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Britain Must Help Christians in Peril in the Middle East

04/15/2012 7 comments

Revelation 6:9-10, “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

By Ed West, The Telegraph – “This week’s issue of the Spectator is very important and worth buying – ie I’m in it, arguing that Britain should take action to alleviate the suffering of Iraq’s Christians, if necessary by offering sanctuary (no link, I’m afraid: you’ll just have to stump up the cash).

I met with three Iraqis who have been refused asylum in this country, all of whom had been threatened by Islamists back home. One had lost his shop to jihadi violence, another a brother. The Home Office wants to deport them back to Iraq.

Of two million Iraqi refugees currently outside of the country, some 30 per cent are minorities, mostly Christians, according to the UN: the bulk of them in Syria, Jordan and Turkey, unable to work and living in desperate poverty. Many in Syria now fear that it will become another Iraq, with Christians caught in the crossfire between rival Islamic communities.

The Christian population of Iraq has declined from over one million in 2003 to below 400,000 today. Overall some 1,000 Christians have been murdered since the 2003 invasion, and over 60 churches have been firebombed – the worst single incident being the October 21, 2010 massacre of 60 men, women and children at the Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, which alerted the world to their suffering. Two weeks later Islamists detonated 11 bombs in Christian suburbs of Baghdad, killing five Christians and wounding 33, including a four-month-old baby.” Read more.

‘Digital Journal’ Op-Ed: In the line of fire — The plight of Middle Eastern Christians – “As followers of the Christian faith in the United States and throughout the Western world celebrate the culmination of Holy Week with Easter, their counterparts in the Middle East find themselves under fire and on the run for their lives – literally. The Christians of the Middle East are in great peril. Christians in that part of the world are being subjected to an unprecedented religious cleansing at the hands of Islamic extremists who have declared jihad against them.” Read more.

The Salafi War on Christians and U.S. Indifference

04/15/2012 Leave a comment

By Nina Shea, Hudson Institute – “In recent years, we’ve begun to brace ourselves for news of bombings, burnings, and other attacks on churches full of Christian worshipers on religious holy days — for example, in Nigeria, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Ethiopia. This violence comes out of the growing community of Salafi Muslims, adherents of the radical brand of Islam that is Saudi Arabia’s official doctrine and which Saudi Arabia exports throughout the Sunni world. We’ve also come to expect the willful blindness of the Obama administration about the religious implications of these horrific events. Last weekend’s Easter Sunday was no exception.

On Easter morning, a Protestant church in Kaduna, Nigeria, was targeted by a suicide car bombing that killed 39 and wounded dozens, apparently the handiwork of Boko Haram, the Salafi network whose stated aim is to turn Africa’s largest country into a sharia state. Last Christmas, Boko Haram had bombed St. Theresa’s Catholic Church outside the capital Abuja killing 44 worshipers, as well as attacked various Christian churches in the towns of Jos, Kano, Gadaka, and Damaturu.

Four days have now passed and there has been no official comment from the Obama administration about this most recent monstrous example of anti-Christian persecution. However, on April 8, that is, Easter, Secretary Clinton did manage to issue one press release. It announced that ‘today we celebrate the history, impact and culture of Romani people’ (formerly called ‘gypsies’), and inveighed against Europe, demanding that it become ‘more inclusive.’ But for the northern Nigerian Christians savagely attacked on one of their most important religious days, there has not been a word of condolence.

Even worse, the day after the Nigeria church bombing, at a forum on U.S. policy toward Nigeria held at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson — overlooking Boko Haram’s self-proclaimed identity, pattern of behavior, statements and very name, which means ‘Western education is a sin’ — publicly denied that Boko Haram has religious motives. He went out of his way to stress: ‘Religion is not driving extremist violence in . . . northern Nigeria.’

Carson is articulating official U.S. policy.” Read more.

Flashback: Washington Times: Obama Administration Silent While Saudi Grand Mufti Targets Christianity, ‘Ignores These Types Of Provocations At Its Peril’ – “If the pope called for the destruction of all the mosques in Europe, the uproar would be cataclysmic. Pundits would lambaste the church, the White House would rush out a statement of deep concern, and rioters in the Middle East would kill each other in their grief. But when the most influential leader in the Muslim world issues a fatwa to destroy Christian churches, the silence is deafening.” Read more.

Flashback: Obama’s Christian Problem – White House Overlooks Christian Persecution While Pandering to Islam – “The Obama administration has been obsessed with Muslim outreach and recently tried to mend fences with the Jewish community. Given the state of the world, however, the White House ought to be focused on helping the world’s oppressed Christians. The United States has been wary to intervene in matters affecting Christians in the Middle East for fear of validating terrorist narratives that the West is engaged in a new crusade against Islam. The result of this passive policy has been to allow Islamic extremists increasingly to dominate the debate, often with tragic consequences.” Read more.

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