Last weekend’s scenes of anti-Christian mob violence in Cairo, against a background of churches in flames, is a powerful reminder of a grim reality: Non-Muslim communities have become endangered species throughout much of the Islamic world.
Some statesmen have begun to acknowledge the existential crisis facing non-Muslims. Former Lebanese Prime Minister Amine Gemayel warned earlier this year that Islamic extremists are waging a war of “genocide,’’ while French President Nicolas Sarkozy now refers to the region’s Christians as the victims of “a perverse program of . . . religious cleansing.’’
The most sensational acts of anti-Christian terror command headlines — for a moment. Such was the case when 41 worshippers at Baghdad’s Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church were held hostage and then massacred by Islamic extremists last October, and 23 Egyptian Christians in Alexandria were killed by a bomb blast as they left mass early this year.
Pakistan’s only Christian Cabinet member, Shahbaz Bhatti — the minister for minority affairs — was shot dead in March. He was a critic of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
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