For Christians in the Middle East, there is no doubt that daily life has become more difficult. Many complain of attacks and persecution, forcing hundreds to flee their homes. Among the different Christian groups in the region, the Coptic Christians in Egypt is the largest, numbering some six million.
Attacks have also taken place on the homes of Iraqi Christians in recent months. Two people were killed and at least 16 wounded in attacks in Baghdad on New Year’s Eve. Al Qaeda-linked militants are suspected. This just two month after 52 people were killed when gunmen stormed the Syrian Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad.
There are some 15 million Christians in the Middle East and North Africa. In Lebanon, they represent a large slice of the population and have considerable political power. Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and the West Bank are also among those with significant Christian populations.
The result of the persecution is an exodus. In Iraq, churches have gone from full to three-quarters empty in just a few years. Iraqi Christians once numbered about 1.5 million but are now believed to have fallen to less than half that.
The pope has urged Christian communities to “persevere in a non-violent manner”. He has condemned the bomb attack in Egypt as a “vile gesture of death … which offends God and all humanity”.
What does the White House have to say? Here’s the full statement, but this is all you need to read:
I strongly condemn the separate and outrageous terrorist bombing attacks in Egypt and Nigeria. The attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities.
Er. As Gadi Adelman points out:
I’m glad our President was so much quicker condemning this act of terror while on vacation than he was last year with the ‘underwear’ bomber.
Just one problem, just a little mistake in his sentence. He stated “deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities”. Wrong!
There was not one Muslim death, not one, unless of course you count the suicide bomber. Each person that died was a Christian; the bomb went off outside a Coptic Church.
As far as the injured, only 8 out of the 79 were Muslim.
More whitewashing of jihad here.
New year, same old reckless political correctness run amok.
Via Ed Morrissey: 3, 2, 1..Cue the Blame the Jews propaganda!