An especially busy month in the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world, September also witnessed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton release the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. Ironically, aside from Iran and Sudan, none of the countries that habitually appear in this series were designated as “countries of particular concern,” defined by the State Department as countries that are “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”
Egypt, for instance””which this year alone has seen nearly 80 Christians killed, their many churches burned or bombed, and their daughters kidnapped and forcibly converted””was not listed as a “country of particular concern,” this despite the fact that the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, an independent, bipartisan federal government commission, had recommended that the State Department designate it so.
Neither was Pakistan cited as a “country of particular concern.” According to CNS news, “Clinton did not designate Pakistan even though the State Department’s own report stated that Pakistani law calls for the death penalty for people who commit ‘blasphemy’ against Islam or who convert from Islam to another religion””and even though the report listed multiple instances of the Pakistani government using the law to persecute Christians.”
In fact, September alone saw the following incidents of “blasphemy” in Pakistan:
– A Christian student was expelled from school because she misspelled an Urdu word that, instead of praising, insulted Muhammad, leading to accusations of “blasphemy,” which carries the death penalty. After the teacher beat her, the principal was notified and Muslims staged demonstrations “demanding registration of a criminal case against the eighth-grader and her eviction from the area.” As riots and violence were about to erupt, the military intervened: “They bundled the family in an ambulance and took them away…”
– “A Christian high school teacher has suffered false accusations of blasphemy by a student and some Muslim professors, because of dislike, revenge and hatred towards Christians. He was forced to leave his job and hide, he appealed to Court, but the laconic sentence of the judge of first instance invited him to ‘leave the country'”¦. Married and a father of three, he has been uprooted and is in hiding.”
– A 30-year-old Christian man accused of blasphemy and imprisoned, died in his cell from a treatable disease, “after officials denied him proper medical care.” While in prison, he and others “accused of blasphemy, were kept in solitary confinement without access to a toilet, water or electricity.” …
Read it all, as there is much more, over twenty separate cases of persecution around the Muslim world.