Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Christians Abandoned and Killed in Iraq

I have a close friend in Baghdad who has alerted me to a situation which really is both a tragedy, and a travesty of justice.

And no, it's not the situation you're thinking of!

This is related to a people group who are indigenous to Iraq, even before it was Iraq ... the Assyrian Christians. As you can imagine, a Christian minority in Iraq has been persecuted in recent years, under Saddam, and is now being persecuted further under the Muslim majority in Iraq.

Many have fled. My friend has been advocating for the creation of a province in Iraq, where the Assyrian Christians could be allowed to return, and live in relative peace and security.

Doesn't sound like too much to ask for, does it?

But here's the problem. For several years that he has been advocating this, with U.S. politicians and those who are in power in Iraq, they have at least paid lip service to the need to help the Assyrian Christians. But suddenly now, under Barack Obama's administration, he is finding doors slammed in his face.

And, simultaneously, Muslim extremists in the very heart of Iraq are being emboldened to mercilessly attack the impoverished Assyrian Christians who remain.

My friend tells me that during the last week alone, five innocent Assyrian Christians have been murdered in cold blood. He sent me the attached photo of two elderly Assyrian Christian women who were gunned down, in cold blood, in their home in the Dora area of Baghdad.

This photo is one member of a set taken by Baghdad security forces investigating the crimes. (He says it was the least grisly of the entire set, which he saw.)

My friend tells me he has submitted approximately 30 proposals for assistance for Assyrian Christians in Baghdad, to organizations which routinely make grants to assist groups in Iraq. But because the people who would be assisted are Christians, and it is not "politically correct" in our government to be seen as helping Christians right now, these proposals are being routinely dismissed.

Last week U.S. President Barack Obama, who himself is supposedly a Christian, touted the "contributions" to the world made by the Muslim faith -- without giving any specifics about what these supposed contributions are.

The contributions to the world brought by Christianity, on the other hand, are very specific and historic. One I can attest to personally is the contribution made by the world's largest faith-based relief and development organization, World Vision, which helps save millions of lives annually through its programs ... funded primarily by mom-and-pop Christians throughout the world who are donating their hard-earned dollars (in the face of a global recession) to help the poor.

And that is just one of many very specific contributions being made to our world by Christians and their organizations. So, why isn't our president out there touting the benefits added by the Christian faith? And why is it so politically incorrect to try and help Christians in the context of a country like Iraq who are suffering in poverty and being killed for their beliefs?

Someone please explain this to me. Thanks.