Iran is increasingly cracking down on Christians who are viewed by Islamic leaders as a threat. The situation has been of such grave concern that numerous reports have appeared lately in both Christian and secular publications.
The Christian presence in many Muslim countries is dying out. In fact, Rusty Wright observes that "the less Islamic a Muslim country is, the more freedom exists for religious minorities." Wright asks, Why do radical Muslims hate Christians? He explores socio-cultural, political, religious and psychological reasons.
In many Muslim countries members of tiny Christian minorities are daily harassed, murdered, imprisoned, or sentenced to death. Such claims are often dismissed by Islamic apologists as "accusations…propaganda [or] lies told by Christians and Jews in North America and Europe," says Michael Coren. He adds, "…it is almost impossible to overstate the degree of paranoia among many Muslims concerning Jews and Christians." Why is this so? "To criticize an Arab government, to condemn the actions of Muslims, to side with suffering Christians, is seen as playing into the hands of the United States and Israel." Coren offers additional insights.
On another note, some news about Israel, a major source of contention for Muslims. It may become more so in the near future. Recently a gigantic natural gas reserve was discovered just off Israel's coast. It could change the politics of the Middle East, notes a Bible League report.
A land of contrasts, Israel was also the recent destination of an Evangelical Press Tour for a group of 14 journalists. Peter McManus, writing for City Light News, Calgary, shares familiar highlights for those who've been there, and tempting glimpses for those who haven't.
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Daina Doucet, Online Editor
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