Christianity is on the verge of extinction across much of the Middle East — the land of its birth — as establishment-spawned savages such as the self-styled “Islamic State” (ISIS) butcher, torture, and enslave ancient Christian communities, especially in Syria and Iraq. The ongoing genocide against Christians has accelerated in recent years, thanks in large measure to the “foreign policy” machinations of the U.S. government and its allies in the region. But the brutal slaughter has remained largely out of sight as the establishment press ignores the phenomenon — and especially the role of the Obama administration in all of it.
Last month, the New York Times Magazine broke the silence, somewhat, by running a major exposé on the extermination campaign on its cover. The piece told the tragic story of ancient Christian communities that have been part of the region for some 2,000 years, but that are now facing mass-murder, forced conversions, crucifixions, being sold into slavery, and other horrors at the hands of Islamists. The article notes that Christians, “who often serve as stand-ins for the West,” have been targeted by “extremists” for more than a decade — particularly in Iraq following the U.S. invasion. But it does not tell the whole story about why.
The Times article, written by Eliza Griswold, notes that the invasion caused hundreds of thousands of Christians to flee Iraq. “Since 2003, we’ve lost priests, bishops and more than 60 churches were bombed,” Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of the Iraqi city of Erbil, was quoted as saying. Numerous other Christian leaders have spoken out, too, as The New American has been reporting for years. The Times report cites estimates suggesting that the population of Christians in Iraq went from around 1.5 million in 2003 to less than 500,000 today. Other estimates suggest the ethnic cleansing has been even more thorough.
Instead of highlighting the U.S. government’s role in the horror, the Times quoted one expert who simply dismisses it as a “blind spot” in the Bush administration’s foreign policy. “One of the blind spots of the Bush administration was the inability to grapple with this as a direct byproduct of the invasion,” said Timothy Shah, associate director of Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project. Whether it really was a blind spot, though, remains unclear, as then-President Bush had clear warnings from his own advisors about what would happen — and ultimately did happen — to Iraqi Christians.
Some Christian leaders in Iraq quoted in the story, though, did touch on the topic. “Americans and the West were telling us they came to bring democracy, freedom and prosperity,” Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon (in Iraq) Louis Sako was quoted as telling the reporter. “What we are living is anarchy, war, death and the plight of three million refugees.” Among those refugees are Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Shia Turkmen, Shabak, Kaka’I, and the Mandeans, the Times reported.
Reverend Emanuel Youkhana, who leads the Christian Aid Program Northern Iraq, explained the urgency of the situation for Christians there. “We don’t have time to wait for solutions,” he told the magazine. “For the first time in 2,000 years, there are no church services in Mosul. The West comes up with one solution by granting visas to a few hundred people. What about a few hundred thousand?” Tragically, many Iraqi Christians fled to Syria after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, where they now face genocide yet again — at the hands of Islamists armed and trained by the Obama administration and its allies.
Other accounts out of Iraq from the article also paint a picture of tragedy. The Christian city of Qaraqosh, for example, was first disarmed by the Kurdish “peshmerga” forces, who were armed by the Obama administration under the guise of fighting ISIS, the Times reported. The Iraqi government had charged the Peshmerga with protecting the city, and it was not immediately clear how disarming its residents would help protect them. Then, the Kurds retreated, leaving the disarmed Christian residents to flee, or face off against ISIS with sticks and stones. Tens of thousands piled into cars and fled.
Also described in the article is a string of Christian towns on the Nineveh plain that now stand empty — in a region that “for thousands of years, was Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac [different Christian denominations] land.” One of the towns, Telskuf, which had 7,000 residents, was conquered by ISIS last year. Now it has three residents, elderly women who refuse to leave their homes. It remains unclear whether the Christians will ever return to their homes there — or if they would return even if they could.
The Obama-backed “Arab Spring,” in which Islamists of various varieties with support from Western powers and Islamic autocracies ousted longstanding U.S. allies known for protecting minorities, “made things worse,” the Times reported, without explaining the origin of the phenomenon. “Now, ISIS is looking to eradicate Christians and other minorities altogether,” the report said, again without giving readers any insight into the admitted role of Obama’s “anti-ISIS” coalition in spawning ISIS.
“The group twists the early history of Christians in the region — their subjugation by the sword — to legitimize its millenarian enterprise,” the Times continued. “Recently, ISIS posted videos delineating the second-class status of Christians in the caliphate [Islamic empire]. Those unwilling to pay the jizya tax or to convert would be destroyed, the narrator warned, as the videos culminated in the now-infamous scenes of Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians in Libya being marched onto the beach and beheaded, their blood running into the surf.”
“The future of Christianity in the region of its birth is now uncertain,” the report added. But as usual, the Times told only part of the story, entirely omitting any discussion on the key role of the Obama administration and its Islamist allies in the mushrooming slaughter that could end up wiping Christianity off the map completely in the Middle East — a process that is well underway and is now accelerating as Obama continues to shower U.S. support on jihadist “rebels.”
In early 2012, just as the war in Syria was getting started, The New American magazine featured a cover story outlining how U.S. foreign policy was contributing to the extermination of Christians from Iraq and Pakistan to Afghanistan, the Ivory Coast, and Libya. The report also warned about the possibility that Obama's actions would produce precisely what is now occurring in Syria: Western-backed jihadists butchering Christians with U.S. weapons. Syria was then one of the final refuges for believers in Christ in the region. Today, thanks to globalist machinations aimed at ousting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad by backing Islamists, and at building a “Middle East Union,” it is a slaughterhouse for Christians, as the Times report makes clear.
“Nearly a third of Syria’s Christians, about 600,000, have found themselves with no choice but to flee the country, driven out by extremist groups like the Nusra Front and now ISIS,” the magazine reported. It also quoted various Syrians explaining that Christians, fearing for their lives and families, “will all leave” Syria. “We’re afraid our whole society will vanish,” explained Reverend Sargon Zoumaya in Lebanon amid a burial for a fellow Syrian Christian murdered by a jihadist.
Much of the Times article, headlined “Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?,” focuses on the role of ISIS in wiping out Christians from the region. What it fails to mention, even in passing, is that ISIS, too, is largely a product of U.S. foreign policy and, ironically, Obama’s so-called “anti-ISIS” coalition. Top U.S. officials ranging from Vice President Joe Biden to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey have publicly stated as much, and The New American and other sources have been documenting it for years.
Biden, for example, contradicted Obama, and admitted that there were no “moderates” fighting in Syria, even as Obama was claiming to be arming and training “moderate” jihadists. Biden also admitted that Obama’s “anti-ISIS” coalition was arming and funding ISIS. “What my constant cry was, that our biggest problem was our allies,” he said. “They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad; except that the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.… So now what’s happening? All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because this outfit called ISIL, which was Al Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space in territory in eastern Syria, work with Al Nusra who we declared a terrorist group early on, and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.” General Dempsey, meanwhile, admitted in congressional testimony that he knew of “major” U.S. allies that were “funding” ISIS.
Also left out of the Times article was an explosive document from Obama’s Defense Intelligence Agency outlining a deliberate plot to create an Islamic fundamentalist principality in Eastern Syria to fight Assad — precisely what happened with the emergence of the “Islamic State.” The 2012 DIA report is very blunt about the objectives. “The West, Gulf countries [the Islamic regimes ruling Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, etc.], and Turkey support the Syrian opposition,” it explains, adding that, as The New American reported at the time, al-Qaeda supported the Syrian uprising from the beginning as well. “There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist [fundamentalist Islam] principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”
So, while the Times has done a service by drawing attention to the plight of Middle East Christians, it has done a tremendous disservice to the truth by omitting key facts explaining what is really behind that plight. Still, the data compiled presents a troubling picture. Just a century ago, the report said, some 15 percent of the Middle East population was Christian. Today, it is around four percent. Even in Lebanon, which was an overwhelmingly Christian nation, Christians now make up just a third of the population. According to a Pew study cited in the report, “Christians are now faced with [more] religious persecution than at any time since their early history.” Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who advocates for Eastern Christians, said: “Christianity is under an existential threat.” It is, in the Middle East at least, thanks partly to Washington, D.C., and its allies abroad.
The Times article also describes some Americans, Canadians, and other Westerners who have travelled to the region to help defend Christian communities and fight ISIS. Apparently the Obama administration does not approve. “We wish they would not come here,” Joseph Pennington, the U.S. consul general in Erbil, is quoted as saying after noting that individual Americans fighting on the ground are not part of Obama’s “efforts in the region.” Instead, just this week, Obama announced even more U.S. military support for U.S.-trained “rebels,” including air strikes on Syrian military forces that are busy battling ISIS.
It is clear that the Obama administration and its pseudo-“anti-ISIS” coalition played a crucial role in facilitating the ongoing extermination of Christians across Iraq, Syria, and beyond. What is less clear is whether that genocide was an inadvertent side effect of the globalist agenda and the battle against Assad, or whether it was a deliberate policy goal. More than a few governments involved in Obama’s “anti-ISIS” coalition are virulently and violently anti-Christian, to the point of beheading those who convert to Christianity or preach the Gospel in nations such as Saudi Arabia. The U.S. government is also becoming increasingly and openly hostile to Christians, with the Obama Defense Department getting caught training U.S. troops to believe that Catholics and evangelical Christians are “extremists” like al Qaeda and Hamas.
Persecuted Middle East Christians are urging their brothers and sisters in the West to pray for them.