Orthodox Christians in Muslim lands harassed on Christmas

While Muslims demand respect for their religion, murderously attacking those who they believe mock them, eg, the continuing violence against the Danish cartoonists who caricatured Mohammed, Muslims do not offer reciprocal respect for other religions as some recent violent incidents prove.

Aside from the Muslim "isolated extremist" who planned to honor Christmas by blowing up an airplane over Detroit on Christmas day, Muslims in other countries also marred Christmas celebrations.

Many Orthodox Christians live in Muslim lands. Their religious holidays follow the Gregorian calendar which is slightly different from the Julian calendar used in America, Europe and most of the world. For the Orthodox Christians, Christmas fell on Thursday. In Egypt, where 10% of the population is Copt Christian, three men in a car killed seven Christian worshippers outside a church yesterday after leaving a midnight Christmas Mass. Because the bishop had received threats he had ended his service early to protect his congregation. Ostensibly this was a revenge killing for a rape allegedly committed by a Copt against a 12 year old Muslim girl in November according to this AP report . Copts in Egypt complain their children are stolen and forced to convert to Islam; especially their daughters. Churches are routinely vandalized.

Meanwhile, Hanna Levi Julian of Israel National News reports on the Greek Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem, which is now a 90% Muslim city; the once majority Christians have mostly fled fearing for their lives or livelihoods.

As Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilios III arrived in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Bethlehem on Wednesday to celebrate the sect's observance of Christmas, undercurrents of hate and rage smoldered beneath the surface among some of his so-called followers.


Prominent members of the church refused to welcome the patriarch as he made the traditional pilgrimage from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. A split is beginning to develop among clergy in Jerusalem's Greek Orthodox Church, fueled by a dispute led by one of the PA Arab contingents.


Among the protest leaders was Deputy PA Tourism Minister Marwan Toubasi, who has seized the opportunity to turn a religious dispute into a nationalistic brawl by proxy with Israel.


And a Happy New Year to them filled with tolerance for all.