Somebody Has To Protect The World’s Christians
Posted on August 7, 2014
Joseph Stalin famously asked how many divisions did the Pope have?
That question is becoming more and more important these days.
How many divisions does Christianity have?
The gloves are off in the Middle East.
The largest Christian town in Iraq has been over-run by Jihadist Islamic extremists.
Churches are being ransacked, ancient manuscripts are being destroyed, Christians are being put to the sword.
The situation has become so desperate Pope Francis has had to beg the UN Security Council for help. Good luck with that.
Only America has the will and the capabilities to help.
The Daily Telegraph reports:
Islamic State jihadists who took over large areas of northern Iraq overnight have forced thousands of Christians to flee and occupied churches, removing crosses and destroying manuscripts, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako has said.
“(The Christians) have fled with nothing but their clothes, some of them on foot, to reach the Kurdistan region,” Patriarch Sako told AFP. “This is a humanitarian disaster. The churches are occupied, their crosses were taken down,” said Sako. He added that up to 1,500 manuscripts were burnt. The United Nations put the number of people who have fled as high as 200,000, and said that many thousands of people trapped by the militants on Sinjar mountain had been rescued in the past 24 hours.
Father Robert Barron wrote about the troubling trend of widespread attacks on Christians in the Middle East:
Though you would never guess it from the paucity of coverage in the major news media, there is a fierce persecution of Christians going on in the Middle East. In Egypt, convents and churches are being burned to the ground and Copts, members of one of the most ancient Christian communities, are being routinely harassed, tortured, and arrested. In Iraq, the ISIS group, hoping to re-establish a “caliphate” across the northern sector of the Middle East, is brutally persecuting Christians. Just recently, an ultimatum was issued in Mosul, where Christians have been living for over 1,600 years, that believers in Jesus have to pay a stiff fine, leave the country, or be put to death. And the sheer shock of these extreme instances can allow us to overlook the fact that in Saudi Arabia Christians are not permitted to build churches or to practice their faith publicly in any way.
Moreover, Muslim persecution of Christianity is not limited to the Middle East. Islamist radicals have been attacking Christians in Indonesia, India, and Philippines for quite some time. And perhaps the most extreme examples of this persecution are the attacks launched by the Islamist group Boko Haram in Nigeria. This terrorist sect has burned churches, wantonly killed innocent Christians at worship, and most recently, kidnapped hundreds of Christian girls whose crime was attending school.
America is a predominantly, though not exclusively, Christian nation. Unlike the Pope, it has a lot of divisions.
It should use that military (and economic) might to defend the right of Christians to practice their religion anywhere they want.
It should demand that our allies (including the Saudis) protect Christians and stop the persecution of Christians within those countries. If our allies do not stop the persecution of Christians, we should make them our enemies, and deal with them accordingly.
I am glad the President started the process of defending Christians in Iraq. It’s about time.
We can’t stop religious extremism with ambiguity. We must stop it with force. Somebody has to protect Christians and their right to practice their religion. It might as well be us.