Top 10 Christian Terrorists

Top 10 Christian Terrorists August 27, 2018

I recently participated in a debate over the topic: “Is Islam A Religion of Peace?“, but I think we should be asking: “Is Christianity A Religion of Peace?

Why? Because not only does the Bible have twice as many violent references as we find in the Quran – which involve commands about genocide and war, references to dashing babies against the rocks, commands to kill women and children, etc., but because, statistically, White Christians are much more dangerous to Americans than Muslims.

Don’t believe me? Here are the Top 10 Christian Terrorists of the last 50 years:

1) Timothy McVeigh (who was an active member of the Christian Identity Movement) blew up the Federal Building in Oaklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people -including children who were in the day care center – and injuring over 600 others.

2) Dylan Roof, a Christian young man who was a member of an Evangelical Lutheran Church and who entered a black church in Charleston, SC in 2015, and shot 9 churchgoers to death, saying he was there “to shoot black people.”


3) Mark David Chapman, was a huge Beatles fan who, after converting to Christianity, could not get over the fact that John Lennon was guilty of blasphemy – for claiming that his band was “bigger than Jesus” – and ended up murdering him for this infraction in 1980.

4) Eric Robert Rudolph was a Christian terrorist who not only carried out the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996, but also attacked an abortion clinic and a lesbian nightclub because of his Christian beliefs.

5) Robert Lewis Dear, in November 2015 committed the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting, in which three were killed and nine injured. He also praised another Christian Terrorist Group, the Army of God, saying that their attacks on abortion clinics were “God’s work”. Dear’s ex-wife said in court documents pertaining to their divorce that Dear “claims to be a Christian and is extremely evangelistic…[and] is obsessed with the world coming to an end.”

6) Mark Anthony Conditt, the 23-year-old responsible for the recent series of bombings in Austin, Texas, was part of a conservative survivalist group called Righteous Invasion of Truth, “a Bible study and outdoors group for homeschooled kids, created and named by the kids and their families that included monthly activities such as archery, gun skills and water balloon fights.”

7), 8) and 9) – In 1996 three men—Charles Barbee, Robert Berry, and Jay Merelle—were charged with two bank robberies and bombings at the banks, a Spokane newspaper, and a Planned Parenthood office in Washington State. The men were anti-Semitic Christian Identity theorists who believed that God wanted them to carry out violent attacks and that such attacks would hasten the ascendancy of the Aryan race.

10) Peter James Knight – On 16 July 2001, he walked into the East Melbourne Fertility Clinic, a private abortion provider, carrying a rifle and other weapons and took hostages with the intent to kill all 15 employees of the clinic. Knight, according to the psychiatrist who examined him, “interpreted the Bible in his own unique way and believed in his own brand of Christianity.”

And I could very easily go on to mention other Christian Terrorist groups like:

*Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, in Uganda.

* Anti-balaka groups in the Central African Republic –  Committed several massacres in 2014 against Muslim civilians, killing hundreds and forcing thousands of Muslims to flee the country. Other sources report incidents of Muslims being cannibalized and forcibly converted to Christianity.

*In China the Eastern Lightning Cult or Church of the Gospel’s Kingdom, is responsible for dozens of riots, attacks, and murders, since 1998.

* Manmasi National Christian Army (MNCA), a Christian extremist group operating in North East India that  2009, was charged with forcing Hindus to convert at gunpoint. They also desecrated temples by painting crosses on the walls with their blood.

* The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), is a terrorist group  in India that seeks the secession of Tripura, North-East India, and has engaged in terrorist violence motivated by their Christian beliefs, including forced conversions on Buddhists and other tribespeople.

* The Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) is also a Christian Naga nationalist militant group operating in North India.

* The Walisongo school massacre is the name given to a series of attacks by Christian militants on 28 May 2000 upon several predominantly Muslim villages in Indonesia as part of a broader sectarian conflict in the Poso region. Officially the total number killed in the attacks is 165.

I could keep going, but I think you get my point.

So, is Islam a violent religion? Maybe. But Christians are just as violent – if not more so.

Especially if you look at their religious texts.

Which is exactly what a recent project by data analyst and research marketer Tom Anderson aimed to do, and it turns out that, of the three books – The Hebrew Old Testament, the Christian New Testament, and the Islamic Quran – the Old Testament is the most violent text of all, with approximately 5.3% of the text referring to “destruction and killing”. (Note: The Quran was the least violent text with just 2.1% and with the New Testament sandwiched in the middle with 2.8%).

So, according to Anderson’s findings, the popular notion among Westerners that Muslims subscribe to a particularly violent faith is false. Indeed, as he concluded, “of the three texts, the content in the Old Testament appears to be the most violent.”

Maybe it’s Christians we should be most afraid of?

Did you know? According to an FBI analysis of every U.S. terrorist attack between 1980 and 2005, the vast majority of them – over 94% – were carried out by someone who was not a Muslim.

In fact, between 2001 and 2015, more Americans were killed by homegrown right-wing white extremists than by Islamist terrorists, according to a study by New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC.

What’s more: Since Trump took office, more Americans have been killed by white American men with no connection to Islam than by Muslim terrorists or foreigners.

Here are just a few of the attacks that have occurred in 2017:

  • On October 1, 2017, a 64-year-old white man from Nevada opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing more than 50 and wounding more than 200.
  • In August, a 20-year-old white Nazi sympathizer from Ohio sped his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a woman and injuring at least 19 others.
  • In June, a 66-year-old white man from Illinois shot at Republican Congress members during an early morning baseball practice, severely wounding several people including Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House of Representatives Majority Whip.
  • In March 2017, a 28-year-old white man from Baltimore traveled to New York City with the explicit aim of killing black men. He stabbed 66-year-old Timothy Caughman to death and was charged with terrorism by New York state authorities.
  • In May, a 35-year-old white man from Oregon named Jeremy Joseph Christian began harassing Muslim teenagers on a train in Portland, telling them “We need Americans here!” Two men interceded; Christian then stabbed and killed them both.

Dear Christians: We have a huge blind spot when it comes to violence. 

As much as we want to believe that we are a peaceful religion, the painful reality is that we are just as violent – if not more violent – than other religions.

Not only that, we tend to believe that a white Christian terrorist can’t actually exist, Yet this flies in the face of everything that has happened in U.S. History over the last few hundred years.

According to a PRRI survey: “White evangelical Protestants are the most likely (87%) to disown Christian terrorists who claim to be acting in Christianity’s name. However, they are among the least likely (44%) to say the same about terrorists who say they’re Muslim.

In other words, white evangelicals find it very easy to believe that Muslim terrorists exist, but instantly dismiss – and quickly forget – all the numerous Christian terrorists who have blown up buildings, shot hundreds of people, or driven cars into crowds of people in the name of Christ. 

Case in point: There was a time in American History when almost half of the Christians in this country went to war with other Christians over the power to own black people as slaves. This “Civil War” killed 624,000 people, and after the war, many Christians resorted to organized terrorism. As author Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove documents in his book, “Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion“, the era of reconstruction was marked by several Christian terrorist attacks, such as the Colfax massacre that took place on Easter Sunday in 1873.

BOTTOM LINE: Christians need to be more concerned with their own violence before they start to worry about the violence of other religions.

What’s more: the violence of a religion or a religious book is no indication of the violence of a person within that religion.

Of course, to proclaim that Christians are violent simply because their Bible contains twice as many violent references as other texts, like the Quran, is an unfair assumption.

In the same way, to proclaim that Islam is a violent religion based on the actions of a very few of them is equally unfair.

To accuse a peaceful Muslim man or woman of something that they are not guilty of – being bloodthirsty and violent – based on a few texts in the Quran is foolish, and un-Christlike.

Islam is as peaceful as those who practice it faithfully. And out of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world today, 99% of them are peaceful.

Can we say the same of Christians?

At the very least, let’s not judge everyone based on the actions of a few.

Or, as one wise man once said, let us “treat others as we ourselves want to be treated.”

Better yet, let’s get the plank out of our own eye before we attempt to take the speck out of our Muslim neighbor’s eye.

Wouldn’t you agree?


Keith Giles new book Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb”.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Orange, CA with their two sons.

JOIN ME IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA: Sept. 15 at “Proactive Love: How Loving Our Enemies Changes Everything”Register HERE>

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  • Great Post. Couldn’t agree more!

  • The Bind,Torture,Kill (BTK) murderer of ten people, Denis Rader, was a member of Christ Lutheran Church and had been elected president of the church council. He was also a Cub Scout leader.

    Andrea Yates drowned all five of her children, ages 6 months to 7 years, in the home bathtub (June 2001). She was a “Born Again” Christian member of a family deeply steeped in Christianity. Rusty Yates met traveling evangelist Michael Woroniecki, admired his message and introduced him to Andrea… It’s widely believed that the itinerant preacher inadvertently supplied Andrea with the framework for her psychotic delusions. She told her doctors she believed Satan lived within her, her children were going to hell and she had to kill all five of them which she did by drowning them one at a time in a bathtub filled with water. She felt that doing it while they were still young would ensure their salvation. Rusty, the leader and authority figure in the Yates household, is also commonly blamed for deciding to home-school the children and have the family live in a converted bus that made life more difficult for Andrea.

    Deanna LaJune Laney, used to minister to youth, sing in the choir, and speak in tongues at the Pentecostal First Assembly of God. She was acquitted by reason of insanity of bludgeoning two of her young sons to death. Members of the her church turned to their faith to cope with killings, which Laney said God told her to commit. Wearing bloodstained pajamas, Laney told the first deputy on the scene “I had to.” Investigators who interviewed her said she occasionally started singing spiritual hymns or muttering about God.


    David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” serial killer became a “Born Again” Christian.

    Charles Tex Watson, henchman of Charles Manson’s gang that slew the folks at Sharon Tate’s home became a “Born Again” Christian.

    Ted Bundy, executed serial killer, became a “Born Again” Christian.

    Mark Chapman, John Lennon’s murderer, became a “Born Again” Christian (or was he already one?)

    Sean Sellers, executed murderer of his parents, became a “Born Again” Christian.

    Karla Faye Tucker, executed pick-axe murderess, became a “Born Again” Christian.

    Henry Lee Lucas, multiple murderer, became a “Born Again” Christian.

    “Dutch,” the nickname of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge mass murdering executioner, commander of Tuol Sleng detention centre, Cambodia, became a “Born Again” Christian.

    Velma Barfield, executed murderess, became a “Born Again” Christian.

    Myra Hindley, child-killer, became a “Born Again” Christian.

    “I’ve worked with more born-again Christian abusers than any others. A lot of our child killers are evangelical born-again abusers.”—Ray Wyre, head of the UK young sexual offenders clinic at Gracewell, Birmingham, England, in an interview with Men and Crime (Issue 13, Summer 1992)

    Susan Smith of the USA. who murdered her two children had a “Born Again” Christian stepfather who sexually molested her.

    Jeffrey Dahmer, cannibalistic murderer of 15 people, was the son of a “Born Again” Christian father of the Church of Christ, and was re-baptized in prison.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Keith Giles for speaking truth, no matter how outrageously offensive it is to do so.

  • The Mouse Avenger

    As a huge fan of crime shows (both imaginary & otherwise), I know all about the stories of every single one of these people. And while I can’t speak to the salvation status of those other people, I’m confident that Karla Faye Tucker really was born again, & felt legitimate remorse for her actions.

  • The Mouse Avenger

    Is it really offensive if it’s true?

  • The Mouse Avenger

    Agreed, agreed, agreed!

  • Evermyrtle

    You are not a “Christian” because you call yourself a Christian, which means “like JESUS CHRIST!” HE gave HIS life for us in the most cruel painful way possible! We as a whole, would rather rip each other apart, for our different beliefs, rather than die for each other!!

    The Bible does have a lot of words about the evils and hatred in the world, What I would like to know, is how can we be ministered to, if it does not speak the truth? The hate, the evil is out there and has been there since GOD created mankind and in the first family Satan stirred up trouble to the point that one man murdered his brother. What if all of that had been left out, where would that leave us??

    “Self righteousness” blinds us to our evil words, thoughts and actions and could send more people to hell than any other evil! We place ourselves in “the right” and forget all about GOD’S laws and HIS WORDS! Usually can see only the wrong in others, while we praise our wonderful deeds!!!!!

    Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of GOD’S righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of GOD! This fake righteousness can blind us to the point that we cannot see our own faults, because “We have none!” Did we bring some to CHRIST? That was our duty, even though it was wonderful, it a privilege, also, a chance give to you by GOD!!

  • The destroyer

    I do not see any Christians in this list.

  • Jan Westbury

    The post is very eye opening. I’m thinking, though, that it’s safe to say all of the killers mentioned in Keith’s article and in these comments were mentally ill. Can we say the same for Islamic jihadists? Their murders are intentional attempts to serve Allah, which, I guess you could say, is also an insane thing to do, but in a different way.

  • Illithid

    Several of the examples given were explicitly motivated by the killers’ Christian beliefs. I’m sure you disagree with their interpretation of serving God, but that seems to be what they thought they were doing.

  • Illithid

    “White evangelical Protestants are the most likely (87%) to disown Christian terrorists who claim to be acting in Christianity’s name. However, they are among the least likely (44%) to say the same about terrorists who say they’re Muslim.”

  • Jan Westbury

    You’re right.

  • Illithid

    …are those words allowed in internet comboxes? 🙂

  • The destroyer

    That is interesting

  • Why do you lie Keith Giles-really????

  • Why do you lie?

  • Do you ever do anything else?

  • From someone who hosts happy heretic hour suppose what else can one expect.

  • Illithid

    I quoted the article above, on a point being demonstrated by the person to whom I responded. If the quote is a lie, it is not mine.

  • Lark62

    The No True Scotsman fallacy strikes again.

    Yes, people claiming to be followers of christ are christians.

  • The destroyer

    I am correct.

  • Scott

    You’re not being completely truthful here. Being a Christian and literally doing something “In the name of Christ” isn’t the same thing. Most if not all of the Islamic terrorist attacks are specifically done in the name of Allah. Most of the “Christian Terrorists” you site did not commit their heinous acts in the name of Christ. Your first example, Timothy McVeigh, had serious anti-government positions and was motivated by Ruby Ridge.
    What’s your point on writing something like this? “See, we are actually worse than the Muslims.” Are you trying to justify bad behavior with bad behavior? Can’t we just point out that as a general rule of thumb, in our current climate, Islam has a violence issue? This point comes from two bona fide liberals, Bill Maher and Sam Harris. The 2011 Gallup poll found that 24% of Muslims worldwide believe military attacks on civilians justified and 17% believe individual attacks on civilians justified. That’s 432,000,000 people. That number dwarfs the entire population of the United States. Putting our heads in the sand never solves a problem.

  • Timothy McVeigh did not blow up that building because of his faith. His faith and church is irrelevant to this case.

  • Chrys

    You mean, and I am not being snarky: Terrorists who were Christians.

    The Church is catholic, lower-case ‘c,’ a fancy word for universal; open to all.

  • Chrys

    Think of these as para-historians, in what they are telling:

    West Syria still subjugated by the Romans; so not by the sword, Believers merely discussed the Resurrection tenet.[1] Only sixty years following Christ was the See of Antioch, Greek west Syria.[2]

    Having an archbishop Christendom flock extending from Syria Antioch >>

    from Judea to Arabia >>

    from Georgia to western India; it is not until year 889 that there is The Conversion of the Kievan ‘Rus >>

    from Alexandria to Ethiopia; Bob Marley on his deathbed converted from Rastafarianism to Ethiopian Orthodox proper, See of Alexandria >>

    from Rome to Athens >>

    and from Britannia to Spain—This is divine Providence?

    1. Jesus Christ is called the First Fruits of the resurrection. Heaven, is a holding place; then a new body, with eternal life on a New Earth [1 Corinthians 15:20].

    2. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch [Acts 11:26].

    A favorite native son of my Antiochian, “Arabic,” Orthodox Church is Paul Anka | The songwriter in the October 1958 Buddy Holly Symphonic Sessions,

  • mjmiddleton1953

    But most of it is not true.

  • mjmiddleton1953

    But its full of inaccurate information.

    For example…

    The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is not a Christian group. In fact, it targets Christian churches for abducting women and children. It kills any men it finds there. It has been called a Christian terrorist group because of the name of the group, which has the word “Lord” in it. The media and others simply assume this means the “Lord Jesus Christ”. It does not. The “lord” of the LRA is “lord Joseph Kony. His followers must treat him that way. In fact, those who have been abducted by his gangs of thugs are not allowed to pray or even mention the name of Jesus, or they can be killed. Also, the LRA has received funding, weapons, and strategic resources from the Muslim Brotherhood backed regime in Khartoum, Sudan. It has nothing to do with Christianity!

  • mjmiddleton1953

    Some of them have absolutely nothing to do with Christianity either.

    For instance…The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is not a Christian group. In fact, it targets Christian churches for abducting women and children. It kills any men it finds there. It has been called a Christian terrorist group because of the name of the group, which has the word “Lord” in it. The media and others simply assume this means the “Lord Jesus Christ”. It does not. The “lord” of the LRA is “lord Joseph Kony. His followers must treat him that way. In fact, those who have been abducted by his gangs of thugs are not allowed to pray or even mention the name of Jesus, or they can be killed. Also, the LRA has received funding, weapons, and strategic resources from the Muslim Brotherhood backed regime in Khartoum, Sudan. It has nothing to do with Christianity!

    The anti-balaka group is an ad hoc assortment of people who decided to defend themselves against the onslaught of the Muslim Seleka rebel group, which took control of power in the C.A.R. with the help of the Janjaweed forces from Sudan, as well as the Lord’s Resistance Army. While there were definitely Christians in the anti-balaka movement, it was not organized or sponsored by any Christian organization or church. In essence it was a counter attack to the kind of ruthless attacks we see elsewhere in Africa from jihadist forces — like in Northern Nigeria today.