Hostility toward religious and ethnic minorities has been a persistent problem in the Muslim and Arab countries in the Middle East and has gotten worse after the Iranian revolution of 1979. Christians can sometimes rely on secular rulers such as Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, and Bashar al-Assad to provide for their safety, but relying on dictatorial regimes has its risks. After the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003, violence against Christians in Iraq – many of whom were Baathist supporters – increased substantially.
With the murder of several dozen Christians in Iraq on Halloween and a surge of violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt, it has become clear that hostility toward Christians in the region has risen to a crescendo. In response, Christians from the Middle East are speaking out and journalists are starting to hear the story.
Below is a list of websites providing information about the mistreatment of Christians in the Middle East.
Smyrna Ministries International, (www.smyrnaministries.org/). Smyrna Ministries devotes itself to to serving “the Persecuted Church in the Islamic context” and to challeing Christians to “respond to the plight of the Persecuted Church and the global advance of Islam. Smyrna provides information about ongoing acts of persecution here.
Voice of the Martyrs, (www.persecution.com). The Voice of the Martyrs deals with the persecution of Christians throughout the world, but the organization’s map of restricted countries reveals that much of its attention is directed at Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East. VOTM’s newsroom provides links to news articles detailing the mistreatment of Christians.