LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it's increasing year by year," the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said. In our lifetime alone "Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt."
It appears that Iraq was the earliest indicator of the fate awaiting Christians once Islamic forces were liberated from dictators. The church attack in Baghdad in 2010, in which nearly 60 Christian worshippers died, is only the beginning.
Iraq's Christian population was at least one million in 2003. Today, fewer than 400,000 remain the result of an anti-Christian campaign that began with the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Countless Christian churches were bombed and countless Christians killed, including by crucifixion and beheading.
The same pattern has come to Syria, after the U.S. has shown its support for the jihad on Syria's secular president Bashar al-Assad. Regions and towns where Christians lived for centuries before Islam came into being have now been emptied, as the opposition targets Christians for kidnapping, plundering, and beheadings.
The last Christian in the Syrian city of Homs, in October of last year -- which previously had a Christian population of some 80,000, was murdered.
"We left because they were trying to kill us. because we were Christians . Those who were our neighbors turned against us. At the end, when we ran away, we went through balconies. We did not even dare go out on the street in front of our house," a teenage girl said.
Things are just as dire in Egypt, where some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled their homeland. In September of last year, the Sinai's small Christian community was attacked and evicted by Al Qaeda linked Muslims.
Iraq, Syria, and Egypt are part of the Arab world. But even in "black" African and "white" European nations with Muslim majorities, Christians are fleeing.
After a 2012 Islamic coup in Mali, as many as 200,000 Christians fled. According to reports, "the church in Mali faces being eradicated," especially in the north "where rebels want to establish an independent Islamist state and drive Christians out . there have been house to house searches for Christians who might be in hiding, churches and other Christian property have been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Christian relatives." At least one pastor was beheaded.
"To anyone following the plight of Christians under Islamic persecution, none of this is surprising," author Raymond Ibrahim writes. "As I document in my new book, 'Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians,' all around the Islamic world-in nations that do not share the same race, language, culture, or economics, in nations that share only Islam-Christians are being persecuted into extinction. Such is the true face of extremist Islamic resurgence," he says.
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