This is the kind of story you expect to hear from Middle Eastern and North African nations, where Islam dominates and minority religious communities grow smaller every day. However, stories of Muslim persecution of Christians is becoming commonplace in the West now too. In nations like the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Germany, and Australia it seems that the local news is reporting on a new spate of Muslim crimes against Christians (and others in the non-Muslim community) almost every day.
In fact, one local Greek Orthodox leader in Sydney, Australia says his parishioners have informed him of at least 4 such attacks in their small community over the last 6 months!
The latest attack on Christians in Sydney came in full view of a train full of bystanders. Miranda Devine of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reports that this past Tuesday a 30-year old Greek Orthodox Australian by the name of Mike was on one of the city’s trains with his girlfriend when he was attacked by a gang of Muslim men.
He says he was minding his own business talking on his mobile phone, when four young men of Middle Eastern appearance allegedly violently ripped the crucifix off his neck, and stomped on it while swearing “F*** Jesus” and referring to “Allah”.
He says they punched him and kicked him in his face, back and shoulders during the attack which began about 3pm, just after the train left Belmore station.
When his girlfriend tried to defend him, two Arabic-speaking women also allegedly hit and kicked her.
The crucifix, which his mother had given him, was bent, and the silver chain broken in two places.
“I was born in Australia of Greek heritage,” says Mike. “I’ve always worn my cross. For him 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.”
He says the men also destroyed his Ray-Ban sunglasses.
Mike has a doctor’s report cataloguing his injuries, which include abrasions and bruises on his face, left shoulder, and upper and lower back.
Mike further told Devine that there was actually a group of 5 uniformed railway transport officers standing nearby, but they did not intervene and simply allowed the attack to continue. The railway authorities told the newspaper that the officers are not supposed to intervene in crimes but are mainly there to handle “fare evasion.” However, they did want to make it clear that their officers did contact the police who were there to meet the train at it’s next stop. The police interviewed 3 of the suspects and took photos of Mike to document his injuries.
One local religious leader fears that government officials and local leaders are not doing enough to protect non-Muslims from crimes like this.
The Reverend George Capsis is a local leader in the Greek community and a former deputy mayor who says that incidents like this are becoming much more frequent and that Christians in Sydney are facing increasing persecution.
“This is not an isolated incident,” said Rev Capsis, who explained that Mike was the fourth Christian to have come to him about a religiously-motivated attack in just the last six months.
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.
Like Mike, the three previous victims who went to Rev Capsis said they were assaulted around public transport in the south-west of the city.
“It’s like their territory,” he said. “They don’t want Christians or other types of infidels there.”
The minister believes that the problem has to be “nipped in the bud” but, in the absence of any robust action from the authorities, he can only advise Christians to hide their faith in the presence of Muslims, so they do not feel “provoked”.
“People like Greek Orthodox carry a big cross,” he explained. “I tell 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?”
After the Sydney Daily Telegraph contacted the police to dig deeper into the story, the police reached out to interview Mike again. A police spokeswoman confirmed that “reports of alleged religiously-motivated abuse on a Sydney train this week” were being investigated and wanted to assure locals that “The incident has prompted police to remind the community that any bias-motivated crime will not be tolerated.”
Whatever authorities in the West are doing to curb the violence… it’s not working. Crime rates are rising, persecution is becoming commonplace, and non-Muslim “no-go zones” are starting to crop up in cities across the Western world. If the West doesn’t wake up, and soon, the situation will become untenable.