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Struggle to Stay Christian

Julia Duin

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He sat in my office, a Turkish scholar and theologian who helps people who are tortured for their faith.

According to Ziya Meral, it's the converts from Islam to Christianity who are some of the most forsaken on Earth.

Beth Young, an English professor, on the campus of the University of Central Florida suffered hip dysplasia as an infant and now walks with a limp

The police don't help them; their families hate them; and their friends want to kill them. And some of the worst treatment occurs in the gulags of America's allies.

"Egypt is one of the worst countries in terms of torture," Mr. Meral said. "Once you are detained, that's it. The security services can keep you without charges for six, seven months, and then renew those charges."

It was there he encountered a man who had endured horrific suffering for leaving Islam.

"A few days into his torture, he broke down and gave up hope," Mr. Meral said. "They were laughing and saying, 'You're screaming and there is no one out there. No one can help you.'"

Of the world's 2 billion Christians, 200 million are persecuted in some way. Many of them are in Islamic countries or in rabidly anti-religious regimes such as North Korea's. These countries ignore the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which grants people freedom to choose their religion.

The persecution from Muslims is so intense, 70 percent of all Islamic converts to Christianity give up their adopted faith in two years, Mr. Meral said.

Read the entire article on the Washington Times website (new window will open).

Posted: 20-Dec-2008



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