Christians pray during Palm Sunday mass inside the Cave Cathedral or St. Sama’ans Church on the Mokattam hills overlooking Cairo, Egypt on April 9 (Photo Credit: Ibrahim Ezzat/NurPhoto/Sipa via AP Images).
Attack on the Faithful
On Palm Sunday, Christian churches are engulfed in pageantry, pomp and circumstance.
Some Christian churches around the globe have donkeys out front while others have actors portraying Jesus Christ parade into the congregation, while members wave palm branches.
Palm Sunday usually ushers in the holy week leading to Resurrection Sunday, but on Palm Sunday 2017, pomp and circumstance was replaced with blasts of dynamite and dead bodies thanks to ISIS.
According to Fox News, 44 Coptic Christians in Egypt were killed in the Palm Sunday bombings, which also injured more than 100 worshippers. Three police officers were also killed in the St. Mark’s attack.
Despite the apparent increase in hate crimes against Christianity around the globe, statistics show that Muslims are the victims of more hate crimes in America.
A 2017 Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) poll discovered that 57 percent of White evangelical Christians believe they are discriminated against more than Muslims.
However, in December 2016, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch released data that showed a 67 percent increase in hate crimes against Muslims.
Lynch stated, “Overall, the number of reported hate crimes increased six percent from 2014. That figure includes increases in hate crimes against Jewish Americans, African-Americans, and LGBTQ Americans, and perhaps most troubling of all, it showed a 67 percent increase in hate crimes committed against Muslim Americans, and the highest total of anti-Muslim incidents since 2001, when 9/11 spurred so many reprehensible acts.”
However, as recently as 2014, Jews in America were the biggest victims of religious hate crimes.
Based on information from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports: Hate Crime Statistics, of the 1,140 religious hate crime victims, 56.8 percent of those hate crimes were anti-Semitic.
In 2014, only 16.1 percent of hate crimes were because of anti-Islamic bias.
Anti-Christian bias accounted for 8.6 percent of religious hate crimes, behind 11 percent of hate crimes, which were aimed at religions other than Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Bias towards people of multiple religious groups stood at 6.2 percent, while 1.2 percent of anti-religious hate crimes were aimed at atheists or agnostics.
However, in countries like India, hate crimes against Christians, as well as other religions like Islam, are very real.
According to Vatican Radio, “In the first half of 2016, there were at least 134 incidents of violence against Christians, compared to 147 incidents in all of 2014 and 117 in 2015, according to data released by the Evangelical Fellowship of India’s Religious Commission.
“Christians are a small minority forming 2.4 percent of the 1.4 billion Indians, more than 80 percent of who are Hindus. Muslims form 14 percent of the population.”
According to Christian and Muslim religious leaders, Indian political leaders are attempting to make India a Hindu state, and have stepped up harassment of non-Hindu religious groups.
Vatican Radio reported, “There was at least one anti-Muslim riot in Uttar Pradesh, in which three Muslims were killed and some 30 people were injured in June (2016). In another major mob violence in the same state, a Muslim family was attacked and the father beaten to death for allegedly eating beef, as the cow is viewed a sacred animal by orthodox Hindus.”