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Is Talking About Persecution of Christians Not PC?

Coptic Christians mourn the victims of the caravan attack
Coptic Christians mourn the victims of the caravan attack (Photo: MOHAMED-EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Suddenly, it appears to be not politically correct to talk about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa by Islamists– especially if this topic is mentioned by the loathed U.S. President Donald Trump.

In a press conference with the Nigerian president, the BBC devoted an entire “news” article to criticizing a remark about Christian persecution made by Trump at a press conference with the Nigerian president who was visiting the U.S.

After asking the Nigerian president how he was faring with the problem of Boko Haram, Trump brought up the problem in Nigeria of Christian farmers who are being slaughtered by Islamist herdsmen.

“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria. We are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen,” the president said.

To which the BBC wrote the subhead:

‘Genocide’?

and then wrote the following remarks:

“The US president showed little understanding of a very complicated and intensely politicised crisis – one which has a battle between nomadic cattle herders and settled farmer [sic] over access to land and grazing rights at its centre.

“But perhaps it should not come as any surprise. Mr Trump has always been quick to jump to the defence of Christians in conflicts such as Syria and Iraq and comments like this play well to his base among Evangelical Christians in the US.”

“Politicized” crises aside, the persecution of Christians at the hands of Islamists has grown to genocidal proportions in the Middle East and Africa. This is an acknowledged fact. In 2016, the Obama administration, as well as the European Union, recognized the persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria by ISIS as genocide.

Just yesterday, an Egyptian criminal court took the almost unprecedented step of convicting and sentencing to prison 44 Islamists for burning down a church in August 2013. (In Egypt, it is usually the Christians themselves who are blamed by the authorities for the all-too-common attacks on their churches.)

The church in question was one of 60 churches attacked in an Islamist frenzy that occurred after former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (from the Muslim Brotherhood party) was removed from power. Christian girls in Egypt are regularly kidnapped and forcibly converted and married (over 500 have been reported since the beginning of the Arab Spring alone).

In the last 30 years, due to persecution because of their faith, close to one million Christians left Egypt. Once a thriving and large percentage of the country, Christians now represent a mere 10 percent of the population.

Egypt’s Christians, unfortunately, represent a microcosm of the persecution of Christians by Islamists in the Middle East and Africa. From Turkey to Syria, Iraq to Iran, Nigeria to Sudan, the situation is similar.

Has unbridled animosity toward the American president made respected media outlets alter facts to fit their narrative? The BBC owes President Trump, the surviving Christians of the Middle East and Africa and the rest of the Free World a retraction and apology. 

Watch the trailer of Clarion Project’s latest film, Faithkeepers, about the violent persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The film features exclusive footage and testimonials of Christians, Baha’i, Yazidis, Jews, and other minority refugees, and a historical context of the persecution in the region. To host a screening of the film or find out what you can do to help stop the genocide, click here.

 

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MS
Meira Svirsky
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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