US silent in the face of persecution, murder of Christians

Robert Weissberg:
In case you haven't noticed, thousands -- perhaps millions -- of Christians living in Muslim nations are being prosecuted, even brutally murdered.  For example, in Nigeria in 2011, the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram killed 510 Christians and destroyed more than 350 churches using guns, gasoline bombs, and even machetes, all the while shouting "Allahu akbar" ("God is great").  On Christmas Day alone they slaughtered 42 Catholics.  Similar attacks have occurred in Iraq (our "ally"), where since 2003 more than 900 Iraqi Christians have died from terrorist attacks in Baghdad alone while half of all Iraqi Christians have fled the country (see here and here).
Details aside, this violent persecution is much the same in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (home to one million Christian guest workers), Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, and Indonesia.  According to a Pew Forum study, Christians are being persecuted in 131 of the world's 193 countries (200 million according to the World Evangelical Alliance).  (These data are reported in David Aikman, "The Worldwide Attack on Christians" Commentary, February 2012).  Syria may be the next venue for attacking Christians if the Assad regime falls.  And there is nothing on the horizon that suggests that anti-Christian violence will recede.
With the exception of admitting a handful of Egyptian Copts fleeing prosecution, the official U.S. reaction has been limited to verbal condemnation.  Speaking at a January 15, 2010 conference marking International Religious Freedom Day, Obama offered up some vacuous boilerplate: "[O]ur freedom to practice our faith and follow our consciences is central to our ability to live in harmony."  In fact, the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act requires that the promotion of religious freedom worldwide be a part of U.S. foreign policy, but the Obama administration has yet to take a single step under this Act (see here).
Given America's celebrated history of providing sanctuary to those persecuted for their religious beliefs, this inaction is bewildering.  To be sure, the U.S. need not emulate Israel, which provides automatic refuge to any Jew escaping danger, but surely the subject deserves at least some discussion -- yet none is forthcoming.

Even if we do not offer sanctuary for the persecuted we should at least offer condemnation of the persecution and make it clear that aid is contingent on fair treatment to Christians.  We have been silent in the face of largely Muslim abuses for far too long.  Iran is getting ready to execute a Christian for his beliefs.  That country needs to understand that that conduct is unacceptable as is the conduct of Boko Harem in Nigeria.  At least the Nigerian government condemns the sectarian killings showing that it is a more civilized than the Iranian government. 


Popular posts from this blog

Shortly after Nancy Pelosi visited Laredo, Texas and shook hands with mayor of Nuevo Laredo this happened

US, Britain and Israel help Iranian nuclear scientist escape