Why Isn’t Any Speaking About the Christian Persecutions?

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Last week the world was struck by the shooting in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed fifty Muslims and left another fifty wounded at the hands of a white supremacist. Almost immediately, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Council on Islamic-American Relations) and other associations that are also linked to Islamic terrorist groups, took advantage of the situation to incriminate those who in the past highlighted verses from the Quran and hadith—the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad—as a reference point for terrorists to justify their crimes as instigators. They further dramatized their propaganda as if only Muslims are targeted for religious hatred. While the news of the atrocity circulated through social media and mainstream media, people around the world prayed rightly for the victims and their families — Pope Francis himself led a moment of silence during his Angelus the next day in the Vatican. While I too prayed, I asked myself: “Why are the Christians who have been slaughtered and continue to be persecuted by the Muslims not get the same global response?

On Monday (March 18), eight Christians were killed and seven others wounded in the Gwoza region, in the state of Borno (in northeastern Nigeria), when a vehicle hit a roadside bomb. Militia military and civilian sources have accused Boko Haram of planting the mine, stressing the persistent threat to Christians in the remote region. From February to mid-March, as many as 280 people in the Christian communities of northern and central Nigeria were killed in attacks. And just last week, 52 women and children were slaughtered and 100 houses were destroyed in the villages of Inkirimi and Dogonnoma in Maro, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network. Nigeria, in fact, is the 12th worst country in the world for Christian persecutions, according to the Open Doors USA World Watch List 2019 — about 70,000 Christians have been killed by Islamists in the last twenty years. Where are the prayers and moments of silence that are due to these victims and their loved ones? Why are those who did they do everything to accentuate the New Zealand massacre not do the same with regard to genocide against Christians? The same case can also be argued for Christians in non-Muslim countries, such as North Korea. International Christian Concern estimates that 400,000 Christians have been martyred in the North since that country was founded in 1948.

I do not wish to be a cynic, but when, according to a survey conducted in 2018 by the Aid to the Needy Church in the USA/McLaughlin & Associates, when American Catholics, for example, are more concerned about global warming than Christian persecution, what else is to be expected? In fact, the Catholic bishops in America have not only absolved Islam of the crimes committed but, faced with the genocide of Christians inspired by Islam, they have joined the problematic campaign against Islamophobia. Like politicians, many churchmen refuse to admit that there is a holy war or a jihad against Christians. As stated by Bashar Warda, Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, Iraq, during a speech at Georgetown University in February last year: “The violent Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East [and the rest of the wordl] did not begin with the Islamic State’s rise to power in 2014, … but rather many centuries ago. Having faced for 1,400 years the slow-motion genocide that began long before the ongoing ISIS genocide today, the time for excusing this inhuman behavior and its causes is long since past.”

Despite the obvious, there are those within the ecclesiastical hierarchy who fear a backlash if there are criticisms of Islamist doctrine; there are also those who remain indifferent to the long situation of persecuted Christians because they are disoriented if not consumed by moral relativism. Modern scholars and politicians, and therefore the various church leaders wish to make a distinction between Islam and Islam. The first is an original type of Islam that does not teach war to non-Muslims, while the second is equated with a Muslim imitation of fascism and communism that does not reflect the teachings of true Islam. It is argued that theoretically there is a difference in how Islamic law is observed between moderate and non-moderate Muslims. Somehow this is a horse that does not run, for as Secretary General of the Supreme Council Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Muslim organization in the world, Imam Yahya Cholil Staquf, said: “The problem lies within Islam itself .”

Let us not forget that the petrodollar, the profit of natural resources, or other financial enterprises have overcome the cries of the victims. As Father Samir Khalil Samir, an Egyptian-born Jesuit, once said: “We [the West] raised our voices (rightly) against the violations perpetrated in the Balkans by Serbia, but we remain silent on the violations of human rights in Saudi Arabia, well aware that … we risk the profits connected with oil. The West has great respect for human rights but even greater respect for material advantages and wealth. If there is some conflict related to economic or commercial interests, human rights are placed second. If the defense of human rights implies the sacrifice of economic advantages, the rights are normally sacrificed, not the economic advantages.”

To deny that there is a global crusade organized to exterminate Christians is equally, if not even more harmful, than to put the profit before the human person from those who are in position to affect a change. We know that the liberal media have “adopted” Islam as their own, thus giving Muslims prime time attention. This is not even Fake News, but rather a premeditated and selective omission of the persecution against Christians — I imagine they were bored with Robert Mueller’s investigation against Donald Trump. Just like the new faces of the left-wing Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, they have the momentum and the media pull. We can, therefore, better understand why Christian persecutions are met with the indifference by Church officials and disavowed by modern politicians.