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My Take: What real persecution looks like
Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American citizen imprisoned in Iran, is seen with his family.
April 3rd, 2013
06:00 AM ET

My Take: What real persecution looks like

Editor's Note: Nina Shea is the director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute and one of the authors of "Persecuted: the Global Assault on Christians."

By Nina Shea, Special to CNN

(CNN)–In September 2005, a middle-aged woman was taken by state security officials from her home in North Korea’s North Pyongan Province. She was put under arrest and taken to a local farm, where government officials had assembled in the threshing area to carry out her punishment. The sole civilian witness eventually fled to South Korea and reported what unfolded next to the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights. As he told the private human rights group, “Guards tied her head, her chest, and her legs to a post, and shot her dead.” He added, “I was curious why she was to be shot. Somebody told me she had kept a Bible at her home.”

Merely having the Christian Scriptures, which likely were smuggled across the border from China, put the unknown woman under suspicion of converting to Christianity, and perhaps even sharing her new faith with others. Our research, drawn from United Nations studies, U.S. governmental sources, newspaper accounts and documentation from churches, think tanks and human rights groups, found that in North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, Christian conversion is treated as a capital crime or otherwise severely punished.

The right of conversion, as long as it is not forced, is an integral part of the fundamental human right to religious freedom. Yet, as we document in our new book, "Persecuted," in many countries, in various parts of the world, and stemming from various motives, religious conversion draws horrific reprisals.

In his report to the United Nations General Assembly last year, the U.N. special rapporteur on religious freedom, Heiner Bielefeldt, found that “[c]ountless reports of grave violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief relate to converts and those who try to convert others by means of noncoercive persuasion.”

Persecution for conversion to Christianity – a faith with the “Great Commission” to share the Gospel - is rising globally, along with persecution of some very long-established, even 2000-year-old, Christian communities. Persecution typically happens in places where Christians are a minority, where communist ideology still holds sway, in the Muslim world, or where conversion is seen as a threat to national identity.

Iran is a prime example of the growing number of states that harshly punish converts for apostasy from Islam. In January, the Rev. Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American citizen, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment in Tehran’s brutal Evin Prison for his own conversion, as well as for his ministry with Iran’s burgeoning underground evangelical churches. Another Christian pastor, Yousef Nadarkhani, who was first jailed in 2009 and sentenced to death, was released from prison earlier this year after international pressure.

In September 2012, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, said “scores of other Christians appear to remain in detention for freely practicing their religion,” and that over the past two years more than 300 Christians have been arrested and detained arbitrarily in Iran. These arrests result from accusations of proselytizing.

In Egypt, perceived apostates face many difficulties. In January, an Egyptian court sentenced Nadia Mohamed Ali and her seven children to 15 years imprisonment for reconverting to Christianity. Born a Christian, Nadia converted to Islam in order to marry a Muslim man; after his death, she returned to Christianity and ran into trouble when she had the family's official identity cards changed to reflect this.

Saudi Arabia requires all its nationals be Muslims and can punish apostasy with beheading. Christian converts also risk honor killings, being murdered by their relatives. In 2008, Gulf News reported that Fatima Al-Mutairi was “burned to death and her tongue had been cut out” by her Saudi father, a religious policeman, after her brother discovered a photo of a cross on her computer screen.

A 2012 study by the Washington based Pew Research Center found that proselytism, or talking about one’s faith to others, was specifically restricted by central or local governments in 66 countries.

An example occurred on March 10, 2013, in Libya, where Ezzat Hakim Atallah, a 45-year-old Coptic Christian from Egypt, was reported tortured to death with electric shocks by security police in order to exact a confession of proselytizing. Five other Copts detained with him remain jailed.

Though India is renowned for its religious pluralism, various states in India, influenced by Hindu nationalists, have anti-conversion laws. Ostensibly to protect against coerced conversion from Hinduism, some are so vaguely worded that even spiritual benefits or charity work could be deemed illegal inducements. The worst abuses occur when, stirred by their local political and religious leaders, Hindu mobs riot against entire Christian families or villages. In fact, around the world, the Pew Research study finds generally that social hostilities are 2.5 times higher when governments limit conversion.

Vietnam’s leaders seem to view converting to Christianity in northwest provinces among the Hmong and in the Central Highlands among various ethnic tribes to be a security threat. In addition to suffering beatings and imprisonment and having their homes torn down and property confiscated, some converts there have been forced to “reconvert” to traditional practices of ancestor worship.

Converts to various other faiths are persecuted as well, usually by the same forces that punish Christian conversion. Members of the Bahai faith, a religion that acknowledges a prophet after Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, are deprived of all constitutional rights in Iran and their entire leadership is serving a 20-year sentence. Similarly, the Ahmadi Muslim community is targeted under blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Converting others to Islam is punished in parts of India by Hindu nationalists. Koranists in Egypt and outspoken moderate Muslims in Saudi Arabia are persecuted for their unorthodox beliefs.

The U.N.’s Bielefeldt concludes that persecution for conversion has become a “human rights problem of great concern.”

Couched in U.N. diplomatic language, this is a sound of alarm. Recent decades have seen the rapid global spread of Christianity and many thousands of Asians and Africans who are choosing to become Christians are paying a very steep price.

It is time that the West, including Western Christians, end their indifference and recognize this for what it is: an egregious human rights violation.

We must raise our voices for those facing the executioner’s sword, detention camps or other atrocities for their beliefs just as we do for other human rights victims. As the Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in opposing Nazi persecution, had once reminded his fellow Germans: “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Nina Shea.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (583 Responses)
  1. Sinclair Romo

    "We must raise our voices for those facing the executioner’s sword, detention camps or other atrocities for their beliefs just as we do for other human rights victims." As the Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in opposing Nazi persecution, had once reminded his fellow Germans: “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

    Speak! Act! Share the gospel with all mankind.

    April 4, 2013 at 1:44 am |
    • Zorro

      It's just impossible to find a sane Christian. One and all, they are whackadoodles hollering about their delusions.

      April 4, 2013 at 2:05 am |
    • whatever

      Provide a source for the big bang, life, and species. While you dream up a creator for this, realize that reverse evolution has been proven and it voids evolution as being a valid theory. Also that nothing has never been shown to create anything, nor has it said it created anything at any time.

      If you do not provide a source for those items above, I will continue to believe the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did them, as he said he did, and that he sent his son Jesus to die and raise again to pay for the sins of those that would believe him and repent of their sins.

      April 4, 2013 at 2:54 am |
    • sam stone

      "i don't know, therefore god"

      why should we pay attention to anything you say about evolution?

      April 4, 2013 at 4:07 am |
    • sam stone

      "While you dream up a creator for this, realize that reverse evolution has been proven and it voids evolution as being a valid theory."

      Provide a source for this claim

      "Also that nothing has never been shown to create anything, nor has it said it created anything at any time."

      Who created god?

      April 4, 2013 at 4:09 am |
    • God is the most incredible being ever

      Why are you concerned about it Sam? Just ask nothing where it all came from... and I'll ask God.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:17 am |
    • sam stone

      good for you. you will be talking to yourself.

      April 4, 2013 at 7:06 am |
    • sam stone

      whatever made a claim. i was merely asking him or her to support this claim. if he or she did not want to have their claims challenged,he or she should not have posted them on a pubic forum

      if that bothers you, too bad/so sad

      April 4, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • sam stone

      "blah, blah, cat dreams....blah fvcking blah"

      April 4, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Rob

      Here is one for you...why not try to stay on topic. We already get you don't believe in God because "we can't prove it to you". We already understand you are so offended by our beliefs in a supernatural being who existence cannot be proven under your terms. We acknowledge you haven't accepted Christ, do not accept Christ, and will not accept Christ. All of that is ok. You've heard the message, the good news of the Gospel fo Jesus Christ. I know most of you posting here have heard it from me on other posts because you have retorted with the same dislike. So you also know I believe once you have the information the choice of salvation is yours and yours alone and I am not on a mission to ensure you accept Christ.

      What I find offensive here is in all of your talk of equality and intrinsic value of human life not one of you seems appaled at what is happening to other human beings based on their beliefs and values. My impression is you all seem to be ok with it because we are Christians and deserve it. Really....you demand tolerance and compassion and give none, you demand quarter and offer no safe haven, you espouse being enlightened and accept torture and murder of Christians.....and you call us immoral.

      April 4, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Rick

      Austin
      That Luke passage has the rich man go to Hades. Is that the Greek underworld ruled by the god Hades, or just Hades himself?

      April 4, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • sam stone

      To whom is that directed, Rob?

      April 4, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Rick

      Rob
      "You've heard the message, the good news of the Gospel fo Jesus Christ."
      You don't get it. You are right in that most of us have read the Gospels probably more than the average Christian has and, while you take these stories at their face value, we don't. Look at it this way, a lot of Christians have probably either read the Odyssey, or are familiar with that story too, but you don't believe that it actually took place, or that the Greek gods and goddesses in it were ever real, right? That's how we see Christian scripture, as just another culture's religious mythology.

      April 4, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • sam stone

      Rob: I feel badly for those who are tortured for their beliefs. And, I never called you immoral

      April 4, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Rob

      I get the debate around Christianity, whether you accept it or not, etc., etc. Quite frankly like most of the non-believers posting I am solid in my beliefs and as you will never convince me there is no God I recognize I will never convince you there is a God...and that is ok.

      My point is this article is about imprisonment, torture, and killing of people for their beliefs and I think many of the postings Christian and non-Christian alike seem to be forgetting that. I really believe that this, if there is not other issue on the face of the earth, is the one issue that all people (believers and non-believers) should be unified on. For this particular board I am just disappointed in believers and non-believers that is has become a place to put opinions rather than a place of solidarity that all people regardless of faith or beliefs should have the right to express those beliefs without being improsoned, tortured or killed.

      I am really not trying to stiffle the debate, just really want to through out there for everyone that I think this is just the wrong place for it....that's all.

      April 4, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Rick

      Rob
      I understand that you find the idea of thought crime offensive, and the idea of any authority killing and torturing people just because they have a different ideology wrong, but that's what God supposedly does to nonChristians, right? Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it.

      Also, I doubt that you'd find many atheists who would claim that no amount of enidence could ever convince them there is a God. If you generally trust in science you tend not to be dogmatic about what you're certain of. New evidence can turn just about anything on its head.

      April 4, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • sam stone

      Rob: That's fine with me, and i would not want your free speech to be abridged

      April 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • lol??

      Free speech ain't free, unless you're a socie. Then it's just cheap.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  2. Mr. Peabody

    Just thinking about the word "persecution" gives Christians a boner. It's the Great Myth they all want to embrace – without the pain and deprivation and stuff that goes with the real thing.

    It's like fantasy baseball, a nice mental masturbation for them.

    Fantasy persecution. I should start a website, find a way to make billions.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      It makes them feel like Jeebus

      April 4, 2013 at 4:10 am |
    • Rob

      And so....your crude and disgusting comments are relevant to a commentary of the imprsonment, torture, and death of people for the beliefs alone just how? From what I have seen in the various postings on the CNN website you all have made it very clear how offended you are by our beliefs, yet you seem to miss the point of the article.

      Are you so wrapped up in your denial of the existance of God that you cannot see anything beyond justifying that stance. Is that really more important the the point of this article?

      April 4, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • sam stone

      i am not so much offended by people's faith as much as I am offended by the attempts to legislate their beliefs to deny others their civil rights, or i am offended by the insinuation that people cannot be moral without (their view of) god. i am amused by empty proxy threats and apologists such as Austin or Topher. i feel badly for those who are tortured for their beliefs. in the current case, this man knew the political climate and chose to go to stick his middle finger in their faces

      April 4, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • sam stone

      I have several friends and family who are quite faithful. that doesn't bother me. when we get together and someone brings up a political/religious topic such as gay marriage or prayer in school, i do let them know what i feel and wh. and, i am always respectful of their beliefs

      April 4, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Rob

      @sam stone
      As posted above and try to be clear on I'm ok with the debate. I just think this is the wrong board for it and postings like that of Mr. Peabody are not just crude, but irrelevant to the original article. As I'm sure you've noted on a few other boards I'm up for a good debate. I just think this is a missed opportunity to say we can disagree, we can debate, be angry with each other, even call each other names, but no matter who, no matter where, no matter why you just can't torture and kill people for their beliefs....it is not right. An we all, should stand together against countries the do allow, condone, and support this.

      While I may not ever agree with your beliefs or accept your values as it relates to religion I would certainly never find it acceptable for your ability and right to civily voice them.

      May be a pipe dream, but sometimes we need to focus on our common beliefs for a greater good...that's all I am trying to get across on this board.

      April 4, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Rob

      @sam stone

      Typo on my part. I wrote "While I may not ever agree with your beliefs or accept your values as it relates to religion I would certainly never find it acceptable for your ability and right to civily voice them." What I meant to write was "While I may not ever agree with your beliefs or accept your values as it relates to religion I would certainly never find it acceptable for your ability and right to civily voice them to be denied".

      Sorry about that.

      April 4, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Rick

      Rob
      If you are really all that concerned about people being tortured just for their beliefs perhaps you should take that up with God?

      April 4, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  3. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Visit limitisthetruth.con to learn hinduism criminality of hindus racist by faith against truth absolute God and humanity, HIS desire.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • STFU

      visit link to British Library too, to know truth about Mohammad:

      http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=75&_IXSR_=yYYshp1KMVk&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3dindia%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d1078&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

      April 3, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  4. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    EPIC HISTORY OF BIRTH OF HINDUS IGNORANT S AND THEIR HINDU SECULAR ISM.
    In hindu dark ages, a woman was laying in bed, while her husband was away, she was having her lust pleasing dreams in hindu secular ism, filthy self center ism of enjoying company of her husband in bed in a hindu darkened cave, a hindu filthy languor, secular daddy of hindu hanuman, stupid monkey, secular, every hindu believes to be their god saw her moaning and took advantage of her, her husband came back and had relationship , but she had already been pregnant by hindu crook languor, filthy secular. She never told her husband of the indecent, time of child birth her husband took her to a medicine man for deliver, and waited for hours, while he heard wild noises from inside delivery cave. Finally medicine man came out of cave sweating and all bruised, her husband rushed to him, and asked about wellbeing of his wife and child, boy or a girl, medicine man could not answer, while he was trying to figure out way to explain, finally he put himself together and started to explain mystery of his child birth. AS HE STATED , RIGHT AFTER BIRTH, CHILD JUMPED AND CLUNG TO CEILING OF THE CAVE, HIM AND HIS ASSISTANT WERE TRYING HARD TO CATCH CHILD FOR S GENDER IDENTIFICATION, BUT TO NO VIALS, AFTER HOURS THEY GAVE UP.
    Child of hindu crook Languor, secular from a woman was called Bujrungbhali, meaning ruler of his own limit, a hindu secular, stupid self centered, he matted with his own half kind, hindu monkeys and donkeys, stupid secular s, self centered animals and multiplied enormously,
    Living by hindu secular ism, self center ism, kenjer ism, today his progeny claims their linage from Monkeys AND DONKEYS, stupid secular s As their maternal gods. So much so, producers of Gorge of the Jungle movie borrowed concept from inception of hindus, ignorant and made a lot of money.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • STFU

      Blah Blah Blah, okay Mohammad, but what about GAY s ex by muslims in 1800s? are you denying these are not "ISLAMIC" artworks? Now these artworks are on British Library, so accept the facts that your ancestors were liberals, like today's Americans. See the link.

      http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=75&_IXSR_=yYYshp1KMVk&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3dindia%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d1078&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

      April 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Best of hinduism immorality of a hindu, immoral by faith from hindered gutter of hinduism immorality called india.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • STFU

      don't act like stupid Mohammad A. Dar, THEY ARE NOT HINDU, BUT F MUSLIM ARTWORKS FROM CA, 1800, MORON, ACCEPT YOU GUYS DO GOATS, COME OUT OF CLOSET, NOW

      April 3, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      No need to lay hindu filth of hindus filthy on Muslims, hindu filthy from hindered gutter of hinduism filthiness called india.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • STFU

      I thought you were true muslim, but I guess not, you scoundrel

      April 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
  5. krm10007©

    WOW!!! STFU, I never though people called muslims goat ban gers, and it was true, I am heartbroken, spit on my face I am ashamed to be a muslim, see yourself bad KARMA by my fellow muslims

    http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=80&_IXSR_=8mEAr7FgJRW&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3dindia%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d1078&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

    April 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Display of hinduism immorality of hindu immoral by faith from hindered gutter of hinduism, immorality called india.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • STFU

      come on get real Mohammad A. Dar, they are 18th century Islamic artworks, not Hindus. something is written in muslim language, I am very interested to know what they are saying; can you translate for me? Please?

      April 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      I am sorry STFU, I am really embarrassed to see these muslim artworks, someone said Mohammad was used to hang around with male-goats, and I was able to read mohammad at the bottom of the image, I am speechless; I am outraged, I am renouncing ISLAM now. Thanks for opening my eyes STFU !!!

      April 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      hindu ism absurdity of a hindu crook from hindered gutter of hinduism racism india.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
  6. STFU

    Where are you Mohammad A. Dar? are you convinced muslims were different, more like today's American back than? Please make sure to click on NEXT button on the page. Enjoy my friend.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
  7. krm10007©

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Pakistan. Pakistan is rising and emerging as the leader of the Muslim countries. Pakistan will rise above all its rivals by persecuting, looting, and killing more Christians. God speed.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • STFU

      Thank you Thank you Islam for the creative artwork:

      http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=80&_IXSR_=8mEAr7FgJRW&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3dindia%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d1078&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

      April 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • STFU

      and Mohammad W.T.F this10007c stuff is?

      April 3, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  8. the AnViL™

    the nutbaggery has risen to epic levels.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Agnes of Dog

      I tried putting on my 3-D glasses, but almost everything on this page still makes no sense.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
  9. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    My Take: What real persecution looks like.

    ASK A NATIVE AMERICAN, OR A AFRICAN AMERICAN.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • STFU

      My Take: It looks like this:

      http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=80&_IXSR_=8mEAr7FgJRW&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3dindia%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d1078&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

      April 3, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
  10. STFU

    Wow !! I am impressed with your islamic creativity

    http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=88&_IXSR_=8mEAr7FgJRW&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3dindia%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d1078&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

    April 3, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
  11. STFU

    Mohammad A. Dar, look how your mama is doing, she is trying carrots on herself, Wow !! didn't know muslim women were so horn ey

    http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=83&_IXSR_=8mEAr7FgJRW&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3dindia%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d1078&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

    April 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
  12. STFU

    Mohammad A. Dar, and look what your mother did in the following link, they are all ISLAMIC artwork from ca 1800 or 1900

    http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=81&_IXSR_=8mEAr7FgJRW&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3dindia%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d1078&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

    April 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  13. STFU

    Mohammad A. Dar, visit this link, if you dare, and see, a muslim man having a gay s ex with no one but DEVIL, or STFU.

    http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=75&_IXSR_=8mEAr7FgJRW&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3dindia%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d1078&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

    April 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
  14. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    copy and paste the link,it is a clean link to Wellcome Library art images, and see yourself, a muslim man coupling with a goat ca 1900, not lying

    http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=80&_IXSR_=8mEAr7FgJRW&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d15%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3dindia%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d1078&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

    April 3, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      he must be your hindu goat lover just by name father.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • STFU

      STFU you mohammad, did you see the muslim artwork? are you convinced your ancestors were liberals !

      April 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  15. Denny the Christian

    I'M SO PERSECUTED!!!

    Okay, not really, but it sounds so righteous. And Christians really aren't persecuted any more than any other group, certainly not as bad as gays or atheists, and only where lots of groups are being persecuted, but it sounds so cool to play the victim!

    Christians: feeling sorry for ourselves and playing the victim for 2,000 years.

    April 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Wolfs under sheep skin.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Dippy's sub

      The plural of "wolf" is "wolves."

      Go back to square one of ESOL class.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Big deal, correcting a mother of all hindu corrupted languages called English.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You're off your rocker.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Matter of hindu stupid opinion.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • The real Tom

      One apparently shared by the moderators at CNN's Belief Blog. Your posts are disappearing.

      Maybe they can make you disappear, too.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      May be i have smacked some ones holy cow.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Maybe I'm clicking the "report abuse" button on every one of your posts.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's "CONSTlTUTION" you dumb fuck.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Keep on doing it, to be a hindu negative is way of a hindu, ignorant.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Denny,

      Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all [is] vanity.

      Ecclesiastes 12:8

      Amen.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    "The right of conversion, as long as it is not forced, is an integral part of the fundamental human right to religious freedom." The fundamental right you are claiming for human beings is actually a right you're claiming for a delusion with replicative and self-reinforcing properties. Essentially you are claiming a fundamental right for a sort of virus.

    April 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • red delicious

      I am overjoyed that God exists and wish everyone could know and feel what I do about him. Sadly, people like you do not want the truth.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      As an atheist, I am always searching for truth. It was my search for the truth, with extensive knowledge of the bible and deep research into its claims that brought me to atheism. The bible proves one thing most of all: it is not "true."

      April 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • red delicious

      Maybe research deeper, longer and harder so you can enjoy the truth rather than ignorance.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  17. We support!

    Thank you for bringing to light the persecution of Christians around the world. A much needed reality check for all of us that are oblivious to the suffering of our kindred.

    April 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Puppies and Kittens Taste Delicious When Cooked Properly

      You may now kindly go back to doing nothing about it as usual.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Jones

      Check out
      Christian freedom international
      http://www.persecuted.org
      Samaritans purse
      to see how you can help.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Jones

      Also, your local church might be able to direct you to the right organization.
      Awareness is the key, share this commentary with your Pastor.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Interesting that the author chooses only to focus on Christians being persecuted in countries where all religious tolerance is out the window. If the woman had been shot for having the Baghavad Ghita in her home, would she have thought twice about it?

      April 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Adam

      You can also share this article on facebook.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Adam

      Our church has invited speakers from these persecuted countries to speak , this coming Sunday.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      christians like to think it's just them being persecuted. followers of other religions are persecuted too, as are atheists. christians usually get themselves in hot water by going and trying to recruit in countries like Iran. atheists are treated the same in Iran, even worse, for we believe in no god. christians, stop spotlighting your own suffering and realize others suffer just as much.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus said,

      If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.

      John 15:18

      Amen.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Jesus lied

      HeavenSent “Jesus said, If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you. “
      When jesus was alive over 99.9% of the world had no idea he existed and so couldn’t have hated him

      April 4, 2013 at 5:54 am |
  18. Sam Yaza

    or it when a christian yells get the pagan then beats your with bats, stones you or shots you,.. all of which happened to me.

    April 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  19. JMEF

    The Bible = Truth
    Authenticity ,,, of undisputed origin. Many have disputed the origin/authors of the NT, that is all takes. I dispute the origin, enough for me, probably not for you,

    April 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  20. Celebrating Darwin: Religion And Science Are Closer Than You Think

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-tegmark/religion-and-science-distance-between-not-as-far-as-you-think_b_2664657.html

    So is there a conflict between science and religion? The religious organizations representing most Americans clearly don't think so. Interestingly, the science organizations representing most American scientists don't think so either: For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science states that science and religion "live together quite comfortably, including in the minds of many scientists." This shows that the main divide in the U.S. origins debate isn't between science and religion, but between a small fundamentalist minority and mainstream religious communities who embrace science.

    April 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Puppies and Kittens Taste Delicious When Cooked Properly

      And now some factual information from someone that isn't an idiot.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1te01rfEF0g

      April 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.