April 17, 2012
In addition to the widespread persecution of Christians in the Muslim-majority Middle East, one religious freedom expert says Christians are "very much threatened" throughout the rest of the world, CBN News reports. Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, said: "We're seeing a very vicious attack on Christians in a number of countries. ... In many places in Iraq, we're seeing a religious cleansing. That's a euphemism -- it means that Christians are being killed and driven out. About two-thirds of the Christians in Iraq have already left." In Saudi Arabia, she said, the government is now hunting down people who pray in their homes, and in Egypt, Christians are "very, very worried about their future because there's an Islamist parliament now." However, Shea notes that it isn't just the Middle East that's seeing an increase in Muslim extremism: "There is a radicalization of Islam going on throughout the world and this is having an impact on the tolerance that there is for non-Muslims. So Christians are very much threatened throughout the world." Those countries include Nigeria, North Korea, China, Vietnam and Pakistan, and "anyone who defends [Christians] who are Muslim -- they're being attacked and killed," Shea said.