Officials stood by while a Muslim gang attacked a Christian couple on a train in Sydney, Australia. The Arabic-speaking gang shouted “F*** Jesus!” as they waylaid the pair while they traveled through “Muslim enclaves” in southwest Sydney. 
 
After asking that his surname be withheld because of his fear of further assaults, Mike told the Sydney-based Daily Telegraph that four men of Middle Eastern appearance ripped his cross from his neck, stomped on it. They proceeded to kick and punch him in the face, back and shoulders. Additionally, two female members of the Muslim gain beat her when she tried to protect Mike.
 
All the while, five uniformed transport officers stood by but did not intervene. It was the police who met the train later. 
 
In an interview with the Telegraph, Mike said he is an Australian of Greek ancestry. “I’ve always worn my cross. For [them] to rip it off and step on it has to be a religious crime … It’s not on to feel unsafe in your own country.” According to Rev. George Capsis, a former deputy mayor, Christians face widening Muslim persecution. He told the newspaper that the attack on Mike was but the fourth Christian to report to him in the last six months about a religiously-motivated attack. “There are gangs of these young fellows of Muslim background who have been harassing people they identify as Christian … You don’t hear about it because no one’s reporting it.”
 
Rev. Capsis added, “It’s like their territory. They don’t want Christians or other types of infidels there.”
 
Because there has not been an active response to the attacks, Rev. Capsis is advising Christians to hide the symbols of their faith in the presence of Muslims so that they will not be  “provoked.” Explaining that many Christians wear crosses, he advised them to be “practical,” and “if they’re in those areas and wearing a big cross and a group of young guys comes, hide it in your shirt. Why provoke it?”
 
The police say that the incident is being investigated. The transport system defended the absence of assistance from the transports officers. Their responsibility, according to a spokesperson, is preventing fare evasion. They are trained to observe from a “safe space” if passengers are assaulted.
 
Rev. Capsis believes that, “If this keeps up, someone will be hurt.”
 


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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