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"convert Or Else"

Some people fear for their livelihoods. Other people fear for their lives.

Of course, sometimes livelihood is life.

The world has a terrible record in salvaging either one if the threat to them is a mass phenomenon. Some threatened folk can't even get the attention of others.

And Christians are the most unfashionable of victims.

In India, according to this morning's New York Times many Christians are given the choice: "Embrace Hinduism...Otherwise, you will be killed..." No, they were not told to "embrace Islam..."  It was Hinduism to which they were supposed to convert.  Or else.

Threatening Christians, however, is still a habit among Muslims.  As one can tell from the calvary of the Copts of Egypt. Or of the Christian faithful in what is said to be Palestine, where the number of those who worship at the cross falls every day. In Bethlehem, the Christian population has fallen from perhaps 75% to 30%.

But, in Iraq, even in the "new" Iraq, the Chaldeans, acolytes of an autocephalous Catholic church, like the Maronites, face not only threats of death but actual death. Clerics have been murdered and ordinary men and women of belief. Mostly around Mosul. Two suicide bombs went off yesterday. Why do pious Muslims so much fear their neighbors who pray to Jesus?