From the Barnabas Fund via ReligionJournal, with thanks to EPG and RB:
Some 3,000 Christians in the UK are in danger because they have chosen to convert from Islam. Some are being actively harassed and persecuted, but many church leaders seem more interested in defending their attackers than in standing up for the rights of the converts.
Nissar Hussain, a Christian from Bradford, has suffered three years of harassment, amounting effectively to persecution, from the local Muslims in his neighbourhood. His car has been torched and rammed, bricks have been thrown through his window on many occasions, there have been threats to burn his house down, and other threats. Mr Hussain and his wife were originally Muslims, and this is the reason for the treatment they are getting.
Though this may seem shocking, it should not be a surprise. From its inception, Islam has rigorously sought to prevent its adherents from choosing any other faith. Such apostates are regarded as traitors and – according to shari’a (Islamic law) – should be executed….
These converts face not only the possibility of hostility and aggression from individuals within the Muslim community in Britain, but also some are asylum-seekers who have fled much graver dangers in their countries of origin. If such individuals are refused asylum and sent home, they could face imprisonment, torture or death.
A number of senior British Muslims have recently acknowledged the injustice of the Islamic apostasy law and the serious breach of human rights and religious liberty which it entails, both in theory and in practice in the modern world.
Christian Leaders Must Speak Out
It is essential that Christian leaders in the UK should affirm the rights of those who have converted to Christianity from Islam. Sadly such converts can often be marginalized by those to whom they turn for help. Having been rejected by their own community, they find that the Christian community fails to take their situation seriously. Three years ago, when Mr Hussain was first attacked, most church leaders who heard of his situation did nothing. As further attacks occurred, they still seemed barely interested. Now that the plight of the Hussain family has hit the national press, church leaders seem to be chiefly concerned to absolve from blame the perpetrators of these crimes. Even some in Bradford itself have sought to deny the link with Islam and have attributed this sustained and vicious campaign to the pranks of youngsters.
For Christian leadership to downplay the sufferings of converts is a betrayal of those who have risked everything for Christ. But if British Christian leaders were to stand up for converts, it could even bring about change within Islam itself.
Perhaps. But I won’t be holding my breath.