Media silent about burning of hundreds of churches around the world in 2011

The mainstream media are failing to report an unprecedented number of attacks against Christian churches around the world in 2011. The media may report an attack occasionally as if it were a one-off but no journalist is setting the attacks in the wider international context. Why is that?

Here is a summary of the burning of churches around the world in 2011:

Egypt - Since al Queda and its militant allies spread the incendiary lie that two Christian women who had converted to Islam were being held against their wills by Copts as many as six Christian churches have been attacked this year. Last week a Christian caretaker of a Cairo church was beaten to death by a mob.

Pakistan - A mob of Muslim militants in Punjab attacked and burnt down Christian homes and churches after false rumours that Christians had burnt a copy of Koran.

Ethiopia - Mobs of Muslim militants burnt down 69 Christian in March after false rumours were spread that Christians had flushed copies of the Koran down the toilet and using pages as toilet paper.

Nigeria – After the Christian candidate for president defeated the Islamic candidate  in April 2011 hundreds of Christian churches have been burnt down and an unknown number of Christians killed.

Protect the Pope comment: Imagine if there were sustained attacks around the world on Muslim Mosques or Jewish Synagogues! Rightly so, there would be outrage and condemnation in the media. There would be Panorama and Cutting Edge documentaries. Sharp questions would be put to the Foreign Office Ministers on Radio 4 Today show and Newsnight. Journalists would be asking who is behind these international attacks on Mosques or Synagogues? What can be done to stop them?

But in the face of hundreds of Christian churches being burnt down around the world in 2011, what is the media response? Nothing, absolutely nothing. And when they do report the odd, isolated case of attacks against a Christian minority in a Muslim majority country journalists at the BBC or SKY or CNN go out of their way to talk about ‘sectarian conflict, as if both sides were equally matched and equally to blame for the attacks on Christian churches. As one Copt put it last week, if just one Mosque was burnt down in Egypt all the Christians would be massacred.

28 comments to Media silent about burning of hundreds of churches around the world in 2011

  • Karla

    There is this weird bias in the media, and I have said it before, for secularism and Islam. They protect those two. They don’t report general Christian persecution either, or very rarely, and even then as you said they make it sound like both are equal.

    • louella

      I wonder what the ulterior motive for this biased and distorted media reporting on Islamic violence against Christians is?! I’d love to know.

      • Karla

        I don’t know, I would love to know what the reason is.

      • Tim

        two things:

        fear – an editor doesn;t want an angry mob throwing bricks at his window. Unfortunately the threat of violence works.
        misplaced respect – Many muslim are economically and socially disadvantaged both in the UK and abroad. To a liberal, it seems nasty even (wisper it) somehow racist to question these people or ask them to explain themselves. Although it is of course racist to think that other groups are unable to live up to and benefit from the enlightenment values anf freedoms we enjoy in the west.

        • louella

          What are the enlightenment values again Tim….oh I remember the inverse values of Christianity….the ones that are dragging the West to its death. Those ones….I remember now.

          And to say that they are afraid of angry Muslims throwing a brick through their window is the reason why they are not reporting fairly and fully is false. Muslims don’t attack people for that….but for insulting Mohammed or Islam. Maybe they are not telling the truth as it would cast Islam is a bad light….and that’s to be kept for Christianity only. Just saying.

          • Tim

            To me enlightenment values are:

            1, reason needs to be used to question everything without fear
            2, freedom of speech
            3, believe in progress in knowledge, civility and material wealth and an optimistic attitude that even if we cannot perfect things, we can and should strive to make them better or at least less worse.
            4, respect for private property
            5, democracy
            6, privacy. Private actions are no concern of anyone else if they don’t harm anyone else.
            7, willingness and openness to discuss differences and argue and the attitude that even if that means that tears are shed, that is preferably to blood being shed.

            Prehaps you could enlightent me as to which of them you disagree with? if you think that they are the “inverse values of Christianity” then you have a rather odd view of Christianity.

          • louella

            Reason needs to be used to question everything…what even 2+2=4?! Well I guess so…but isn’t that reason questioning reason. Freedom of speech…I prefer…thou shalt not bear false witness…which I’m not sure is important to an ‘enlightened’ post-Christian people. Sad. I believe in scientific progress…certainly…it is imperative for a growing population…one needs the other. Respect for property…certainly..thou shalt not steal already covers it. Democracy…just one form of choosing a government…has its strenghts and weakness’…not infallible or absolutely necessary. Privacy…nice if you can get it…but nosiness is nice let’s not turn ourselves into a totalitarian police state…which is the way atheist states ALWAYS go. Willingness to discuss differences….hmmm…yeah who would object to that…but I’d put a ban on abortion as a more concrete and important moral principle and legislative matter…Nobody objects to discussions…do they?!.

    • Gerry

      See the paper reports below.

      • Deacon Nick

        The point of my post Gerry was to observe that the media are not joining up the dots and seeing the global picture of increased attacks on churches. If you read my post with attention you’d have noticed that I wrote the media report, occasionally, a few isolated attacks but are not providing the wider context. Why have things got worse in 2011? Is it being initiated by militants intentionally, cynically, spread incendary lies to incite attacks? Why didn’t you get the point of my post? What point were you attempting to make by posting those links, which anyone following these events knows about already?

        • Tim

          “Why have things got worse in 2011? Is it being initiated by militants intentionally, cynically, spread incendary lies to incite attacks? ”

          A good question to ask, Nick. It is all well to say that the media ought to link the attacks together in their reporting, but do they actually have evidence that the attacks *are* linked? I’d hope that some parts of the media would report a linkage if one were genuinely established, but does the church or anyone else have evidence that there is a link?

          You have to remeber that the media is lazy. You are right that the media would have picked up a story about international attacks on Mosques or Synagogues, but that would in part be because there are Jewish and Muslim organisations who would be feeding them stories.

          • Teresa

            “You have to remeber that the media is lazy”

            yes, but often selectively lazy, I think

          • Tim

            You may be right Teressa, but the solution is to make the connections yourself and give the media some meat for it to get its teeth into rather than just moan that they haven’t made the connections themselves.

            It doesn;t seem fair to complain that they are failing to report a connection between anti-Christian attracks the world over when AFAII, noone inside or outside the church has produced any good evidence that their is a connection. The Church needs to do this and to feed the press stories and then if the issue if still ignored, you WOULD be justified in complaining. The press would be wrong to ignore a story like this, but you can’t expect the press to function as the PR department of the RCC of its own motions.

        • Gerry

          I doubt its a plot by the press Nick. The organs that I’ve quoted from are very disparate; and thats the point.

          Have things got worse in 2011; or are we more aware these days?

          I’m also very cautious of ‘bunker mentality’.

  • louella

    We cannot depend on secularists or secular bodies. I feel…..that the Church made a bad mistake by relinquishing so much to and putting so much trust in secular authorities (and Muslim ones) to act in a just and good-will way towards Christians and Christianity. This trust has not been repaid….but badly abused.

    It is time for us to realign and start to fend for ourselves. With the leadership of the Pope and the Vatican. I know this is easier said than done…but secularists do us no favours…and putting ourselves at their mercy is a bad idea. We have learnt the hard way. We must do things for ourselves.

    • louella

      And let’s face it….the secular authorities do no favours to their secular subjects either. They abort the youngest ones….teach immorality to the elder children and foster the divorce of their parents and all the heartbreak that goes with….eventually destroying their society and Islamising it by the back door.

      These are charges that Catholics should be highlighting against secular authorities and bodies.

  • sam mace

    there was a discussion on newsnight about this problem deacon, a couple of months ago. Also many mosques and people who attend them are harmed but nothing is said, all of it should make news in my opinion.

  • fd

    The media are silent about so many things !
    For instance a survey carried out by Avvenire showed that the media are ABSOLUTELY SILENT ABOUT PEDOPHILIA !
    They’re silent about pedophilia on the web and they are silent about sex tourism (one of the plagues of our time). And they are silent about the numerous PRIESTS who fight the latter in the poor countries of the world. Their commitment to fighting sex abuse in South America comes out in the Avvenire survey.
    The media are also silent about other things : Avvenire published the Italian translation of an article by George Weigel last Sunday, who shows (with the help of figures) that the number of Christians in the world has clearly gone up in the latest years. Ironically at the end of the article George Weigel says: this is not st you’re likely to know from the mainstream media. Fortunately in Italy we have Avvenire.

  • Mike2

    ‘Scotland on Sunday’ (May 15th) devotes quite a lot of space (more than half of a broadsheet page) to an article headed “Majorca confronts ‘bonfire of Jews’”. ( This story is about the burning of 37 Jews back in 1691. Altogether the article is nearly 1,000 words long. Why is something which happened in 1691 a ‘news’ story? The island’s regional government organised a memorial for the Jews who were burned. Now, OK, Majorca is a popular destination for Scots going on holiday but it is interesting that the paper chose this story to report out of all the events going on in the world. Bit suspicious, perhaps?
    The other interesting thing about the report is that under the main heading it says, “Descendants of Inquisition’s victims pray at Catholic church”. Not a scrap of evidence is provided in the article that this event had anything to do with the Inquisition. But why bother with facts. The Inquisition has long been used by anti-Catholic spin doctors to keep the ‘fires’ of anti-Catholicism ‘burning’.

  • Tim

    “no journalist is setting the attacks in the wider international context. Why is that?”

    Becuase addressing the widest context would involve asking the question – “what is it about religion that makes a minority of its followers behave like nutters?” And questions like are avoided out of a combination of misplaced respect amd fear.

  • beatriz

    if you people want to know you better start reading The Book of Revelation, then you can see why.

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