Because these sorts of stories are not given the attention they deserve in the mainstream western media, those of us in what might be called the informal media have a special responsibility to alert our own readers to them: Muslims Slaughter Christians in Egypt. Fortunately, Egyptian authorities are doing something about it: Egypt security court to try suspects in Copt killings. While Chuck Colson’s charge that Christians in muslim countries are unprotected and unnoticed may be something of an overstatement, he is right to raise awareness of their plight amongst Christians in this part of the world.
Pakistan is another country in which Christians are routinely subjected to violence by members of the muslim majority. How many Christians live in that country? Two decades ago Gene R. Preston wrote: “The most recent census — conducted in 1981 — gave a rough count of 84 million people of whom not quite a million were Christian. The unofficial 1990 estimate is 108 million, with an explosive birthrate of nearly 4 percent. That could soon mean up to 2 million Christians in this land of Islam.” Wikipedia gives a figure of “2,800,000 in 2008, or 1.6% of the population.” However, Nazir S. Bhatti, President of the Pakistan Christian Congress, asserts that Christians make up fully 13 percent of the population of Pakistan, which the country’s government deliberately underestimates for its own purposes. However, a Pakistani Christian friend recently gave me a figure of 4 percent as more accurate. Whatever its true size, this minority certainly deserves just treatment at the hands of its government and fellow citizens.
Then on to Malaysia. Whatever one thinks of the correctness or advisability of Christians referring to God as Allah, I hope we can all agree that it is not the proper task of government to regulate this sort of thing.