The world's most ancient Christian communities are being destroyed — and no one cares
The Arab Spring, and to a lesser extent the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, were touted as the catalysts for a major historic shift in the region. From Egypt to Syria to Iraq, the Middle East's dictatorships would be succeeded by liberal, democratic regimes. Years later, however, there is very little liberality or democracy to show. Indeed, what these upheavals have bequeathed to history is a baleful, and barely noticed legacy: The near-annihilation of the world's most ancient communities of Christians.
The persecution of Christians throughout the Middle East, as well as the silence with which it has been met in the West, are the subject of journalist Ed West's Kindle Single "The Silence of Our Friends." The booklet is a brisk and chilling litany of horrors: Discriminatory laws, mass graves, unofficial pogroms, and exile. The persecuted are not just Coptic and Nestorian Christians who have relatively few co-communicants in the West, but Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants as well.
Throughout the Middle East the pattern is the same. Christians are murdered in mob violence or by militant groups. Their churches are bombed, their shops destroyed, and their homes looted. Laws are passed making them second-class citizens, and the majority of them eventually leave...
In Syria... [i]n June 2013, a cluster of Christian villages was totally destroyed. Friar Pierbattista Pizzaballa reported that "of the 4,000 inhabitants of the village of Ghassanieh... no more than 10 people remain."
Two Syrian bishops have been kidnapped by rebel groups. Militants expelled 90 percent of the Christians in the city of Homs. Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch says that out of a population of 1.75 million, 450,000 Syrian Christians have simply fled their homes in fear.
In Iraq, the story is the same but more dramatic. According to West, between 2004 and 2011 the population of Chaldo-Assyrian Christians fell from over a million to as few as 150,000. In 2006, Isoh Majeed, who advocated the creation of a safe haven for Christians around Nineveh, was murdered in his home. The number of churches in Iraq has declined to just 57, from 300 before the invasion. The decline of Iraq's Christian population since the first Gulf War is roughly 90 percent, with most of the drop occurring since the 2003 invasion.
The U.S. and the U.K. bear some responsibility in this catastrophe, since they oversaw the creation of Iraq's postwar government and did little to protect minority faiths.The United States is doing nothing... noting... to protect Christians in the Middle East from this obvious Islamic anti-Christian pogrom. It is a pogrom of extermination-- a systematic removal of Christians by terror and organized murder.
The analogy to Germany and the Jews in the mid 1930's is obvious.
The Arab Spring is a nightmare. It is the rise of brutal Islamist regimes that intend to exterminate Christians and Jews.
The left in America and Europe obviously is fine with this systematic murder, for the self-evident reason that the left is defined (since the 18th century) as a Christianity extermination program. Only the left has killed more Christians than Islam has, and the Religion of Peace seems intent on giving the left a run for its money.
We Christians need to stick together, and we need to speak out emphatically and incessantly on behalf of our suffering brothers and sisters. We live in a world ruled by powers and principalities hell-bent on evil, and hell-bent on the destruction of the one thing-- Christ and His Body-- that can, and will, defeat them.