Friday, February 14, 2014

The Demise of Christianity in the Middle East and Africa

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under and the Times of Israel.}

The tidbit below was written by Raymond Ibrahim and published at the Gatestone Institute:
The rise of endemic Christian persecution in the Middle East was noted in November when Roman Catholic Pope Francis declared "We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians" and stressed the importance of "the universal right to lead a dignified life and freely practice one's own faith" after meeting with patriarchs from Syria, Iran, and Iraq -- all countries where Christian minorities are under attack.

Powers best placed to do something about the plight of Mideast Christians, however —namely, the U.S. administration—made it clear that they would do nothing, even when well-leveraged to do so.

In November, the wife of American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran for over a year for practicing Christianity, said she and her family were devastated after learning that the Obama administration did not even try to secure the release of her husband as part of the newly signed deal on Iran's nuclear program.

"The talks over Iran's nuclear program were seen by his [Abedini's] family and those representing them as one of the most promising avenues yet for securing his release," said Fox News. "But the White House confirmed over the weekend that Abedini's status was not on the table during those talks."

"I don't think we have any more leverage," said Abedini's wife. "We now have to consider other avenues and having other countries speak out because our country, when we could have used our leverage, chose to stay silent."
One of the great tragedies and hypocrisies of the current moment is the Christian and western-left failure to speak out against the persecution of Christians throughout Muslim lands.  Perhaps the foremost scholar addressing this horrendous violation of human rights is Raymond Ibrahim, the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians.

For those of you who may be unaware, Mr. Ibrahim, a Christian of Coptic descent, has been cataloging and interpreting persecution against the Christian minority in the Muslim world for many years now.

What I find absolutely flabbergasting is the fact that while western progressives claim to care about universal human rights they show virtually no interest in the human rights of Christian minorities in the Middle East and much of Africa.  Western-left moral hypocrisy is, of course, nothing new to those of us who concern ourselves with such things.  I expect the progressive-left not to care when Muslims attack and murder other Muslims or when they attack and murder Christians or Jews.  What surprises me a tad, I suppose, is the fact that so few western Christians care either.

My suspicion is that a very large percentage of western Christians, particularly in Europe - to the extent that they still have Christians in Europe - have been raised to believe that criticism of Muslim persecution of non-Muslims is "racist" and therefore to be avoided at all costs.

When Arab-Muslim political fanatics attack Jews, on the other hand, diaspora Jews care.  They may, in their confusion, blame the Jews of the Middle East for Muslim attacks upon them, but they at least notice.  I do not see much of anything to indicate that the larger Christian world really cares very much about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East or Africa or the chasing of Christians out of those parts of the world.

The Middle East, in particular, is on fire and the great majority of people who suffer from that carnage are Muslims themselves.  When Barack Obama stood before the United Nations and said that the United States supports the "changes" going on in the Arab world under the so-called "Arab Spring" he was wittingly, or unwittingly, supporting the most violently retrograde conservative political movement in the world today.  Personally, I do not think that he really knew what he was doing, but then I do not think that Barack Obama is half as intelligent as they kept telling us that he is.

Nonetheless, one would think that as a Christian he might care about the endemic persecution of the Christian minority within Islamic lands, but he clearly does not.  Given the fact that so few Christian leaders, and so few heads of Christian majority countries, care about the well-being of Egyptian Christians or Syrian Christians or Lebanese Christians, why should Barack Obama?

These are among the most persecuted people on the planet today and, yet, virtually no one cares.

I do think that those of us who actually hold to old-fashioned notions such as "universal human rights" might want to stand up for the Christian minority under Islamic imperial rule, but it is simply not happening.

Raymond Ibrahim is spitting into a tornado, and G-d bless him for it, but very few are leaning into that wind with him.

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