The Gatestone Institute, chaired by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, has issued a report that claims "one Christian is slaughtered every five minutes," but little is being done to stop it by politicians and, ironically, church leaders.
"Throughout September, as more Christians were slaughtered and persecuted for their religion – not just by the Islamic State but by 'everyday' Muslims from all around the world – increasing numbers of people and organizations called for action. Meanwhile, those best placed to respond – chief among them U.S. President Barack Obama and Pope Francis – did nothing," writes Raymond Ibrahim, also a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Ibrahim, raised in both the U.S. and Egypt by Coptic parents, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians.
In the report, which lists countries where abuses have and continue to occur, Ibrahim specifically criticizes Pope Francis, who on his visit to the U.S. in September spoke at the United Nations, but said little in his 50-minute address about the persecution of Christians. According to Ibrahim, only one reference was made to the plight of Christians in the Middle East, and this "in the same sentence with the supposedly equal sufferings of 'members of the majority religion,' that is, Sunni Muslims (the only group not to be attacked by the Islamic State, a Sunni organization)."
"I must renew my repeated appeals regarding to the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries, where Christians, together with other cultural or ethnic groups, and even members of the majority religion who have no desire to be caught up in hatred and folly, have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement," Ibrahim writes.
Ibrahim then illustrated with data from September how members of "the majority religion," Sunnis, "are not being slaughtered, beheaded, and raped for their faith; are not having their mosques bombed and burned; are not being jailed or killed for apostasy, blasphemy, or proselytization."
Incidents of violent persecution, forced servitude, executions and mass killings against Christians have occurred, he writes, in Uganda, Pakistan, Syria, the Philippines, Egypt, Yemen, Turkey, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Lebanon and even in the United States.
CHRISTIANS ATTACKED IN THE U.S.
In August, three Muslim men from Somalia beat to death 49-year-old Christian healthcare worker Freddy Akoa in Portland, Maine. His blood-soaked Bible was found next to his body. The police affidavit stated that Akoa "had been beaten and kicked in the head, and bashed in the head with a piece of furniture in an assault that continued relentlessly for hours." Police have not said yet whether religion was the cause of the argument that led to the beating.
Also, in September, Rasheed Abdul Aziz was arrested for planning an attack on Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Bullard, Texas. The church's pastor was able to calm the potential attacker, who said he had been charged by Allah to kill infidels. After a brief conversation, the man left a note saying, "My name is Rasheed. You helped me at a time of need, this house is blessed by God and all faiths." He was later arrested.
Those incidents, however, pale in comparison to those taking place overseas – incidents that have seemingly escaped the notice of the free world or which have been ignored.
Ibrahim writes that the White House is planning to release a statement accusing the Islamic State of committing genocide against religious minorities, naming and recognizing various groups, such as the Yazidis, as victims. "However, Christians are apparently not going to be included as victims, as Obama officials argue that Christians 'do not appear to meet the high bar set out in the genocide treaty.'"
To read the full description of the violence taking place against Christians in the Middle East, click here.
This article was originally published in Christian Examiner.