A groundbreaking new report by watchdog group Christian Solidarity Worldwide has exposed the atrocities Christian children face at school in several countries, from being forcibly converted to other faiths to being beaten and humiliated by teachers for daring to speak out.
The world organization explained in its ” Faith and Future” report obtained by Per Second News in Washington on Friday that it has conducted research in five countries, namely Burma, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan, where students of various faiths, not only Christians, face religious hatred, including psychological and physical abuse from other students and teachers.
The report says in Nigeria areas under Sharia (Islamic) law have seen Christian children abducted, forcibly converted and forced into Islamic marriages.
“Parents seeking the release of their abducted daughters are generally informed they have converted and married, or are in the custody of Muslim traditional rulers or shari’a commissions and have no desire to return home,” the report explains.
“Appeals to law enforcement agencies for assistance generally prove fruitless amid false claims by abductors that the girls are not minors, and fear on the part of the police of provoking large-scale social unrest.”
CSW shared of one specific case study in 2010 at Unity School in Kachako, where Christian students were interrogated and abused in a variety of different ways after being falsely accused of insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
The students were apparently told by teachers to use the hallway as a toilet rather than be allowed to go to the bathroom.
When one girl, named Grace, complained and said that she was “tired of this rubbish,” a teacher reported her to the principal.
“Grace was taken from the room, beaten with a whip made of animal hide, and her hair was shaved off. The others were called to see what had happened to her, and told, ‘You heard what Grace said? She will find out what ‘rubbish’ really means on Monday, when the results of the investigation come out. Anyone who insults God, either their throats will be cut or they’ll be burnt to death, or they’ll be expelled from school,'” the report describes.
“The psychological impact of abuse received by children at school cannot be overstated. Many interviewees told CSW of the ‘mental torture’ they have suffered as a result of religious discrimination and intolerance in educational settings. Rejected by their peers and teachers, this suffering can have lasting consequences,” the report states.
CSW pointed out that in Burma, where Buddhist nationalism has targeted both Christian and Islamic minorities, Christian children are “regularly forcibly converted” at schools.
Faith and a Future” features a list of recommendations for United Nations member states, calling for “full ratification and implementation of relevant international treaties embedding the right to education and the right to freedom of religion or belief.”
It also asks for governments to enforce legislation prohibiting discriminatory practices, and for proactive efforts in addressing intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief, among other points.