Kudos to Liberal journalist, Kirsten Powers, who today stood up to the Obama administration for not criticizing Christian persecution in the Middle East.
In USA TODAY, Kirsten writes that… when a throng of Muslims threw a dozen Christians overboard a migrant ship traveling from Libya to Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi missed the opportunity to label it as such. Standing next to President Obama at their joint news conference Friday, Renzi dismissed it as a one-off event and said, “The problem is not a problem of (a) clash of religions.”
She is referring to an incident last week off the coast of Italy. The original group of 105 people left Libya on Tuesday, April 14, in a rubber boat. Sometime during the trip north across the Mediterranean Sea, the alleged assailants — Muslims from the Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal — threw the 12 overboard, police said after a fight broke out. The Christians died simply because they were Christian, originally from Nigeria and Ghana. Italian authorities have arrested 15 people on suspicion of murdering the Christians at sea..
Other people on the voyage told police that they themselves were spared “because they strongly opposed the drowning attempt and formed a human chain,” Palermo police said.
More than 10,000 people have arrived on Italian shores from Libya since last weekend alone, according to the Italian coast guard.
Kirsten went onto say that As Renzi was questioned about the incident, Obama was mute on the killings. He failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith. If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy threw 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested? When three North Carolina Muslims were gunned down by a virulent atheist, Obama rightly spoke out against the horrifying killings. But he just can’t seem to find any passion for the mass persecution of Middle Eastern Christians or theeradication of Christianity from its birthplace.
Religious persecution of Christians is rampant worldwide, as Pew has noted, but nowhere is it more prevalent than in the Middle East and Northern Africa, where followers of Jesus are the targets of religious cleansing. Pope Francis has repeatedly decried the persecution and begged the world for help, but it has had little impact. Western leaders — including Obama — will be remembered for their near silence as this human rights tragedy unfolded. The president’s mumblings about the atrocities visited upon Christians (usually extracted after public outcry over his silence) are few and far between. And it will be hard to forget his lecturing of Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast about the centuries-old Crusades while Middle Eastern Christians were at that moment being harassed, driven from their homes, tortured and murdered for their faith.
A week and a half after Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast speech, 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded for being “people of the cross.” Seven of the victims were former students of my friend and hero “Mama” Maggie Gobran, known as the “Mother Theresa of Cairo” for her work with the poorest of the poor. She told me these dear men grew up in rural Upper Egypt and had gone to Libya seeking work to support their families. They died with dignity as they called out to their God, while the cowardly murderers masked their faces.
Rather than hectoring Christians about their ancestors’ misdeeds, Obama should honor these men and the countless Middle Eastern Christians persecuted before them.
Kirsten says that Monday, there was more horrifying news: ISIL terrorists released a video purporting to show more religiously motivated killing. According to CNN, before beheading and shooting two groups of Christians in Libya, a speaker said, “The Islamic State has offered the Christian community (the opportunity to convert to Islam or pay a tax for being Christian) many times and set a deadline for this, but the Christians never cooperated.”
So they kill them.
Indeed, let’s talk more about the Crusades, writes Ms. Powers.
Kirsten Powers is an Evangelical Christian who, early on, never pictured herself as one. Yet, believing in God and reading the Bible changed the way she envisioned the world around her. She’s one of the few voices standing up for persecuted Christians.