Christians are under increasing threat from Islamists.
Slavery isn't just for women and children. Slavery is for Christians too. Across the Middle East, a thriving human trafficking ring is growing as Christians are being kidnapped, tortured, and sold into slavery by Muslims.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A story run by CBN News is telling the tale of a Christian man, who among others, was kidnapped and tortured just because he was Christian. Some are tortured to appease the sadistic pleasures of their kidnappers, or people who pay for the opportunity to torture a Christian. Others are sold into slavery.
The trade is thriving, particularly in North Africa where the Bedouin tribes are doing brisk business.
Hrity, a migrant from Eritrea, covers her face as she poses for a photograph in the central city of Lod, near Tel Aviv
Stop the Organ Harvesting, Kidnapping and Torturing in the Sinai.
The heart of this trafficking is in the Sinai desert, where Bedouin tribes crisscross the wasteland unchallenged and unmolested much as they have for millennia. Yet, often attached to their band may be individuals kidnapped from other North African countries, selected because they are Christian. These people are often tortured.
A torture victim, identified only as "Phillip" told CBN he was tied up by his hands and left hanging for three days. "By that time I had lost sense (sensation) in both my hands. It was a result of the accumulated torture but mainly because (both) of my wrists were tied up so tightly, (and I was) hanged up from the ceiling for three days, the blood was cut off from my hands and the flesh started to literally drip from my hands."
"In some cases, we were tortured simply because we were Christians," he added.
Eritreans tortured with hot plastic poured on their backs.
Torture of Eritreans Must be Stopped
Within the past two years, human rights observers have reported an increase in the number of people being trafficked through the region. Most of the kidnappings are being carried out for ransom, however as hapless victims wait for the money to be paid, they can be tortured with hanging from ceilings, electric shocks, or even by being burned.
Ransom fees, according to human rights observers, can exceed $40,000 or even $60,000. Far too much for many families in the region to ever pay. However, families will sometimes liquidate everything they own to rescue a loved one.
Phillip explained some of the methods kidnappers use. "What they make you do is call your family and ask them for the money. Usually they will do the asking. They will say, 'Either send this money or your brother will die or your father will die or your son will die.' It depends on whoever is picking up the phone."
"While you're talking to your family they would pour molten plastic on your body so that you would scream and perhaps they thought that would persuade your family to pay or collect the money faster," he told CBN.
Refugees in the Sudan region are also common prey for these people, since many are displaced and distressed. Many are fleeing persecution in Eritrea and Sudan. They may not be good for money, but they're good for torture and slavery since they can disappear without too many people asking questions. Swamped authorities can hardly investigate and certainly cannot track nomadic tribesmen who cross international borders and can range a thousand miles before anyone thinks of acting. In many cases, nobody seems to care other than the victim's family.
Sister Azzizam, a nun who has interviewed many Sinai survivors, told CBN that about ten percent lose their lives. Many more must live with physical scars and disfigurement after their ordeal. Families are left devastated by the ransoms.
Kidnapping victim Mutasim Qamrawi from Sudan shows the scars left from being tortured.
Stop the Sinai Torture Camps
It would be easy to dismiss this problem as one more sign of government upheaval and lawlessness in a land that has been in turmoil for almost two years, but according to human rights observers, high officials, particularly in the Egyptian government, know all about the practice. They also know the locations of actual torture camps, organized centers where this trade is carried out.
For some Muslims, the kidnapping, torture, and enslavement of Christians is entirely acceptable. Many victims, like Phillip, are stolen from Eritrea, which is a predominantly Christian state.
Occasionally, some of these victims escape to tell their story, or their families actually manage to pay the ransom and they are released. What we now know from their experiences is that this is a major operation, worth millions of dollars annually, and involving thousands of victims per year.
CBN suggests political activism, in the form of calling representatives and asking them to suspend aid to Egypt as a solution. We think that's the least one can do for fellow Christians.
It's important to understand that a literal Holy War is being fought, as a matter of life and death, between Christians and Muslims from Syria, to Pakistan, to North Africa. Christian minorities are fighting for their lives. Imagine if Muslims faced a similar situation in the western world.
Of course that would never happen - despite our shortcomings in the West, we at least tolerate, and even embrace Muslims. The lawless parts of the Islamic world should take a lesson, or have one taught.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Christians feel the sting of segregation acutely during Holy Week.
Strict, Israeli restrictions on movement prevents their access to holy
sites in nearby Jerusalem. Many holy sites have remained out of reach in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip since ... continue reading
be outdone, Saudi Arabia is vowing to build the world's tallest
building. Said structure, called the Kingdom Tower, heads into
construction next week. AT its height, 3,280 feet, it will eventually
dwarf Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,716 feet, the ... continue reading
is quite an extraordinary video," terrorist experts Paul Cruickshank
says. There's another word for it: absolutely horrifying. In the video,
the nefarious "crown prince" of al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wuhayshi is seen
addressing a group of 100 like-minded ... continue reading
assassination of Dutch Jesuit Fr. Frans van der Lugt, shot to death by
an unknown assailant at his base in Homs, Syria on April 7 has cast a
pall for the faithful here. Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus
says that Syrian Christians face a ... continue reading
Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman facing death for blasphemy in Pakistan still sits in a women's prison her case held up by deliberate delays and a reluctance of judges and others to hear her case. Officials are afraid that they will become targets of Islamic ... continue reading
Jesuit priest, 75-year-old Frans van der Lugt was beaten and shot dead
by unidentified gunmen at his monastery in Homs, Syria this week, the
Vatican said. He had been living in Syria since the early Seventies.
He's being described as man of great courage ... continue reading
Tunisian authorities, along with the Islamist party Ennahda had clashed
on several levels for any months. The conflict was felt on all strata of
Tunisian society. Violence roiled in the streets, to the universities,
in places of worship and private homes. ... continue reading
Syria's devastating Civil War drags into its fourth year without an end
in sight, the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has officially
passed the one million mark, the United Nations' refugee agency says.
Syrian refugees now make up almost a quarter of ... continue reading
Kaci Racelma has joined the Catholic Online family as a much needed and
vaunted Middle East correspondent to our international news desk. We
welcome his wealth of experience in relaying breaking stories in this
complex part of the world. LOS ... continue reading
Aviv Police have arrested seven men in connection with a child
molestation ring. An undercover investigation began after one of the
purported victims came forward and told them about a number of girls who
had sex with a group of adults in exchange for ... continue reading
Your Catholic Voice is a small non-profit that helps fund the #1 Catholic website in the world - Catholic Online. With our small staff, Catholic Online serves over 4 million people every month - with tens of millions of page views. Catholic Online survives on ads and donation through Your Catholic Voice Foundation averaging about $20.
Now is the time we ask.
If everyone reading this gave $5, our fundraising would be done within an hour.This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to protect and sustain Catholic Online. Thank You...
Contributions to Your Catholic Voice Foundation are tax deductible. Your Catholic Voice Foundation is a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.