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Series Pro Oriente

Infidels, Leave!

Contemporary Persecution of Christians in Some Countries of the Middle East and Africa

Michal Řoutil

According to various statistics, Christians are today the most persecuted religious group in the world. Roughly 200–260 million Christians face discrimination; in some countries are believers in Jesus Christ on the brink of extinction. The oppression of Christians is especially strong due to the so-called “return to religion” in the Muslim states over the recent years. Much earlier events have preceded, however, starting from the genocide of Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in the Ottoman Empire (1914–1923).

This is why in the first part of this book, called “Old injustices, new wounds”, the author specifies modern Turkey, Cyprus (the Republic of Cyprus and the inofficial Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) and Azerbaijan as – at a first glance – now relatively peaceful countries, where, however, hostility against Christians has had a long history and is only taking new and more hidden forms today.

The history of the countries described in the second part as the “Unholy Holy lands”, is politically and religiously very different – that of the State of Israel/Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. They are, however, closely linked to the common history in which Christians have a unique place.

It was here that their faith was born and where the most important events of the New Testament took place. It is all the more scandalous that this is where it has to fight for its own survival.

In the third part of this publication, “Infidels, do not enter!”, the author monitors the situation in two Muslim theocratic states, namely in Iran and Saudi Arabia. In both of them Christian believers are experiencing intimidation, persecution, and even death for their religious beliefs. It turns out that there is no difference when it comes to forms of persecution of religious minorities in a Shia or Sunni Islamic state.

The most critical areas for Christians (and other minorities) where they are in these years facing the situation of full eradication, are Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Sudan. The horrific and tragic situation in these countries is described in detail in the fourth, and last part “In the eye of a hurricane”.

Each chapter of the book begins with a historical overview, describes the origins and development of main local churches and communities, and lists the most important personalities. The main parts are devoted to current events, describe the ways of persecution and discrimination, their political and social background, and, last but not least, the ways in which Christians in the area cope with these problems. The publication contains original photos and maps, an appendix with statistical tables on demographic issues, and a list of the relevant scientific literature on the topic.

LanguageCzech (English summary)

Series Pro Oriente

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