the rise of the so-called Islamic State, many gruesome stories
have surfaced depicting the barbarity of this terrorist
organization. Its horrific acts of violence have included
summary executions, beheadings, and even crucifixion of their
behavior finally received the international attention and
condemnation it deserves following the videotaped
decapitations of three Western hostages in 2014, including
American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
an example of just how drastic the persecution – actually, to
be more precise, the genocide and ethnic cleansing – by ISIS
has been, consider the fact that during the battles between
the Islamic State, insurgents, and government forces in Syria
the population of Christians steadily declined, from 1,250,000
in 2011 to less than 500,000 in 2016.
the plight of one minority being set upon in particular, but
not exclusively, by the Islamic State has yet to become the
subject of appropriate outrage around the world. Christian
men, women and children are being rounded up, raped, robbed
and murdered by these and other jihadists across much of the
Middle East just because of their faith.
Christianity absolutely deplores and condemns discrimination
against, and persecution of, any human being for any
reason: race, gender, culture, or faith. We unreservedly
believe in, and support the universal human right to freedom
of expression and freedom to practice one’s faith.
Christians call on all men and women of good will – from each
and every religious faith, persuasion, and belief – to join in
a universal struggle against discrimination. In particular we
call upon all people to become aware of the present
persecution against Christians in the Middle East and in
Africa, as well as in other regions of the world.
us consider, and never forget, the immortal words of Pastor
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), a prominent Protestant clergyman
who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and
spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak
out – because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak
out – because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because
I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for
click on the following links for more information about
contemporary Christian persecution:
U.S. Commission on International Religious Fredom: “2016 Annual Report (April 2016)
Wikipedia: “Persecution of Christians”
Open Doors USA: “Christian Persecution”
USA Today (US): “Persecution of Christians isn't rare: Franklin Graham” (May 2017)
National Catholic Reporter (US): “Global persecution of Christians is 'growing worse than ever'” (April 2017)
Fox News (US): “Christian persecution seen in more locations across the globe, new report shows” (February 2017)
Fox News (US): “Christians the most persecuted group in world for second year: Study” (January 2017)
CNN (US): “Christian persecution reached record high in 2015, report says” (January 2016)
The Guardian (UK): “Dying for Christianity: millions at risk amid rise in persecution across the globe” (July 2015)
Independent (UK): “Christians: The world's most persecuted people” (July 2014)
HuffPost (US): “The Most Persecuted Religion in the World” (undated)