‘This is Just a Regional Conflict’ and the Persecution of Christians in the Middle East

Islamist propaganda seems to be working:

I have lost count of the number of people who have claimed that the Hamas terror attacks on Israel are none of our business; that this is just a local conflict; that the situation is not black and white; and that Israel can take care of itself. ‘Butt out and don’t worry about it’ is what too many clueless wonders are telling us – including folks you would think are somewhat educated – as well at far too many mentally and morally careless Christians.

Some of these folks are so completed deluded as to what is actually happening in the Middle East, and what political Islam plans for Israel – and the rest of the world – that it does my head in. These folks – even many claiming to be conservatives – clearly know nothing about Islam, have never read the Koran or the hadith or the sira, and seem to know little about history, geopolitical realities, and the current crisis we are in.

One area that needs to be corrected immediately is this foolish notion that things there are only regional in nature, and those of us living further away can just chill and relax. These folks claim that Australians, Americans and others are completely unaffected by what is now happening in Israel, and we should therefore just ignore the whole thing.

In this regard such folks are little different than those who thought Communism was a very limited matter, and we need not have sought to resist it. But when global hegemony is on the cards, the free West most certainly better get up to speed and start pushing back.

The same myopia is impacting too many folks today in terms of the aims and objectives of political Islam. Its aims have always been global conquest. The establishment of a universal caliphate has been a main objective from day one. And anyone looking at maps of how Islam quickly and widely spread (by the edge of the sword) since the time of Muhammad can see just how successful they have been so far.

I recently quoted from one of the excellent articles by Islam expert and Christian commentator Mark Durie about Hamas and the current crisis. It is worth running with the fuller version of it:

So are Hamas’ goals limited to Israel?


Antisemitism is part of the problem, but the problem doesn’t end with the Jews. Hamas’ goals are broader than just Israel in two senses. One is that Hamas’ primary motivation is to establish an Islamic system in Palestine: the same goals the Taliban has for Afghanistan and ISIS had for Iraq and Syria.


At the same time, the ideology which drives Hamas will not be satisfied with the conquest of Israel, for Hamas keeps one eye on the caliphate. This is why, from time to time its preachers call for a day to come when Islam will “liberate” Rome, Europe and America.


Such statements have a long history (see here from some instances). For example, in December 2022 Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar declared that “we are not liberating our land alone. … The entire 510 million square kilometers of planet Earth will come under (a system) where this is no injustice, no oppression, no treachery, no Zionism, no treacherous Christianity.” He is preaching about the global caliphate with Christianity and Judaism eradicated. Likewise, in 2006 the then head of Hamas, Khaled Mash’al preached a sermon in Damascus in which he declared that the nation of Islam will rule the world. These grandiose sentiments should serve as a warning to the whole world.


What does ‘After Saturday comes Sunday’ mean?


There is another sense in which Hamas’ goals will not end with the Jews: a ‘Free, Free Palestine’ ruled by Hamas would result in great devastation for Palestinian Christians. ‘After Saturday comes Sunday’ is an Arabic saying, well known in the Middle East, which implies that Jews will be dealt with first, and Christians later. In reality whenever war breaks out in Islamic contexts, local (indigenous) Christians always suffer greatly (see Elizabeth Kendal’s book, which explains why). https://markdurie.com/a-qa-primer-on-hamas-part-6/

Image of After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East
After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East by Kendal, Elizabeth (Author) Amazon logo

I have the book by Kendal that Mark mentions: After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Resource Publications, 2016). I have discussed it previously, and part of what I said was this:

She is an expert on matters of religious liberty, both here and internationally. She is the Director of Advocacy for Christian Faith and Freedom in Canberra.


She has been carefully following Islam, religious freedom, the fate of Christians in the Middle East, and the rise of Islamic terror groups such as IS for many years now. This book is a detailed look at what is taking place in the Middle East, the factors that have led to the current crisis, and the way forward.


The 25-page bibliography gives us an indication of the intense research and study which has gone into this volume. Chapters deal with topics such as the current crisis in Syria, the Sunni-Shia divide, the rise of IS, the return of the caliphate, and the response of Christians….


Indeed, her nearly 300-page book carefully documents all the persecution, abuse, bloodshed and terror which Christians experience at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East. It is sobering reading, but it is something we all must be aware of. https://billmuehlenberg.com/2017/02/28/four-important-new-australian-books/

Let me quote from it a bit more. Early on in her book she explains what the title refers to:

There is a popular Arabic war cry which never fails to make the blood of Middle Eastern Christians run cold. Whether Muslims are spray-painting it on walls, whispering it in ears, or chanting it in the streets, “Ba’d as-sabt biji yom al-ahad” (“After Saturday comes Sunday”) is issued as a threat, meaning: As sure as Saturday (the day of Jewish worship), is followed by Sunday (the day Christians worship), first we’ll kill the Jews, then we’ll kill the Christians.

Yet here we have clueless wonders telling us that Hamas is just some benign group concerned about the welfare of Palestinians – they are even called ‘freedom fighters’. No, they are a terrorist organisation, and the Hamas Charter clearly states their nefarious aims, including driving Israel into the sea.

And they are a classic case of anti-democratic totalitarianism. One clear principle of unchecked tyranny is this: ‘Free elections – once.’ That is, an election will be held, making it seem that democracy is the goal, but it will be the LAST free election. Once Hamas got into power, there were no more elections.

A quick history lesson: a number of times Israeli leaders have offered Palestinians an independent state. Surrounding Arab states have not done the same, and Israeli proposals of land for peace have constantly been rejected. In 2005 Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, allowed the 1.1 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to rule themselves. Hama, an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood won the election, and that was the end of freedom and democracy in Gaza.

Getting back to Kendal and her book, she reminds us that the ongoing persecution of Christians has been horrific and unrelenting. She challenges the “Cost of Quiet Diplomacy”. Believers in the West had been cowed into silence, refusing to speak out publicly about Islamic attacks on Christians.

She notes how Western Christians during the Cold War similarly refused to speak out about the Communist persecution of believers. She discusses how the state-sanctioned Russian Orthodox Church was controlled by the Communist Party, and how they joined the World Council of Churches. The WCC simply parroted what the Communists wanted said, and did not speak out about the destruction of churches, the murder of priests, and so on.

Kendal laments how the West too often caved into the agenda of the Communists, just as too many today are readily accepting the propaganda of the Islamists while routinely condemning Israel. She explains it this way:

Middle Eastern Christians have not been surprised by Turkish, Arab, Persian, Sunni, Shi’ite, and general Muslim aggression against them. After all, their history is replete with martyrs and massacres; it is not as if these events are unprecedented.


What has surprised Middle Eastern Christians, leaving them shocked and devastated, has been the West’s attitude towards them. After all, the US-led West is Christian, isn’t it? Surely the “Christian West” would not arm and support those who persecute Christians and threaten the West, would it?


Like most Christians the world over, the Christians of the Middle East have been slow to realize how ideological and “post-Christian” the West has become. In general, Christians have drifted along, comfortably clueless, as Western cultural Marxists have advanced their subversive, strategic “long march through the institutions” in pursuit of culture change. As is becoming clear, the demolition of Western civilization’s foundations is not going to result in freedom in a godless utopia, but in authoritarianism amidst cultural collapse.

Yep, and all this explains why so many folks today – including too many Christians – have fully bought the line that Hamas is somehow the good guy, while Israel is the bad guy. Such deception is never going to end well. Kendal closes her important book this way:

The church needs to wake up to the fact that the world is not going to save the church; and that’s okay, for God never intended that it should. From Genesis onwards, the Bible reveals – through teaching, prophecy, and typology – that God intervenes and saves his people by grace through faith. Consequently, it is absolutely imperative that the church steps out in faith. The silence of the churches is not only indefensible, it is absolutely disastrous.

[1604 words]

7 Replies to “‘This is Just a Regional Conflict’ and the Persecution of Christians in the Middle East”

  1. Thanks Bill, you are correct, the church won’t take sides as look at what the protests in Sydney and other cities have shown – protests for Palestine and against the Jews. These people don’t abort their babies so their communities are growing on western style welfare. I heard the four horse colours in Revelation 6 – white, red, black and pale/green are the colours of the Palestinian flag, meaning deception, bloodshed, famine and death but not sure if it is a symbol/warning or not as it is the Lamb of God who opens these seals to let the horses ride. Others say these riders have been riding for years, which is true.

    But back to your article, here is Jonathan Cahn’s 31 min video of events if you haven’t already heard it https://wltreport.com/2023/11/01/jonathan-cahn-biblical-breakdown-israel-hamas-end-time/

  2. Relating to persecution of Christians generally, a series of YouTube videos has been published by Andrew Brunson, a missionary pastor, “Prepare to Stand”, the lessons he learned through imprisonment in Turkey. He believes that a “dark wave of persecution” is coming and Western churches need to prepare for it.

  3. “Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not.” Aragorn

    Although from fiction, can’t help see this too is our predicament

  4. If the Australians of 1915 had thought a certain conflict in the Middle East was none of their business, we wouldn’t have ANZAC Day.

  5. Sure makes you wonder if there are any out there that take note of these warnings. The short video quoted by Melinda Jane here makes it clear that no one wants to know the truth.

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