The Sri Lanka bombings are part of an ugly anti-Christian pattern across the globe

Apr 25, 2019 by

by John L Allen Jr, Washington Post:

“It is shocking that people who gathered to celebrate Easter together were consciously targeted in this malicious attack,” read a statement from German Chancellor Angela Merkel in response to the bombing of three Christian churches and three high-end hotels Sri Lanka that killed at least 321 people and injured hundreds more.

Yet the shocking thing about the carnage is that it is not shocking — and instead forms part of an ugly, predictable global pattern.

On major Christian feast days, somewhere in the world, some number of Christians are likely to be killed for no reason other than that they chose to attend religious services. Because Christmas and Easter are the holiest days on the Christian calendar, churches tend to be especially full, presenting ripe targets for anti-Christian hatred.

In 2012, a car bomb exploded near a church in Kaduna, Nigeria, while Easter was being celebrated, killing 41 people in an attack suspected of being the work of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. In 2016, 75 people died and more than 300 were injured when bombs exploded in a park in Lahore, Pakistan, as Christians were celebrating after Easter services. The following year, Coptic Christians in Egypt were forced to scale back Easter celebrations after bombings at two churches on Palm Sunday the week before, which opens the Easter observances, killed more than 40 people.

A similar pattern applies to Christmas. In 2011, for example, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for bombings across Nigeria on the holiday, including an attack on St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, on the outskirts of Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, that left 37 people dead and 57 injured.

Christians today are the most persecuted religious community on the planet, in part because there are simply more of them than any other religious group. Thirty-one percent of the planet’s population is Christian, according to Pew Research Center, compared with Islam’s 24 percent.

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