first centuries of the Church, and there are more Christian martyrs today than in that era.”

Read the full story and watch a video here.

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