Video: Syrian Christians on the front lines of the war

posted at 2:31 pm on February 1, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Fox News offered an in-depth look at the plight of Christians in the Syrian civil war, and implicitly in the region.  The network’s national security analyst KT McFarland interviewed Syrian Orthodox Bishop Dionysius Jean Kawak and Prebyterian minister Riad Jarjour, who are in Washington DC in order to raise awareness of the situation as the US presses for peace talks. With those stalled, however, it’s more important than ever to hear these voices — and not just because of the plight of Syrian Christians, either:

“The Christians, they tried to be neutral,” Bishop Kawak said when asked what side the Christians take, but they were in favor of non-violent political changes in Syria. Now, though, the violence puts them between the Alawites, Shi’ites, and Sunnis, and their political neutrality is irrelevant, and makes them easy targets for all sides as supposed stooges for one of the other factions. That layers on top of the centuries-long effort to push Christians out of the region, despite Dr. Jarjour’s efforts at ecumenism and religious freedom. They are looking to the West for help, and not getting much more than lip service in return.

But it’s not just in the Middle East where this persecution threatens to wipe out Christianity. In Nigeria, a series of attacks from the radical-Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram have targeted and slaughtered dozens of Christians in the past week alone:

At least 99 people were left dead after attacks on two Christian villages in northeast Nigeria this week, suspected to have been carried out by Islamic extremist militants.

Attackers flooded a Catholic church during a Jan. 26 Mass in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state. They set off explosives, took hostages and fired guns into the congregation in a five-hour attack, The Associated Press reported.

A separate attack later took place in the village of Kawuri, in northeastern Borno state. More than 50 extremists reportedly took part, killing dozens and burning homes to the ground.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, the Islamic sect Boko Haram is currently resisting a military crackdown in the region and is suspected to be behind the violence.

This Christian Post report gives a grittier view of the attack:

Boko Haram, a Nigerian Islamic terrorist group seeking to eradicate Christianity from the African country and spread Muslim Shariah law, has been blamed for the mass shooting in the village of Waga Chakawa in Adamawa state, and also for violence that killed 52 people in Borno state at the weekend, the BBC has reported.

Terrorists reportedly attacked the village of Kawuri and detonated explosives while merchants were shutting down the crowded market. They also set alight to the homes of residents in the town, with residents still inside many of the houses.

Ari Kolomi, who fled his home in Kawuri to Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, described the destruction left by the group as devastating.

“No house was left standing …The gunmen were more than 50; they were using explosives and heavy-sounding guns,” Kolomi told the Associated Press, adding that he was unsure if any of his relatives had made it out of the village alive.

The violence continued last night, and touched off an act of retribution:

Eight people were killed in religious violence in Nigeria on Friday, including a Christian family of seven, while a roadside bomb killed seven others in an area known for Boko Haram activity. …

In the first attack, unknown gunmen in cars and on motorbikes burst into the family’s house in Unguwar Kajit, a village in the mainly Christian part of Kaduna state, and opened fire, locals said.

“Christian youth provoked by the attack, which they blamed on Fulani Muslims, mobilised and launched reprisal attacks, burning mosques and houses,” youth leader Emmanuel Zadiok told AFP.

One person in a mosque died as it went up in flames, said Muslim resident Mohammed Yakub, confirming Zadiok’s account.

Christian deaths from persecution doubled in 2013 over 2012, and we are unfortunately off to a pace to beat that in 2014.  The crisis of Christian persecution extends beyond the Middle East, and even beyond Islam, as John Allen wrote in his excellent book about the subject, The Global War on Christians, released in October of this year:

This book is about the most dramatic religion story of the early twenty-first century, yet one that most people in the West have little idea is even happening: the global war on Christians. We’re not talking about a metaphorical “war on religion” in Europe and the United States, fought on symbolic terrain such as whether it’s okay to erect a nativity scene on the courthouse steps, but a rising tide of legal oppression, social harassment, and direct physical violence, with Christians as its leading victims.

However counterintuitive it may seem in light of popular stereotypes of Christianity as a powerful and sometimes oppressive social force, Christians today indisputably are the most persecuted religious body on the planet, and too often their new martyrs suffer in silence.

Be sure to pick up the book soon, if you have not done so already, and start pushing the media to cover this story.


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War? There’s a war?

O’Bozo

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Damn clingers. Wipe ‘em out.

-O’Bozo

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 2:42 PM

It’s pitiful the way Christians are being persecuted in Syria, when they have a Christian heritage back 2000 years. Remember St. Paul on the road to Damascus.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2014 at 2:44 PM

This is nonsense. Many of the most powerful people in the world self-identify as Christian, including many of the extremely rich.

Since Christians belong to that group, whether they realize it or not they are part of the Christian power structure, so there shouldn’t be any whining from them about ‘persecution’ and ‘oppression,’ since obviously people who don’t benefit from being in their group have it much worse!

fadetogray on February 1, 2014 at 3:16 PM

fadetogray on February 1, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Hands fadetogray a /.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Hands fadetogray a /.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Hey! I meant every word of it!

- Leftoid Pro-Affirmative Action Bigot

fadetogray on February 1, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Always reminded of verses in the bible when it comes to present day persecution of Christians..

John 15:18
If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.

Matthew 5:10
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

I need to pray more for my persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ..they all have amazing courage in the face of life and death situations…True Martyers are those who die for Jesus..they will reap a great reward in heaven..unlike the monsters who die in Allah’s name

sadsushi on February 1, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Islam, like Communism, is an insecure belief system challenged and exposed in its failure to enrich humankind by the historical example of Christianity, therefore, like Communism, rather than coexist with a competing faith, it must attempt to exterminate it.

Cleombrotus on February 1, 2014 at 4:00 PM

fadetogray on February 1, 2014 at 3:16 PM

The stats-azzhole, under any sock, is always wrong.

Schadenfreude on February 1, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Muslims killing Christians – that’s what they do and it’s a VERY Muslim thing.

VorDaj on February 1, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Oh what a disgrace if such a despised and base cult, which worships a misogynist pedophile demon, should be allowed to assault those of the Christian faith! With what reproaches will the Lord overwhelm us if we do not promptly and fully stand with those who are being attacked and even murdered for processing the Christian faith! Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against other of the faithful now all unite and go against the Mohammedans in a Holy Crusade and end with total victory this war against monstrous evil which should have been completed long ago.

Let those who for too long a time have been dhimmis, now become knights. Let sinful clergy who refuse to help these lesser ones and hence refuse to help Christ now repent and become Vicars of Christ. Let those who have been fighting in service of Mohammedans against their own Christian brothers and sisters now fight in a proper way against all the followers of the misogynist pedophile demon. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul in vain attempt to win the small minds and dark hearts of the Mohammedans now labor for glorious honor against them. Behold! On the one side will be the completely destroyed Mohammedans, on the other the fierce and righteous protectors of humanity. On the one side will be the destroyed enemies of the Lord, on the other, his friends who will shout at all the Mohammedans and their enablers as they destroy them, “Deus vult! Deus vult! Deus vult!

I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ’s heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends. I say this to those who are present, it is meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it.

RasThavas on February 1, 2014 at 4:11 PM

…no different than Christians being slaughtered in the Roman coliseum

KOOLAID2 on February 1, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Bush and Condi Rice are every bit as guilty as Obama for this catastrophic cleansing. They stood by and did nothing after pulling the rug out from under the Christians with that idiotic war. Some soldiers even claim they were explicitly told not to help Christians when they saw them being attacked so an not to be labeled Crusaders by the local. Hopefully history will judge them for turning a blind eye for this genocide, but if history doesn’t God will.

AmeriCuda on February 1, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Schadenfreude on February 1, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Perhaps Paul-Cincy was right about the need for a /. I don’t like using it. It weakens the sarcastic bite to say, “But, hey, this is satire.”

I was pointing out the kind of reasoning that permeates the left and allows them to consider the slaughter of Christians unimportant. They really do think exactly that way. It is important for us to understand this is really how they see the world.

fadetogray on February 1, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Very true Ed. With the exception of the one week every summer when the Order of the Orange goes marching through the Catholic Section of ‘Derry, virtually all religious violence involves Islam, a religion started by a pedophile warlord.

Yet the left has a soft spot for Islam and anyone, like you, bold enough to bring up the facts is labeled Islamophobic.

bw222 on February 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

And if you are a Christian, pick up the Book and see what it says about these times. Then drop to your knees praying for these brothers and sisters and asking the Lord to forgive this once great country. And someone get a memo to these fine men and tell them that the one in the White House is no better than the people they are dealing with in their country. He won’t help. He is good at turning his back on things like this.

crosshugger on February 1, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is unlikely to sign deal for US, NATO forces to stay in Afghanistan after 2014, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen says – @Reuters

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 5:02 PM

http://www.persecution.com/

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Thank you for keeping this issue front and center, Ed.

No issue is more important than religious freedom.

kcewa on February 1, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Same as it ever was…

Jeff2161 on February 1, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Film being made about this

Shay on February 1, 2014 at 5:48 PM

fadetogray on February 1, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Right! Like the Rothschilds.

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 6:04 PM

A transparent attempt by establishment neocon Morissey to get the base behind an attack on Syria.

iwasbornwithit on February 1, 2014 at 8:44 PM

…no different than Christians being slaughtered in the Roman coliseum

KOOLAID2 on February 1, 2014 at 4:22 PM

WRONG.

People were wiling to write about it back then.

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 11:40 PM

The Christians have been persecuted in the ME for 100s of years – and the European and NA west ignores it. Martyrs all.

The unfortunate environment, Arabic Islam, has never learned to live with other beliefs. They lead their youth on a very destructive, murderous path – how pathetic is that?

There are Muslims hoping to focus on the part of the Koran that is not “murder to be a saint” but far and few between.

It would be nice (how innocent that word is) if believers of Islam would take a stand against the murderous attacks on Christians and Jew.

Frankly, what are the murderers afraid of?

MN J on February 1, 2014 at 11:58 PM

A transparent attempt by establishment neocon Morissey to get the base behind an attack on Syria.

iwasbornwithit on February 1, 2014 at 8:44 PM

He did not call for an attack in Syria. He called for the Progressive Left media to stop downplaying the story. If it was groups favored by the left that were being exterminated, the media would be howling about it but because they are Christians and Christians are out of favor, the media ignores it. Portraying Christians as victims is contrary to their narrative.

Just remember that eventually, these barbarians may come for you and the Christians will not be there to help you because you did nothing for them when they were wiped out because you were not a Christian. And the Jews will not be there to help you as you did not help when they were wiped out because you were not a Jew and the Hindus etc. etc. etc.

KW64 on February 2, 2014 at 12:21 AM

iwasbornwithit on February 1, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Push for stem cell research

WryTrvllr on February 2, 2014 at 12:35 AM

KW64 on February 2, 2014 at 12:21 AM

So then what? We attack? Is that what you want? What should we do?

iwasbornwithit on February 2, 2014 at 12:47 AM

So then what? We attack? Is that what you want? What should we do?

iwasbornwithit on February 2, 2014 at 12:47 AM

agitate on the internet

Murphy9 on February 2, 2014 at 12:59 AM