The executive director of the American Jewish Committee, David Harris, issued a statement calling on the Pakistani government “to do everything possible to protect the country’s Christian minority.” This followed a deadly suicide bomb attack on All Saints Anglican Church in Peshawar, which left at least 85 Christians dead while engaged in Sunday worship on September 22.
Harris said there “needs to be a sustained global outcry in the face of such deadly attacks, fueled by religious extremism.” He added, “Sadly and inexplicably, however, that has been largely missing. Why?”
Regarding similar attacks on Christians living in Muslim-majority lands, Abraham H. Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement, “The attacks on innocent civilians at their homes and places of worship in Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt and Syria are shocking and abhorrent.” He added, “These countries are not doing enough to protect their minority Christian communities or to enforce the rule of law.”
Since the ouster of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July, more than three dozen churches, businesses and Christian homes have been attacked by Islamists in that country. Targeted killings of Christians, as well as gang-rapes of Christian women, have continued with impunity even while the Egyptian military has now outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood - the Islamist group that has stirred up inter-religious conflict.
In oil-rich Nigeria, religious conflict between the mainly Christian south and Muslim north has raged for decades but has intensified of late. Boko Haram, a Salafist Islamic terrorist group, calls for the formation of a “pure Islamic state” governed by sharia law and has attacked Christian targets, government offices, and moderate Muslims repeatedly since its formation in 2001. Hundreds of Christians have been killed in Syria, mainly by Al-Qaeda-linked rebel groups, and hundreds of thousands have fled amid that country’s ongoing civil war. In one case this year, nearly a score of Christian students were beheaded by Muslim rebels at a Nigerian university when they refused to recant their faith.