Saturday, May 16, 2009

Religious Bullying on the Increase

An article by Walter Rodgers in The Christian Science Monitor reveals the extent of bullying by religious zealots around the world. Aggressive and even violent actions against nonbelievers are taking place wherever there exists a minority of people who don't conform to the religious proscriptions of the majority.

In northwest Pakistan, the killing of journalists is sanctioned if those journalists don't follow strict theocratic codes.

In Jerusalem, nonobservant Jews and gentiles risk being cursed at, pelted with stones or spit upon if they pass through the orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim.

In Palestinian territories, Christian women are taunted and threatened for wearing crosses.

In the US, high school students in the Bible Belt report being verbally assaulted by "God Squads" who demand that their fellow students agree with their beliefs.

In one Florida school district, a group of students is suing school officials for creating "a coercive environment in promoting their personal religious beliefs."

In other news, we learn that Christians are no longer welcome in Iraq.

"I hope to leave for any other place in the world," said Sheeran Surkon, a 27-year-old Iraqi woman who fled to Syria in 2004 after she received death threats, her father disappeared and her beauty salon was blown up. She now awaits resettlement to another country, saying she can't tolerate the violence and new Muslim conservatism in Iraq.