Many Christians have been up in arms about President Obama’s comments towards Christians following the National Prayer Breakfast, but is he really ignoring a silent genocide? In February, the president was criticized for his comments about Christians and Islamic Extremism. At the breakfast he said “Lest we get on our high horse an think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Many Americans criticized his words for ultimately placing blame on Christians for the Crusades, while not fully addressing the problems of Islamic Extremism (most especially ISIS). Obama has come under attack for his failure to recognize Christian genocide in the Middle East, and even broke his vow to recognize the Armenian genocide.
So what is “genocide” and is Obama really ignoring one? According to the United Nations definition, “genocide” is “any of the follow acts committed with intend to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm; deliberately inflicting on the group condition of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent birth; forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
So what is happening in the Middle East to constitute a genocide? Since the growing ISIS influence and civil war there are currently 2 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey. On February 17, 2015, ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in Egypt. On April 17, 2015, extremists open fire on a Catholic school in Pakistan injuring 3. In Pakistan, on March 15, 2015, suicide bomb attacks near churches left 17 dead and 70 injured. On February 23, 2015, ISIS fighters attack a series of Christian villages in Syria, 10 are dead, 60 injured, and 90 women and children are kidnapped. And most recently, another video released by ISIS showed them murdering 30 Ethiopian Christians. So do these acts constitute genocide? Well, ISIS and other military groups have sought to destroy (at least in part) many Christian groups by killing them. They also caused serious bodily harm and forcibly transferring the women and children from Christian groups in Syria, these acts do meet the official UN definition of genocide.
Is Obama ignoring these acts? Obama has yet to publicly decry or recognize the current Christian genocide. These events also aren’t isolated to one place. On April 16, 2015, 12 Christians were thrown to their death from a refugee boat by Muslims in Italy. In April, Muslim extremists murdered 148 Christian college students. When Obama addressed the victims in Kenya, he failed to acknowledge the victims as “Christians” and their murderers as “Islamic extremists.” This failure was criticized because it doesn’t address the very real religious genocide of Christians happening worldwide. So yes, there is a very real genocide of Christians throughout the world, and they need our help and acknowledgment or their plight will continue.