Persecution in Iraq

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

12/17/2010 – Chuck Colson –
Finally, a major news outlet reports on the persecution of Iraqi Christians. But I have to wonder if the Administration is reading the headlines.

On Monday the New York Times ran a lead paragraph to a story that’s as chilling as any I’ve read in recent memory. Here it is:

“A new wave of Iraqi Christians has fled to northern Iraq and abroad amid a campaign of violence against them and growing fear that the country’s security forces are unable or, more ominously, unwilling to protect them.”

There, in one paragraph, the Times sums up the grim situation facing Christians in Baghdad and throughout Iraq. They are subject to a campaign of violence—not some indiscriminate acts by a few Islamist radicals. They are being harassed and killed right under the very noses of the Iraqi security forces and the government, and it is not clear at all that the government wants to stop it.

I have talked about this time and time again on BreakPoint, and I have criticized the American media for ignoring it. Well, my hat’s off to the New York Times for putting the story on the front page.

The issue of Christians in Iraq really hits home, particularly the week before Christmas. These “Assyrian” or “Chaldean” Christians form one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, dating back to biblical times—long before the rise of Islam.

And, sad to say, the action or inaction of the U. S. government has played a major role in the situation. No doubt the U.S. government never intended to place Christians in the crosshairs of Islamist radicals, but the invasion of Iraq prepared the ground for what Nina Shea at Freedom House has called a “ruthless cleansing campaign by Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish militants.”

What’s scandalous is that the U.S. has done precious little about it. I have no doubt that if the Administration were to pressure the Iraqi government—including threatening to cut off aid—the persecution would either stop, or at least the Iraqi government would start to make honest efforts to end the bloodshed. And you and I need to tell the Administration and Congress that the U. S. government must not tolerate such blatant persecution.

Maybe the Administration’s silence on the issue has something to do with its effort to improve relations with the Muslim world—an effort I applaud. But we can’t remain silent for fear of offending Muslims. Even if, as a reputable pollster told me, up to 18 percent of Muslims hold radical views and support religious violence, that means 80 percent or more do not. It is those peace-loving Muslims we should enlist in the fight against the radical Islamist worldview and the barbarians who embrace religious bloodshed.

After all, we believe in the words of the Declaration of Independence. “All men,” that’s including Muslims, as well as Iraqi Christians, “are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” Religious freedom is one of those rights. So when our men and women go into combat around the world, they are fighting not just for the rights of Christians, but for Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, —that is, for the rights of all people.

But by doing nothing as our so-called allies in the Iraqi government ignore the deadly persecution of Christians, the U.S. not only betrays its principles, but it has blood on its hands.

So, kudos to the New York Times for giving the plight of Iraqi Christians top billing. It’s time for the Administration to do the same.

HT: Break Point

Comments

  1. George Patsourakos says:

    Most Iraqi Muslims view Christians in their country as their enemy. They think nothing of killing Christians, because they are not Muslims.

    Consequently, the Christian population in Iraq is becoming smaller. In the next year or so, there will only be 200 or 300 Christians remaining in Iraq — if that many — because most of them will have left the country due to Muslim violence against Christians.

  2. tHINK the obama administraiton is the only one that ignores the plight of Middle eastern christians. Lift you sights,my own fderal government here in Australia is in the same boat. I have raised the sisue of the coptics in Egypt with three Senators in our parliament -only one responded ,the otehr two ignlored me.
    I raised the issue of a young pakistani christian woman sentenced to hang for Blasphemy’ ,to see if she can be freed,with our Foreign minister Kevin Rudd-a former prime minister and supposedly a Christian. response…….
    As thomas Jefferson said ” i tremble for my country when i remember that God is Just”