In history classes, we are often taught about atrocious genocides that have occurred all over the world. The Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust are such examples. A genocide is defined as, “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.” When anyone dares to question the historical legitimacy of a particular genocide, these people are rightfully condemned for their ignorance. In the Middle East, there is a modern-day genocide of Christians and those who convert out of Islam. Many of these targeted attacks are coordinated by governments, individuals, and extremist groups, representing a collective effort to exterminate Christians from the Middle East. 

The Archbishop of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan (the major church in Iraq), was interviewed by the BBC in May of 2019. "Christianity in Iraq," he said, "one of the oldest Churches, if not the oldest Church in the world, is perilously close to extinction. Those of us who remain must be ready to face martyrdom.” The Archbishop continued by condemning the western response to the continued ignorance of the near extinction of Christians in the Middle East. “The archbishop went on to accuse Britain's Christian leaders of 'political correctness' over the issue - he called the failure to condemn extremism 'a cancer,'” saying they were not speaking out loudly enough for fear of being accused of "Islamophobia.” 

However, the near-extinction of Christians is not only applicable to the Church of Iraq. The persecution extends to the rest of the Middle East as well. The BBC covered  a report ordered by the British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. The report “warn[s that Christianity] 'is at risk of disappearing' in some parts of the world, pointing to figures which claimed Christians in Palestine represent less than 1.5 percent of the population, while in Iraq they had fallen from 1.5 million before 2003 to less than 120,000.” The report continues, “In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN." This report makes it clear that Christian persecution in the Middle East is approaching genocidal levels. The BBC report concludes, “Whether it is in authoritarian regimes, or bigotry masked in the mistaken guise of religion, reports like the one launched today remind us that there are many places in which Christians face appalling levels of violence, abuse and harassment.”

In America, Christians are not marginalized, so the genocidal level of persecution is absent. Yet, the limited media coverage in the United States regarding Christian genocide is particularly disturbing. Whenever minorities are targeted, persecuted, or attacked around the world, the American media is quick to come to their defense. In China, when Muslims were persecuted in a specific region, the media was quick to discuss the issue. In New Zealand, when Muslims were killed in a mosque, the media covered the event nonstop for a month. Yet, when hundreds of Christians were massacred in Sri Lanka, the media was silent. 

 

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48333923

  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48333923

  3. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48146305

  4. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48146305

  5. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48146305

  6. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42090104

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