Australia Issues Terror Watch Warnings as Ramadan Begins, Open Doors Warns of Increased Persecution

by Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Contributor |

(REUTERS/AMIT DAVE)Muslims saying their prayers in Juma Masjid during the last Friday of Ramadan.

With the beginning of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, starting Tuesday, the Australian government has issued warnings of further attacks in countries targeted by the Islamic State terror group.

In some places, like Nigeria, Christian churches have been helping feed impoverished Muslims and praying for peace despite the massacres they have suffered this past year.

Following multiple terror attacks in Indonesia, the world's largest Islamic country, in the days leading up to Ramadan, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's travel advisory warned on Twitter that "there is a heightened risk of further attacks in the lead-up to and during Ramadan (mid-May to mid-June)."

The attacks in Indonesia targeted Christians, and were carried out by families with children for whom IS took responsibility. At least 18 people were killed in the suicide bombings that hit government buildings and three churches.

On Saturday, one person was killed and four were wounded in Paris by a French Muslim citizen born in Chechnya who reportedly shouted "Allahu akbar" ("Allah is the greatest") while stabbing passers-by. IS said that the man was one of its "soldiers," noting that its calls for attacks on Western countries continues.

Africa Prime News reported that in some countries with large Christian and Muslim populations, such as Nigeria, efforts have been made to encourage peaceful coexistence. It noted that churches have been distributing bags of grains to hundreds of Muslims and persons with disabilities at the start of Ramadan.

"The church has bought many bags of food stuff to share to many poor Muslims, to encourage them in their 30 days of fasting and praying, so that they can pray to almighty God, to end all the bloodshed, and the daily killings in northern region which is becoming a big threat to national and international security," said Pastor Yohanna Buru, general overseer of the Church of Christ Evangelical and Life Intervention Ministry.

Hundreds of Nigerian Christians have been killed since the start of the year in attack by the radical Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who have overtaken Boko Haram as the nation's deadliest militant group.

Read more about Ramadan on The Christian Post.