Who Will Defend Mideast Christians? (via USA Today)

This week, USA Today featured an article entitled “Who Will Defend Mideast Christians” by Joseph Bottum. The author continues to raise a question that has been talked about online recently, and that I had raised at the turn of the new year about religious violence against Christians in the Middle East.

Are we turning a blind eye? Who is standing up for religious freedom at governmental levels? What are we, as American Christians, doing to stand with our brothers and sisters? Do we even know what is happening?

Here is an excerpt from the end of the article:

Unfortunately, in the years since, America foreign policy has been little concerned with religious persecution. George W. Bush, for example, refused to insist on a non-Islamic constitution for Iraq. And Barack Obama has systematically watered down U.S. diplomacy: Where we once demanded “freedom of religion,” a public liberty, we now speak only of “freedom of worship,” a lesser and private right.

This American abdication has produced only more oppression — and it’s accelerating at a horrifying rate. Nearly every day since Christmas, Christians have been murderously attacked for the simple fact of being Christians.

Our willful blindness is shameful, and our inactivity is wrong. The United States must preface every diplomatic exchange with an Islamic country by demanding religious liberty and a halt to persecution. And we need to do it now — while there are still a few Christians left to defend in their ancient homelands.

2 thoughts on “Who Will Defend Mideast Christians? (via USA Today)

  1. Wow, I agree with the spirit but not practicality of this idea. Who is the US to officially demand religious liberty, when we are limiting it in our own nation?

    Informally, Pres. Bush did a lot for religious freedom in the Middle East and around the world.

    There was no way a non-Islamic constitution would be possible in Iraq. The only way to have enforced that would have been to enforce militarily. If the people didn’t want it themselves, we couldn’t enforce it upon them. That would be called Islam.

    • Brian,

      I appreciate your comments on this subject. I agree with you that the practicality of Bottum’s approach is questionable. It is easy to think that we can simply impose an American understanding of religious freedom on other nations, particularly Iraq where we have had a significant role in paving the way for a new government.

      What I do think is necessary is that we not let the voices of suffering Christians go unheard here in the US. Oftentimes, we say we should be a voice for the voiceless as believers, and it seems to me that we should at the very least speak about what is happening, even if the reasons for the persecution or complex because of other factors (e.g., economics, ethnic history).

      I would also be interested to hear what you had in mind when you said: “Who is the US to officially demand religious liberty when we are limiting it in our own nation?”

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