The 2009 Western and Eastern Christmas season begun with the attempt of a Nigerian Muslim to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253, with 300 passengers, just before it landed in Detroit on th 25th of December.
On this very day, Christians in Iraqi opted not to celebrate Christmas, since Ashura, a major Shi'ite day of mourning, falls on the same day. So out of "respect" for the local Shi'ites, Chaldean Catholic Bishop Imad Al Banna asked all Christians in cities like Basra not to engage in any public celebration of Christmas, and not even to entertain guests or show any joy in the day. A week earlier, Islamic jihadists attacked churches and Christian schools in Mosul, with forty people killed in bomb attacks and random Christians targeted for violence on the streets. "It is terrible," one Mosul Christian told the Times of London: "Most of the Christians are staying at home, or when they go out they watch their backs." A member of another religious minority, the Yazidis, who lives in a Christian village remarked: "You cannot live in Mosul. Every day you find Christians being killed. Very few are still going to church. The women have to wear hijabs. They send someone first in a car to check if there is someone outside the church."
The Christians in Turkey are facing a similarly somber Christmas. In an interview with the American CBS, the Ecumenical Patriarch of 300 million Orthodox Christians, his holiness Bartholomew I said, "We are treated," as citizens of second class. We don't feel that we enjoy our full rights as Turkish citizens." Yet "we prefer to stay here, even crucified sometimes."
And in Egypt, Christian Solidarity International and the Coptic Foundation for Human Rights released a new report detailing rampant abuse of Christian women by Muslims: Cases of abduction, forced conversion and marriage are usually accompanied by acts of violence which include rape, beatings, deprivation of food and other forms of physical and mental abuse. The US State Department's 2009 report on international religious freedom noted that the Egyptian government often turns a blind eye to crimes committed against Copts -- and government officials have on occasion even participated in those crimes.
In their quest of religious war to finish off the Christians in Egypt, Muslims yesterday sprayed automatic gunfire into a crowd of churchgoers in southern Egypt as they left a midnight Mass for Coptic Christmas, killing at least six Christians in a drive-by shooting.
And, these days, Christian churches are set on fire in Malaysia amid increasing religious discrimination against minorities.
Christian persecution continues on a daily basis, and the non-denominational American Christian group, Open Doors USA, which is dedicated to supporting persecuted Christians, brings out a list annually. This list is dominated year after year by Islamic states.
The top 10 persecutors for 2009 on the Open Doors list were: