US forces refuse to protect Iraqi Christians

Into my inbox arrives an update on the latest horrors being perpetrated against the Christian minority in Iraq.

Patrick Sookhdeo writes:

It brings to mind a later visit I made to Baghdad, when I sat with a minister in his church in the central market place (an area which has since suffered dreadfully from bombing). He told me how the Christians were being systematically attacked and how he had visited the local American commander to beg for protection for Christians. The answer he got was, “We are not here to protect you.” Together with other church leaders he visited the senior American general with the same request. But the general simply sent them back to the local commander who repeated his statement, “We are not here to protect you.”

I did write to Jack Straw the last time Barnabas made an appeal (which must have been ages ago – when was Jack Straw the Home Secretary last?) and got some sort of reply which said of course the coalition forces were committed to ensuring the safety of all Iraqis.

Evidently, that commitment has fallen by the wayside. So listen to this:

If the coalition forces refuse to protect Christian communities, if they overthrow a dictator in order to bring democracy, if this democracy leads to the imposition of shari’a, to ethnic cleansing, to dispossession of property, and ultimately to genocide of a section of the community, then the coalition governments must bear the moral responsibility for a tragedy which they have allowed to happen.

I completely agree, and I don’t think I could have said it half so calmly and politely.

Christians cannot stand by and allow this genocide to take place, as we did during the Armenian genocide of a century ago, and as we did during the Sudanese civil war which had killed two million mainly Christian Southerners by the time it ended in 2005. Christians cannot sacrifice their brothers and sisters in Iraq. Neither political expediency, nor support for our own governments “right or wrong”, nor the goal of inter-faith relations with Islam can take precedence over the desperate needs of our fellow Christians. There comes a time when Christians must stand in solidarity with their brethren, must speak out for them and for justice and righteousness.

The full article is available here.

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2 thoughts on “US forces refuse to protect Iraqi Christians

  1. Thanks for the link. The Big Issue had an article a while back which ran over several pages, about gay men being killed with impunity in Iraq post “liberation”. (Yeah, it was ages ago – i only rediscovered it in my spring cleaning frenzy) There have also been reports of women being harrassed for attending university in Baghdad (being made to cover up, etc). So Christians are far from the only ones being persecuted, but they are very likely the group whose persecution is least publicised, and causes the least amount of outrage.

    How much courage must it take, you wonder, to persecute the only group which self-identifies as making a virtue out of turning the other cheek?

    Like

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