Hate to be too sarcastic about such a serious topic, but it’s hard not to wonder if hell just froze over, given what President Obama’s State Department just acknowledged about the War on Christians. In its annual International Religious Liberty report, the U.S. State Department acknowledge Christianity is being targeted around the world.
Yeah, I was shocked too.
Via The Daily Caller:
The U.S. State Department released its annual International Religious Liberty report, and the findings show that Christianity is being targeted around the world.
The State Department cites the Islamic State as one of the worst persecutors of Christians.“In Mosul, Iraq and nearby towns, shortly after the takeover of the area by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Christians who had been given the choice to convert, pay a ruinous tax, or die, gathered their families and what few possessions they could carry, and sought all possible means to escape,” the report states. “It has forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of people, conducted mass executions, and kidnapped, sold, enslaved, raped and/or forcibly converted thousands of women and children—all on the grounds that these people stand in opposition to ISIL’s religious dogma.” Regular readers of this site may recall we’ve written about Mosul, Iraq — a city where, for the first time in 2,000 years, not a single Christian remains.
The persecution of Christians is not limited to the Middle East. From Boko Haram’s violence in West Africa to China’s crackdown on the Christian church, the world has become a more dangerous place for those who believe in Christ.
“In the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and throughout Asia, a range of non-state actors including terrorist organizations, have set their sights on destroying religious diversity,” the report states.
The extensive Congressional-mandated report examines every nation and non-affiliated groups for their treatment of religious minorities.
“In the report’s Executive Summary, Christians are mentioned 23 times in 6 pages, and they are always cited as victims, never perpetrators, of religious persecution,” Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement.
The report also addressed anti-semitism, which “continued to be a major problem around the globe with increases in anti-Semitic incidents recorded in many countries,” the report states.
The report pointed to Europe as a place of problematic anti-semitism. The report cited the shooting by a French Muslim of the Jewish Museum of Belgium in May of last year.
“The surge in anti-Semitism in Western Europe during 2014 left many pondering the viability of Jewish communities in some countries,” the report states. “Although most anti-Semitic incidents consisted mainly of hate speech and the desecration of institutions, monuments, and cemeteries, others turned violent.”
“The group deliberately targeted Christians, as well as Muslims who spoke out against or opposed their radical ideology,” the report states. “As West Africa’s most active terror group, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for scores of fatal attacks on churches and mosques, often killing worshipers during religious services or immediately afterward.”
Notice the report cites “non-state actors” who have “set their sights on destroying religious diversity.” What it doesn’t appear to highlight is what’s happening here in our own United States of America — at the hands of the state, no less. We’ve been reporting here the persecution of Christians for whom serving same-sex weddings violates their religious beliefs; the “Christian cleansing” of a chapel on a taxpayer funded campus; and the jailing of a county clerk over her standing firm on her religious beliefs (even if you think she should have “just done her job,” was jailing her really necessary?) And we have a sick kid who murdered nine people, apparently targeted for the simple sin of being Christian — though our government can’t seem to acknowledge this fact. I could go on…
While it may be some comfort to see the State Department acknowledging increasing attacks on Christians worldwide, it’s unsettling — to say the least — to think the United States of America, which used to be a safe haven for people seeking relief from religious persecution, is not that today. It’s not just unsettling, it’s downright tragic.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]