According to a new report, Christian persecution in the Middle East and worldwide is on the rise, resembling more a genocidal extinction than persecution. An increasingly radicalized Middle East is more emboldened as a result of a weak-to-nil policy from the Obama administration, which is doing enough to stop Christian persecution by its allies.
The report, from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, named Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and North Korea as the top persecutors of those who practice Christianity. While a UN commission recommended back in February the U.N. General Assembly and the Human Rights Council should address crimes committed by North Korea, they cite general violations against the general public, not Christianity specifically.
Overall, nothing is being done by either the UN or the U.S. to address what is quickly becoming a mass extinction. In the Middle East, alone, the number of Christians plummeted to just 10 percent of the overall population, down from more than 25 percent as recent as in 2011.
“While the Obama administration should continue to shine a spotlight on abuses through public statements, it also should impose targeted sanctions to demonstrate that there are consequences, too,” Dwight Bashir, the commission’s deputy director of policy and research said. “By not utilizing an existing legislative tool, the United States risks sending the message that it prefers a nuclear deal to standing up for the rights of the Iranian people. The United States should not be confronting such a scenario in the first place.”
The report identified the 16 worst violators of religious freedom, which they have deemed “countries of particular concern.” Iran, despite liberal claims during the Iran nuclear negotiations, has gotten far worse since “purportedly moderate President Hassan Rouhani” came to power last year.
“As of February 2014, at least 40 Christians were either in prison, detained or awaiting trial because of their religious beliefs and activities,” the report found.
Hamid Babaei, spokesman for Iran’s mission to the UN, said he would review the commission’s report, but refused to answer our other questions or confirm the report’s statistics.
Saudi Arabia, a long-time U.S. ally in the Middle East, was slammed for its ban on all non-Islamic religious institutions, worships and general practices.
“Not a single church or other non-Muslim house of worship exists in the country,” the report found. Educational textbooks from 2013 – 2014, “justified violence against apostates and polytheists and labeled Jews and Christians ‘enemies.’”
The report rightfully focused on the grave situation for Christians in Egypt, which faulted former ousted President Mohammad Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Though Morsi was ousted last year by the country’s military, the persecution continues.
“Despite some progress during a turbulent political transition, the Morsi-era government and the interim government failed or were slow to protect religious minorities, particularly Coptic Orthodox Christians, from violence,” the report stated, before implying that the Obama administration should use its leverage to protect the Christians who make up roughly 10 percent of Egypt’s population. “Egypt is one of America’s most important allies in the Middle East. Just last month, the Obama administration approved a shipment of attack Apache helicopters to the military-run government.”
PeoplesPunditDaily.com covered an April report by the non-profit advocacy group, International Christian Concern, which found young Christian women were at a greater risk of being kidnapped, tortured and forced to convert to Islam this year as opposed to the last.
Getting back to the secretive, leftist-communist dictatorship in North Korea, the report found their persecution of religious freedom is actually fundamental to their government system. Considering the historical track-record from the left, which has always persecuted people who believe in a higher power than the government, the report’s findings weren’t at all surprising.
“[The so-called hermit Kingdom] maintains a songbun system, which classifies families according to their loyalty to the Kim family; religious believers have the lowest songbun rating,” the report said. “Spreading Christianity is a political crime. Many religious believers are incarcerated in infamous penal labor camps.”
In 2013, North Korea sentenced Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen, to 15 years in prison for embarking on missions for his evangelical organization, Youth With A Mission. The Obama administration did nothing, and President Obama refused to comment on the event.
Pakistan, a supposed ally that harbored Osama Bin Laden, was named in the report, as well. The Pakistani government sits idly by as Christians are discriminated against by Hindus and other religious minorities. The report cited the Pakistan Taliban suicide bombers who attacked the All Saints Church back in 2013, which killed more than 100 people.
In the Sudan, a majority Muslim country, is among the worst due to its treatment of Christian converts.
“Conversion from Islam is a crime punishable by death, suspected converts to Christianity face societal pressure and government security personnel intimidate and sometimes torture those suspected of conversion,” the commission reported.
The additional sanctioned countries of particular concern were Burma, China, Eritrea, Iraq, Nigeria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
“The defense of religious freedom is both a human rights imperative and a practical necessity and merits a seat at the table with economic, security and other key concerns of U.S. foreign policy,” Commission Chairman Robert George stated.