A retired Christian school teacher was gang-raped and tortured for nine hours before being stoned to death by the Islamic militant group that kidnapped her from her home in Idlib, Syria earlier this month.
Suzan Der Kirkour’s body was found by a church friend the day after she went missing from her home in the mainly-Christian village of Al-Yacoubia, the Barnabas Fund reported.
A Christian leader from the area told the Barnabas Fund, attacks against Christians, mainly Christian women and girls, are frequent, but this one, in particular, has shocked the community.
Suzan was an unmarried lady and a respected teacher who only remained in the village for the sake of her pupils, so that they could continue their studies.
Christians in Syria have faced increased persecution in recent years, with the number of Christians dropping from 1.7 million in 2011 to below 450,000.
According to a report commissioned earlier this year by the British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Christian persecution is spreading geographically and increasing in severity.
The findings revealed Christians are the most widely persecuted religion in the world. In some regions, persecution is so severe, that it’s arguably coming “close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.”
Last year Catholic organisation Aid to the Church in Need slammed Western governments and media not only for failing to take any action in response but also for refusing to cover the extent of the persecution Christians are suffering in other parts of the world.
“At a time in the West when there is increased media focus on the rights of people regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexuality — to name but a few — it is ironic that in many sections of the media there should be such limited coverage of the massive persecution experienced by so many Christians,” the organisation said.
Speaking to BBC News, Bishop Mounstephen said he believed a culture of ‘political correctness’ has prevented Western voices from speaking out about the persecution of Christians.
“I think though this is mainly to do with a reluctance borne of post-colonial guilt,” he said.
Juliana Taimoorazy, the president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council and senior fellow of the Philos Project, has said ‘political correctness’ is responsible for many deaths.
“The world turns a blind eye to this, and when we are politically correct, we are sympathizing with those terrorists that are destroying communities and erasing history,” she said.