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  • Obama Ignores the Fears of Middle Eastern Christians

    by Richard L. Russell

    obamacairo

    President Obama loudly proclaims his enthusiasm for democracy in the Middle East as he did in his second inaugural address:  “We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.” But those lofty words ring hollow when one surveys the plight of minority Christian communities in the Middle East, which in the aftermath of 9/11 and the “Arab Spring,” are increasingly besieged under the watchful eyes of so-called democracies.  President Obama is turning a blind-eye to the Christian plight, perhaps due to a combination of arrogance and embarrassment at how events turn out the opposite of his rhetoric.

    The American enterprises to establish democracies with the use of military force in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been blessings for Christian communities in either country.  Iraq has seen open warfare initiated against the Iraqi Christian community leading to a mass exodus of Christians from the country.  Incidents like the bloody suicide bombing in 2010 of Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, which killed 50 Christians and two priests, have terrified Iraq’s ever decreasing Christian population.  Iraqi Christians have been embattled by both Sunni extremists linked to al Qaeda as well as discriminated against by Iraq’s Shia majority, largely in control of the Iraqi government.  Iraq’s Christian population before the 2003 war was about 800,000 to 1.4 million has been reduced by the climate of fear to less than 500,000 today.

    The Christian community in Afghanistan in comparison to that of Iraq is miniscule. Afghanistan’s constitution, which was adopted in 2004,  “guarantees” freedom of religion.  Alas, such is not the case.  As reported by the New York Times, Christians in Afghanistan today are compelled to worship in secret least they be accused of apostasy for converting to Christianity from Islam, a charge punishable by death. If Christians in Afghanistan suffer so while the American military is still in country, the persecution is poised to get even worse after 2014 when American soldiers are largely gone.

    The so-called Arab spring that began in 2011 has further tightened the sieges against Christians in the Middle East.  These are happening in countries like Egypt and Libya that have had revolutions and profound changes in government in the Arab spring, as well as in countries swirling with the fallout of the Arab spring but have still managed to hold on to their polities even in the face of violent domestic unrest such as in Lebanon and the Gulf states.

    The Muslim Brotherhood-dominated regime in Cairo is less willing and able to protect Egypt’s sizable Christian Copt community than its authoritarian predecessor Hosni Mubarak.  An Egyptian Coptic church in Cairo was set ablaze by Islamists in 2011 and many Copts—an estimated ten percent of Egypt’s 85 million people—live in fear that Egypt is on the path to an Islamic regime governed by Sharia or Islamic law.

    The fallout from the Arab spring is still taking shape, but prospects for increased violence against Christian communities elsewhere in the region such as in Libya, Tunisia, and Syria are growing.  Some observers judge that the uprising in Syria has become dominated by Islamists, who—should they gain power—would set out to persecute Syria’s Christian community.  About 300,000 Christian Syrians have already fled Syria and are now refugees. Meanwhile, chaos has reined in Libya since the uprising against and murder of dictator Muammar Qaddafi.  Libya’s small Christian community—primarily Copts from neighboring Egypt—was horrified by the late December 2012 bombing of a church in Misrata.  The bombing killed two Egyptian Copts and raised alarm bells that the Islamists were growing in power and influence in Libya and preparing a wider campaign against Christians.

    On the sidelines of the Arab spring, Christian communities also are under siege.  Some in Lebanon’s Christian community have put expediency over religious beliefs and politically cooperate with the Shia Islamist group Hezbollah, the most disciplined and well-armed militia in the country and even more powerful than Lebanon’s national army.  While other Lebanese Christians are fleeing because they foresee the time coming when Hezbollah fully controls the government in Beirut and makes its dream of turning Lebanon into an Islamic state a reality.  Christians are now less than forty percent of Lebanon’s population and Christians fear that their declining community will encourage Muslim demands for increased political representation in Lebanon’s government.

    Christian Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza continue to be squeezed out of Palestinian society, economy, and land.  The Christian Palestinian community has been reduced to almost insignificance and lost in the fray between the Israelis and the secular Palestinian Authority and the Islamist Hamas Palestinians.  The Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem worries that the Holy Land is fast becoming a “spiritual Disneyland” with holy sites as theme park attractions but empty of local Christians to worship.

    Over in the Gulf, Christians face a mixed bag of challenges.  Christian communities, especially among immigrate workers mostly coming from Asia, are quietly able to practice their faith in the small, rich Arab Gulf states.  Qatar, for example, has allowed the construction of a Catholic church—Our Lady of the Rosary—in the country’s capital Doha that serves the 150,000 Catholics, mainly expatriates from Asia working in Qatar.  And in Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, churches are quietly seen as a way to encourage more expatriate labor to the countries.  The small Arab Gulf states, especially in Bahrain, have brutally suppressed domestic unrest sparked by the Arab spring revolts in Tunisia and Egypt for now.  But should they succumb to street protests, the successor so-called democratic regimes assuredly would not be as protective of Christian communities in their midst.

    On the other hand, Saudi Arabia still does not allow the construction of a church in the kingdom to support its large foreign expatriate communities.  The Saudi regime bans open worship of faiths other than Islam even though the number of Catholics in the country hoovers around 800,000 people, most immigrant workers from the likes of the Philippines and India.  Saudi talks with the Vatican for the establishment of a church are nothing more than a grand diplomatic stall dressed-up to look like serious negotiations.   The Saudi royal family is unlikely to confront the country’s Wahhabi religious establishment on which it depends for political and religious legitimacy.  The militant Wahhabis would create a political-religious firestorm should the royal family allow the construction of a church in the kingdom, which they believe would desecrate the lands that spawned Islam.

    The tightening siege of Christian communities in the Arab Middle East comes on top of longstanding, and more recently intensifying, pressure against Christian communities elsewhere in the greater Middle East.  These countries include Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan.  Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution, for example, has steadily besieged its Christian community.   The Assyrian Christian population in Iran has decreased from about 100,000 in the mid-1970s to about 15,000 today.   More than 300 Christians have been arrested by Iran’s Islamic regime since mid-2010, churches operate in fear, and Christian converts face persecution.  Iran violently put down popular uprisings in the so-called “Green Revolution” in 2009, but should the movement reawaken and someday oust the Islamic republic, it remains to be seen how tolerant Iranian society would be of Christian or other minorities in the country.

    Turkey, to take another example, often is hailed in the West as a democratic success story in the Muslim world, and the government in Ankara is routinely described in the western media as “moderately Islamic.”  But look more closely and one sees a steady erosion of democratic rights of free speech in Turkey as evidenced by the increasing imprisonment of journalists.  Turkey’s regime too has seen violent attacks against Christians.  A Catholic bishop was stabbed to death in southern Turkey in 2010, and several years earlier a Catholic priest was murdered in a Turkish town along the Black Sea.  Attacks like these raise concerns about the security of roughly 100,000 Christians living in a country of seventy-one million Muslim Turks.

    Farther to the east in the greater Middle East, Pakistan competes neck-and-neck with Saudi Arabia as one of the least tolerant countries in the world for religious freedom.  Pakistan’s blasphemy laws increasingly are wielded more broadly and deeply against Christians.  Pakistani officials who have spoken against the imprisonment of Christians under blasphemy laws have themselves been assassinated.  Christians only make up some two percent of Pakistan’s 180 million people and that Christian minority is under growing fear of persecution and economic discrimination.

    President Obama is fond of saying that Islam is a tolerant religion.  As he said in his famous Cairo speech in 2009 that “…throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”  Obama has often repeated this assertion, and other American politicians and world leaders have followed suit and made similar claims.  The repetition and echoing of a claim, however, does not make it a fact.  As we often teach our children, listen to what people say, but even more importantly, watch what they do.  A steely-eyed look at the greater Middle East where countries have predominately Muslim populations—whether they be Sunni or Shia Islam, be in north Africa, the Levant, the Gulf, or South Asia—shows that Christian communities are under unofficial societal, if not official government, sieges.  President Obama ought to look over his teleprompter to see that the realities on the ground in the greater Middle East today bear little resemblance to the words in his well-rehearsed speeches.

    The views expressed by the authors and editorial staff are not necessarily the views of
    Sophia Institute, Holy Spirit College, or the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

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    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      The contradiction at the heart of liberalism lies in its simultaneous assertion of popular sovereignty and universal human rights. The contradiction between the two is glaringly obvious.

      Despotic governments are more likely to protect minority rights, as inter-communal violence can easily trigger a popular revolt by the majority. Often, they are more susceptible to international pressure, as witness the diplomatic role of Russia and France as the protectors of the Orthodox and Catholic subjects of the Ottoman Empire.

      • Jorge

        “Despotic governments are more likely to protect minority rights”

        The human rights of any group denied the vote will always be in danger of violation. Despots remain in control because they don’t tolerate dissent. Hitler was a despot. Jews, gypsies, the disabled, and homosexuals might not agree that he was exactly protective of their minority rights. Stalin went after several ethnic groups, including Koreans, ethnic Germans, and Poles. Mao Tse-Tung went after the educated elite, whom he considered his class enemies. Idi Amin persecuted the Lango and Acholi tribes. British monarchs alternately persecuted Catholics and Protestants. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his SAVAK secret police terrorized the opposition, and were so bad they were eventually overthrown by another despotic regime. The Ayatollah Khomeini persecuted the Ba’hai. Saddam Hussein persecuted ethnic Kurds. I dunno. Despotic governments aren’t looking good to me. I’ll take a good social democracy any day of the week.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

        Seriously? You live in America, which fought two wars for freedom, one Civil War for minority rights, and numerous internal struggles that always ended with more freedoms for more people? Did you actually read history?

        Middle East dictators learned a few lessons from the Cold War, two big ones right after the murder of Sadat and the Iranian Revolution. They learned that their own, home-grown religious extremists were a threat to peace and could not be allowed to rule, and they learned that America could be more friend than foe. Also, they learned that further steps towards peace with Israel produced grave threats at home from their own citizens. Being friends with America could only be helped by treating Christians properly. Also, most of these Christian communities have been where they are longer than Islam has existed. They are woven into the fabric of the areas they are.

        • Paul Tran

          Excuse me , the Iranian Revolution was engineered by Islamist extremists , no ? And so far, the current Iranian regime has done nothing but exporting terrorism across borders.

          Yes, Christian communities have existed in the Middle East long before Islam existed , and all the more it is repugnant to see Christians being persecuted in some of the Islamic countries. perhaps you can explain why Coptic Christians are being persecuted in Egypt since the fall of Mubarak ?

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

            We seem to agree here, so perhaps I was unclear. The Iranian revolution and assassination of Sadat scared the West, but it also scared nearly every other Middle Eastern nation, in some cases making them allies or at least friendly to the USA and other wealthy nations. Saddam and Mubarak were interested in protecting different groups in the effort to suppress fundamentalist Islam. before and after 1991, UBL made a formal offer to the Saudis to wage a Mujaheddin-type war against Saddam to remove him from power, citing the success against the Soviets. The Saudi’s were smart enough to not go with religious extremists. The Arab Spring produced some opportunities for the nutters, and anyone not their particular brand of crazy is going to have a rough time. Take a look at how Muslim women are currently being treated in Egypt, and you might think the Christians are getting off light. The Coptics, secularist Muslims, atheists, or even devout Muslims of different sects – Sunnis, Shiite, Sufi, all have a sort of mutual hatred going on between their extreme adherents. The Christians aren’t necessarily being singled out, but they will most likely suffer unless they can join a sane coalition to rule a more peaceful country. The most recent demonstrations against Morsi are a step in that direction.

            For a Western example of how religious nutters nominally of similar faiths get nasty, look no further than Ireland.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

        I see no contradiction between popular rule and individual rights – it is not obvious, so please explain. “We find these truths to be self-evident” is an idea at the heart of our country, and that includes both aspects of what you claim is liberalism but is really just Americanism. I don’t get it: are you opposed to the idea of citizen rule or individual rights? Do you want dictators in power?

        • Paul Tran

          Popular rule is different from individual rights. Popular rule can also mean mob rule and does NOT necessarily encompass morality or rationale as individual rights do.
          Citizen rule can best be said by the ballot box, while individual rights are moral obligations ALL nations must adhere.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

            We have popular rule, true, but we also have various things that protect us from the whims of the mob, or a simple majority. These protections also come from us, granted to Americans by Americans through the processes laid out in the Constitution. It takes a really steep climb to take these rights away – the process to Amend is complicated and full of super-majorities of different sizes and types. America is both a Republic and a land of individual rights that are difficult to take away. The two are not mutually exclusive, the logical fallacy of false dichotomy that Peterson-Seymour put out in his post. If he, or you, have any sort of intelligible logic to support the claim that America as we know it is impossible (already demonstrably false by 236 years of modern history), that would be truly compelling reading.

            As it stands, the original post is illogical silliness that deserves far less civility than I gave it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

        If anyone wants to know why this argument is absurd, look up “false dichotomy”.

    • Alecto

      More neo-con nonsense. If you’re bleeding for Middle Eastern Christians, then work to arm them. Of course you won’t because you, like the fanatical Muslims, believe martyrdom is the highest and best purpose…for others. When are Americans going to realize they have no business interfering in the world? It’s too late to stop this spread of radical Islam and it didn’t begin with Obama. We created this monster, we funded the Mujahadin in Afghanistan when it was the Soviets on the other side and we’re too shortsighted to understand or deal with the long-term consequences of our actions overseas. We sent lambs to the slaughter in Beirut (didn’t mention that one) with absolutely no way to defend themselves then cried when they were bombed and massacred? I read this and I think: blah, blah, blah, blah. Republican or Democrat: moderates, liberals or conservatives – you people are a THREAT to every American!

      You cannot have a change in administrations every four or eight years and have a coherent foreign policy. That’s why the Founding Fathers did not want us getting involved, setting up permanent outposts and did not want an empire! Unfortunately, the constant overseas idiocy results in “refugees” the Catholic church and others are more than happy to accept government funds to “relocate” to the U.S. What a racket.

      I see there is no article today or for the past few weeks on what the proposed blanket amnesty in the Congress is going to do to this country as well. I’ll write this – if this thing passes, I’m declaring war on the Catholic church. Yesterday, my church had a collection for the Latin American church? I have to ask – who is supporting Catholics here? Churches are closing, schools underfunded, no vocations? They have money for Mexicans, Hondurans, El Salvadoran gangs and druggies, but where is the help for Americans? It’s clear the Vatican sees American Catholic as an ATM. It’s time to turn off the spigot and starve them out. Hiring lobbyists to push for blanket amnesty, against the wishes of American Catholics, taking government money to relocate “refugees” who destroy small communities across this nation, I am so embittered, I have to leave this church before it destroys all my faith in a good and merciful God. Rotten, Rotten Catholics!

      • Crisiseditor

        Alecto, I think you would feel a lot better if you took some deep breaths and calmed down. Crisis is not a Neo-con publication. It may have been years ago under previous editors and the previous publisher, but not now. The author highlighted several important facts about American foreign policy: 1) The Obama administration’s rhetoric about promoting democracy and human rights is hypocritical; 2) the nation building of the Bush administration was a failure as far as Christians in the region are concerned; and 3) the rhetoric of Islam as a religion of peace flies in the face of evidence on the ground, a fact lost on both Obama and Bush. In fact, the Copts may have been better off under Mubarak and the Christian Iraqis under Hussain. That is not something a Neo-con would say, is it? The Church does favor self defense; that is the teaching of the Catechism. (Read your Augustine.) The Christians are perfectly in their rights to defend themselves; martyrdom is not the only option. Your hyperbole does not help your case. We did have a coherent foreign policy during most of the Cold War; but since the breakup of the USSR, it has succumb to partisan politics. However, I suspect that coherence is not your real concern since your libertarianism would not have approved of the policy direction during that period of American history. Your complaint about changing policies every four years needs to be directed to the founders, or perhaps Congress which limited presidential office to two terms.Yes, the United States was meant to be a Republic not an Empire, but that’s not in dispute. With regard to the Church, you need to learn to make distinctions between essentials and inessentials. When bishops talk about immigration or guns, for example, I ignore them. You should too. These are matters of prudential judgment that Catholics can dispute. That the Church seeks to help Catholics in other countries is just basic Christianity. This is not foreign government aid, it’s charity. We are called to support mission work. That’s how Christianity spread in the first place. If it wasn’t it would still be a small sect in Palestine. Christ’s message is UNIVERSAL, it is meant for everyone. That is why the missions are an essential part of Christianity. Your nationalist sentiments cancel out legitimate Christian teaching. While I agree that American policy should follow the principle that charity begins at home, it is not the case that Christians should ignore the plight of their co-religionists overseas. If you were serious about recommending gun trafficking on behalf of persecuted Christians (and that’s unclear), then you would not be wholly opposed to my point (at least in theory) since guns cost money. If you think the Church in America spends more money on Latin America than on U.S. residents, then you would be mistaken. Again, more hyperbole. Yes, there are problems in the Catholic Church in the U.S. The name of this magazine highlights this fact. We published a column a few days ago on gun control that challenged several members of the clergy. You know because you participated in the debate. Your shotgun approach to criticism is hitting the innocent as well as the guilty. Some bishops are beginning to learn that expressing political opinions on everything, including the promotion of policy preferences that are highly debatable, only undercuts their moral authority. We saw a good example of restraint with Bishop Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, regarding Paul Ryan’s budget. And he was not alone. Don’t let politics consume you. Learn to make distinctions between what is essential and what is not. The Church possesses the fullness of Christ’s truth. Don’t abandon spiritual riches out of frustration over the bad decisions of some bishops. Don’t abandon Christ because of Judas; and don’t abandon Peter because he denied Christ three times. We live in a fallen world. But great things are still possible.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

          Oddly enough, there is some here I agree with on both sides of these two posts. While Christians were better off under dictators in Iraq and Egypt, the Muslims were not. In some ways this was a good thing – Al Qaeda was not in Iraq until Saddam fell, and Egypt imprisoned, then exiled many who became Al Qaeda, including Ayman Al-Zwahiri who was involved in assassinating Anwar Sadat and currently leads Al Qaeda. Our occupation of Iraq was incompetent to the point where refugees were usually more economic than religious – power, sewer, water, and security were all blatantly lacking. Those who left Iraq were those that could, and probably won’t go back soon. Usually those with money, education, or marketable skills. Those most likely to advocate for secular freedoms including that for religious minorities like Christians. Our Cold War strategy had very little consideration for the Middle East beyond thwarting Soviet expansion and access to oil. The Muslims do not thank us for that. Now that the majority Muslims have the opportunity to gain power, their radical fringe has gotten more say than they should. And further overt American interference will only make it worse. For good or ill, these nations now need to figure it out for themselves, and we are left dealing with what they come up with.

          This should give us pause to think. I have a secular Muslim friend in Egypt right now who hopes for a better government. The clashes there are trying to fight for one. It isn’t easy, and it isn’t finished.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

            I didn’t finish my statement, so apologies. We should pause and think about what religious freedom means here at home. How have we treated our religious minorities? Muslims, Hindus, atheists, Jews, Buddhists? Have we treated them as equals, allowed them the rights we would expect for ourselves? How is our great American experiment doing on the topic of religious freedom?

            I can tell you it is poor. Every time a Mosque is opposed, or Americans feel unwelcome on their own soil, that is a failure of American freedoms. I am an atheist, a segment claiming more people than our Jewish community. Yet people still oppose us serving in government, despite Article VI and Amendment I. In some States it is illegal, though those laws are relics that would be struck down due to SCOTUS precedent if challenged.

            So, American Christians, please examine your own thoughts and actions back here at home while you consider the failings of other creeds around the globe.

            • Paul Tran

              In the West, there is far more tolerance and religious freedom than there is in the Middle East. To deny this is to bury your head in the sand. The only time a mosque is opposed has been in N.Y close to Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11- and quite rightly so, as this brings up a lot of raw emotions and memories of the atrocious acts committed in the name of Islam. You mentioned Article VI Amendment I, but equally The First Amendment protects the 5 freedoms (i.e. religion, press, speech, petition & assembly) which form the foundation of America’s democracy, and it is this model that provides the truest form of freedom that you are accorded with. In some Islamic countries you wouldn’t even be able to voice your atheist opinions.

              • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

                The only mosque opposed was in lower Manhattan? Seriously? Use the googles, Paul. Your statement is so easily proved false you might want to reconsider. TN, Chicago, CA, more, more more. Anti-Muslim groups have opposed mosque construction across the nation, and anti-Muslim hate crimes have shot through the roof the last 11 years. Such activity is an embarrassment for the USA, which claims to be the leader on freedoms, especially those of religion and conscience.

          • Paul Tran

            I personally know of a Iraqi family who escaped from Saddam’s rule and have returned home. Moreover, there are plenty of Libyans in the UK who also have returned to their country after the fall of Qaddafi. All these folks are educated and skilled. The question is : are the new regimes any better than the old when it comes to protecting religious freedom, whether Christians or other religious minority groups ? The evidence is clear that the new lot are worst.

            • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

              Unknown if the new regimes will work. Libya and Iraq have a better leg up than Egypt or Yemen, or the USA-supported regime in Bahrain. Recently there have been Egyptian atheists imprisoned for blasphemy, which is better than being executed like they do in parts of Pakistan. Syria looks like such a mess, anything could happen.

              Good to hear about your Iraqi friends. If that nation is going to work, they will probably be needed there.

        • Alecto

          Crisiseditor, I never wrote that Crisis was “neo-con”, but the article clearly demonstrates neo-con elements. No hyperbole, just passionate honesty. I cannot as you state “ignore” bishops. They’re collecting money from me on one hand through various mechanisms, and using it to fund policies with which I vehemently disagree. That is a practice I cannot change or control. I am placed in an awkward position of trusting those who have proven they cannot be trusted and don’t appreciate it. There is not one Catholic bishop in this country or any other I respect. I view them all with suspicion because they have proven again and again they are unworthy of the offices they hold.

          The American Catholic church is not, whatever else it is, simply rife with problems. From ongoing pedophile scandals and cover-ups, to hiding assets, to depriving clergy of rightful pensions, to misleading and outright lying to parishioners, to tyrannical demagoguery on any number of issues, to criticizing the federal government then soliciting contracts and grants from it on the other, to supporting every whacked out Leftest cause, ignoring financial crimes in its ranks, attacking anyone who threatens their livelihood, it is abysmally corrupt and dishonest. That doesn’t diminish good works performed by lay Catholics, or a handful of clergy, but it makes it implausible for any rational person to commit to a belief system that produces such corruption and arrogance. If this is the path to holiness, you could have fooled me. It more resembles the Bonanno Crime Family. And you write about moral authority? Please! Do not make me laugh!

          If being a “good” Catholic means the withdrawal of reason or conscience, then no sir, I am not Catholic. My own conscience may not be infallible, but I trust it more than I trust the Catholic catechism or a bunch of misogynistic homosexual geezers. I don’t need to read Augustine to determine the only thing I have in common with Catholicism is a shared past. Listening to local Christian radio, I get more understanding of Jesus Christ, more guidance and direction than I ever have from any Catholic priest or organization. I am grateful for the education I received, and for a few other good people I have met who happen to be Catholic, but I don’t believe the Church has fullness of truth. If it did, it bastardized it for the sake of accumulating power. I am not abandoning Christ, I am abandoning the corrupt Catholic church.

    • Lt. William J. Lawler II, M.Ed

      I’m not sure what Mr. Russell’s main point is. What I read was a long list if Muslim policies that offend our sense of freedom as Americans.

      The bottom line is that the U.S. Government has no Constitutional or Moral authority to engage in nation building. The United States of America is supposed to be a Republic, not an empire.

      Our foreign adventurism and interventionism has wrought untold “unintended” consequences, as well as the murder and imprisonment of tens of thousands of innocents. And it is all in the name of spreading “democracy”, whether they want it or not.

      As to the plight of Christians, or any oppressed group, that is located anywhere in the world, each and every American citizen should be free to donate their money, time, resources, and even their life, to personally fight to end the oppression of whatever group
      they feel most deserves their support. However, individual American Citizens should not be forced to pay or fight for the freedoms of other peoples that they do not wish to support. There is absolutely no moral authority for one group of Americans to use the Government to use force against the American Citizenry so as to force the American People to pay and fight for other peoples and causes which they do not believe in and/or do not wish to support.

      History has taught us that the people who do not know they are oppressed are actually less free than people who at least know they are oppressed. Considering the fact that the average American is the most deluded person in the world about how free he really is, I
      wonder who is worse off, us or Middle Eastern Christians.

      • Tusense96761

        It is sad what this country has become under Obama. I think it is less the American people and more Obama. Americans haven’t lost their way they have just lost their leadership. This nation is 80 percent a Christian nation, so don’t let the election or the polls fool you, Obama only won by way of fraud and the polls are just manipulated lies. We would be a free nation if we didn’t have a government that has for years packed our congressional halls and courts with bribed, blackmailed and threatened representatives and judges. It is a conspiracy by the big corporations and banksters to overthrow our republic and they are succeeding. Unless we do three rings, stop watching TV news, stop paying our taxes to a government not representing the people, stop banking and buying products from corporations like Monsanto, General Electric, Microsoft etc.. and block those representatives from going to their offices.

    • J G

      Virtually no liberal cares about Christians being persecuted. After all Obama is persecuting them right here at home.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.pekarek.5 Mike Pekarek

        Blatantly untrue. Please study the phenomena known as “Confirmation Bias” before you select your news articles and television. Try and not only read, but fully understand at least one opposing viewpoint daily and then get back to me on why your statement is absurd.

        • Tusense96761

          What you don’t think Obama trying to force Catholic Hospital’s to perform abortions and sell birth control, isn’t that an attack on the Catholic Church, well it is. And what about the bible’s definition of marriage? Obama’s even trying to control free speech and has actually said if a person quotes the bible’s view on homosexual marriage you can’t work for the government. He lied to get elected and said he was a Christian only we come to find out that is not the truth. He tried to remove God from the democratic platform and almost succeeded at the DNC just prior to the 2012 election. The only reason he almost succeeded is that Obama arranged to have the DNC at the same time the Muslims group of 40,000 people were having their convention. Obama probably piggybacked on their convention because he wasn’t able to draw a big enough crowd of support for himself. More proof Obama is anti Christian in that he takes down Christian symbolism when it is present where he is speaking. I tend to believe that Hillary and Obama knew exactly what they were doing in the Middle East to Christians and that is why the people in those areas protest Obama to get out of their country. Obama also removed all the free bibles sent to our soldiers in the Middle East, he said it was a security risk, what about it being a security comfort.

    • Grant

      So you’re saying Christians in the Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered since the ill-advised US invasions initiated by the George W. Bush administration, but it’s all Obama’s fault? Bush’s militant, self-righteous, blood-stained corruption of Christianity was off-putting to a lot of people — and not only within the Middle East. Now Obama comes in, behaving a lot more like a loving, humane, and well-intentioned Christian (though I admit not perfect — we could do a lot more to peel back from killing our fellows in the Middle East), appealing for the democracy and freedom the author apparently wants, and … the author attacks him for that?Is this a Catholic or a political blog? Hard to know sometimes. By the way, Obama is historically correct. There have been tolerant Muslim cultures. Islam certainly can be a practiced peacefully. Suleiman was a lot more tolerant and less blood-thirsty than most of his “Christian” attackers, and Muslim rule in Andulasia in the late eighth century came as a great relief to those Spanish trapped under the despotic rule of Christian leader, Roderick. After driving the Muslim rulers out of Spain, the Christian victors perpetrated a savage and brutal massacre of remaining Muslims, and those who survived were forcibly converted to Christianity. We all know what the Spanish Inquisition did to the Jews and to Christians who were suspected of “heresy”. Does this make Christianity inferior to Islam? Of course not. Was Catholicism responsible for every atrocity perpetrated by the Provisional IRA? Of course not again! We need to keep these events within an appropriate historical and political context.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/G2R62EWS4ZELEM532W63UMJG34 JimO

        The “blame Bush babies” aka, the BBB, are never going to grow up and learn. Their ignorance is disgusting to constantly see in replying to any objective criticism of this community organizers spending money, wastefully, or shoring up his Muslim buddies. Remember, it was Obama that said “Afghanistan is the right war;” and the world was the one that said the Iraq War was necessary. As for “tolerant” Muslim cultures, after they have murdered to get control, they then allowed you to stay as long as you paid a tax for not becoming a Muslim. But, of course, in the minds of Obama and Grant, that is peace…regardless the price.

      • Paul Tran

        What the article is saying is that Obama, who is supposed to stand for democracy & freedom of religious practices, could do more to protect the rights of Christians around the world.
        I, for one, do NOT believe for a single moment that Obama is the loving, humane, and well-intentioned creature that you portray him to be (i.e gay marriage, bankrupting the US, why is Guantanamo still open after promising to close it ? etc …).. Since you are intent on turning this into a political blog but totally miss the point of the article.

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    • cken

      Why would anyone fool themselves into thinking Obama cares about Christians either there or here. Wasn’t it the democrats who wanted to eliminate God? Face reality, most Democrats, certainly most of those at the convention, are anti-God. Based on the election it would appear America agrees with them. We are no longer one nation under God. We are under something else which has yet to be identified. Maybe when the Declaration of Independence is vanquished into oblivion and the Constitution is rewritten we will find out what it is.

    • Shirley J. Schultz

      I am also discouraged by the actions/or lack thereof, of many of our Bishops and Priests; but Jesus still comes at every single Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Also, there is no such thing as the American Catholic Church. We are Roman Catholic, period. Next, less than 1% of the Catholic Priesthood perpetuated the scandal of molesting the children. Those Priests and the Bishops that covered it up should spend the rest of their lives in jail. Unfortunately, there are innocent Priests imprisoned who did not commit these horrendous crimes. When these reports of abuse began surfacing, the question I asked myself was, “Could some of this be your fault because you haven’t prayed and sacrificed enough for them?” Priests and Bishops are the primary targets of Satan. If he can destroy them, no Mass, no Church. I will never, ever leave the Roman Catholic Church. Jesus founded this Church and no other. Why would I ever settle for a counterfeit when I can have the real thing? Let us pray for each other and our Catholic brothers and sisters in the Middle East. I also pray daily for our Muslim brothers and sisters asking the Lord to grant them the grace to know that our God is not a God of violence, but a God of love and mercy.

    • H. Kirk Rainer

      Empire-building disregards the displaced, disenfranchised or destroyed.
      But what of the Christian community (of the empire); has the flag covered the cross?

    • Bob dobb

      If you don’t believe that our god given rights as Christians are being
      taken away just look at this site. We’re being conspired against. It’s
      time we demanded respect from Obama http://www.lemonparty.tv/

    • Markos Apostolos

      There are 8.5 million courageous Coptic Christians in Egypt capable of defending themselves if and when Western Christians (if there are any left) decided to aid them. How, is the question, by allowing the Coptic Christian to assume their own country and separate Egypt into a Christian part and a Muslim part. why now, because the Muslim Brotherhood are in power and they want Sharea law of Islam to be the law of the land. This will definitely cause Christians to leave the country (if they can), convert into Islam (which is exactly why the Muslims want Sharea law), die as martyrs, or live in subhuman submission under the mercy (or lack of mercy) of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    • Tusense96761

      Shame on Hillary and Obama, they are the cause of this, they must have known this was happening or would happen . What is the matter with this picture? This is why the Egyptians are protesting Obama in the streets.

    • PaulFelixSchott

      Satan’s Islamic Muslims Terrorists are MORE THEN A LITTLE LOST.

      The good that help
      others in Jesus Christ Name and help the lost to come to our Lord and
      Savior and do HIS work go to Heaven, the lost go to the lake of fire
      hell. Satan’s islamic muslims
      are trying to get all the military hardware they can from the USA to
      ATTACK ISRAEL on all sides this year 2014. And obama is helping them.

      Pray
      to are Lord Jesus Christ and sin on more and pray to the Lord our GOD
      to keep you and your love ones from evil go to Heaven, not Hell.

      Its only the wicked and the lost soul obama that wants 80% of Christians out of his way.
      Christians read the Lord’s word to others from the Bible.

      obama in our White house lambs to the SLAUGHTER.
      Every time Christians are slaughtered Satan’s helper goes and plays six to nine rounds of golf.

      The Lord’s Litttle Helper
      Paul Felix Schott