The Demise of Christianity in the Middle East and Africa

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 Muslim 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.


Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.

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  1. I don’t believe I’ve heard a single word from the official Christian organs in Australia, or a member of the Christian clergy of any denomination, condemning or even expressing concern at the brutal and systematic persecution of Christian communities in Muslim lands.

    Instead many are preoccupied with the “abuse” of the “human rights” of “Palestinians” for which they blame solely and incessantly just one party. Often these clerics are quite prominent.

    Some are actually worse than this. This man, an ordained Anglican priest, well known to Shirlee, is a passionate and outspoken supporter of the Assad regime, notwithstanding it has been busy murdering its own population for three years, and also a strong sympathiser not only with BDS (of course) but with Iran which would have to be the most egregious humans rights abuser on the planet.

    It is left to people like us to speak up for the rights of the Christians of the Middle East and North Africa.. What a world.

    • The only people to comment publicly are the Copts. I’ve been to a couple of the rallies in Martin Place.

      I think maybe ‘Bridges for peace’ has too. Perhaps Australian Christians?

  2. The most likely response from this quarter to explain their silence on the persecution of Christians? My guess is its just a matter of time until they have an overwhelming urge to deny they are antisemites.

  3. This is very thought provoking after reading it a second time.

    I truly believe that most people don’t know anything about this. I think the only News Mr and Mrs Average hear daily is the 6pm News on a Commercial TV channel and to be quite honest with you, what you do hear is not worth hearing. I for one don’t bother.

    We have a ‘grandmother who lost her car keys’ ‘a football player got himself in trouble’ ‘someone is up on drug charges’ or ‘so & so is getting divorced’ on occasion we may hear briefly about some minor overseas happening.

    Basically you get 20 minutes of ‘News’ if you can call it that. The other 10 taken up with advertising.

    For the last few weeks rockets have been falling on Israel from Gaza. Does anyone know?
    I doubt it. So why would they worry about churches being burnt to the ground and Christians being slaughtered for their beliefs?

  4. We need to support our allies and cultivate potential allies.

    I do not know that the Copts are particularly friendly to the Jews, but they are a persecuted minority in the Middle East, just as the Jews have been a persecuted minority in the Middle East for 14 centuries, now.

    I think that we need to build bridges to openly friendly Christian communities, including the Evangelical community in the United States, which is the single most pro-Israel non-Jewish community in the world.

    I do not know about in Australia, but in the US the liberal Jewish community has done a very bad job of reaching out to potentially strong allies for partisan reasons.

    It’s a big mistake.

    • The Copts are friendly with us Mike. I have a couple of very good Coptic Christian friends.

      Jewish Community engages with the Christian Community all the time. It’s the engaging with the Muslim one that concerns me.