There is a “blind spot” in Western countries concerning the persecution of Christians around the world, advocates said while noting Christians are the most persecuting religious group on the planet.
According to a report from Open Doors, a nonprofit organization that aids Christians facing persecution around the world, approximately 322 Christians are killed, 214 churches or properties owned by Christians are destroyed, and 772 acts of violence are carried out against Christians each month.
“No person or group should live in fear of being killed, tortured or oppressed because of their religious beliefs,” said Paul Coleman, deputy director of the Alliance Defending Freedom International. “By all accounts Christians are the most persecuted group on the planet.”
In addition to a genocidal campaign waged against them by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Coptic Christians face regular discrimination and violent terrorist attacks in Egypt.
Andrew Doran, vice president of In Defense of Christians, argued the backlash against the provision in President Donald Trump’s executive order granting exceptions for refugees who belong to persecuted religions minorities stemmed from a belief in the West that Christians are oppressors unworthy of special consideration.
“Christians in the West have been somehow identified as the oppressor class, and that view seems to be extended to Christians in the Middle East,” he said. “But the fact is that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
“Whether someone is Muslim, Yazidi, Jewish, Christian or atheist, they should be given priority if they’re facing persecution, and certainly that would be so where there’s a finding of genocide.”
A recent survey from Rasmussen demonstrated more Democrats believe that Muslims face more discrimination in the United States than Christians do in Muslim-majority countries.
“Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats, however, believe most Muslims in this country are mistreated, a view shared by only 22% of Republicans and 39% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Fewer Democrats (47%) think most Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world, compared to 76% of GOP voters and 64% of unaffiliated.”
Despite then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that Christians in the Middle East were facing genocide at the hands of ISIS, less than one-half of one percent of the 19,000 Syrian refugees admitted during President Obama’s administration were Christians.
“They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria, it was impossible, at least very tough, to get into the United States,” said President Trump during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network last month. “If you were a Muslim, you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible, and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians.”
“And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.”
Advocates praised the provision of President Trump’s order granting special admission status for those persecuted for their religious beliefs, noting is was more than the Obama administration had done.
“I think the case could be made that Donald Trump did more in one afternoon than President Obama did over the last six years,” Dolan said.