Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christians receiving death threats

Ruth Gledhill reports today about a woman who has been in hiding for some 15 years from her family because she converted from Islam to Christianity. The more frightening prospect is that this case is not happening on the streets of Cairo or Baghdad, but on the Streets of Britain.

Hannah (not her real name), one of seven children of a Lancashire imam, has been in hiding on and off for 13 years, and during that time has received many death threats. She has moved house 45 times to escape detection by her family. Most recently, in June this year, one of her brothers sent her a text warning that he could not be responsible for his actions if she did not return to Islam. There is little chance of that. Hannah has met and fallen in love with another Christian, and hopes to marry him next summer. Then she will be able to change her name, and hopefully be free from persecution for her religious beliefs by her family.

It is unfathomable for the Western mind to conceive of a justifiable reason to do this. Many may point to the habits of the Mafia, and other organised crime units, but do we really want to compare followers of a religion to criminals?

But of course these threats and acts aren't uncommon. Within the text I found a link to a blog called Persecuted By Islam, and it's dedicated to listing relevant news sources on violence against converts to Christianity from Islam. It even mentions that in Baghdad this past summer some were crucified. I'm reminded of the ancient church and martyrologies and the sayings about the blood of martyrs and seeds of faith. It really cajoles your sense of the present reality.

And the sentiments in Britain are not softening. Far from it, they're hardening. She tags a report put out by a centre-right think tank that found much hate literature circulating through the mosques of Britain, and quoted a report which surveyed a 1000 Muslim young people aged 16-24 (I wonder why) and many said it was ok to kill those who convert out of Islam.

Is this endemic of Islam throughout the west? Certainly in Europe it is for many underlying and politically sensitive reasons. Is this happening in the States? The answer is yes. You don't have to look any further than to our own Internet Jihadist in Charlotte North Carolina to see that this homegrown radicalism is present here in the US. It is unfortunate that at this time there is no real 'solution' to this 'problem.' Many have pointed out the factors that don't help relations. And recent developments in Christian Muslim relations are hopeful, but not without reservations.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd like to say to her that people have been percicuted just bfor being christian scince the time of Jesus our lord.I think ther is no other relligion in the world today that has suffered more than christianity.So she as a courragious woman will be blessed by the lord all mighty to keep her faith and do good for the world.