Catholic Values Column: Christians remain in peril as ISIS persecution spreads

BY RACHEL DEL GUIDICE
Catholic Values Columnist

Christians in the Middle East continue to face relentless persecution as ISIS and other terrorist organizations spread.

“A horrific fate awaits the Christians in the Arab world, particularly in Iraq and Syria,” said Sheldon Filger in a Huffington Post article. “Yet, the world is silent. The progressive left wing has its own ideological agenda, to which the Christians of the Middle East are irrelevant.”

ISIS, as well as other militants, have told Christian groups in Iraq to convert to Islam or die. Christians and other minorities have been taking refuge in Erbil, a city of 1.5 million that has become a place of refuge for religious minorities who have escaped the brutal Sunni insurgents.

“For the first time, I’ve had to consider the very real fact that Christianity could be at an end here,” said Rev. Andrew White, vicar of St. George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad.

It is important that all people realize the seriousness of the situation that Christians are currently facing. The Media Research Center recently spoke with Sister Hatune Dogan about the plight of Christians and especially women in the Middle East.

Sister Hatune told of meeting a 21-year-old Christian girl from Jordan. When she became
a captive, her abductors “every day…were raping her all night.” As they were not content
with her ransom money, they “cut her face in different ways.”

However, these extremist threats are not specific to the Middle East alone. An Oklahoma prosecutor is filing to secure the death penalty against 30-year-old Alton Nolen, the man accused of beheading one co-worker and stabbing another in a horrific attack at a food-processing plant. Dr. Howard Kurtz, a criminologist and an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at Southwestern Oklahoma State University said this occurrence can be characterized as a “terrorist attack.”

“The first genocide of the twenty-first century approaches, yet the world displays profound indifference,” said Filger. “As we all bear witness to another mass extermination in human history, it is a scathing reminder that the capacity of the human race to forget the lessons of the past, remains daunting.”

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