In a week in which ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) reportedly ordered Iraqi Christians(known as Chaldeans) who date back to Jesus's time to either convert to Islam, pay a prohibitively high poll tax(jizya), emigrate or accept martyrdom( to minimal comment from all save the Pope), it is salutary to reflect on the comparative Western media and official silence on the persecution of Christians in several countries of the world( apart from the "Bad Four" of officially Communist countries such as China, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam, others such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan,Nigeria,Iran, Iraq and India also figure in this) By this I mean REAL persecution(in which priests and laypeople are arbitrarily thrown into prison on trumped up charges, churches are closed or permission for the construction of new ones refused and martyrdom-death for the faith is a real possibility).
There are many reasons why: firstly when the Cold War ended over a quarter century ago, many Western news agencies closed their foreign bureaux on the ground that "the end of history is nigh"( because we "won" the Cold War natch!), several of the countries mentioned above are majority Muslim and Western news agencies are mindful of the charge of "Islamophobia", secondly as Paul Vallely noted in today's Independent On Sunday (www.independentonsunday.co.uk, July 27, 2104), given the left/right ideological divide, Christians fall through the doctrinal faultlines- too religious for liberals and too foreign(presumably too black, brown or yellow as opposed to the comfortingly Caucasian Christians of the Cold War era I daresay) for conservatives.
Also any dwelling on their plight will lead undoubtedly to calls for some kind of military action- and given the unpopularity of both Iraq and Afghanistan, this is a "non-starter".
So what is to be done? Well for a start it would help a lot if conservatives quit belllyaching about faux claims of "persecution" and "oppression"( as if the positions of opponents of Obamacare could ever be really compared to societies in which Christians really ARE suffering for their faith) just as though it would help if liberals acknowledged that freedom to practice one's faith is a basic human right( irrespective of whether or not they themselves subscribe to any given faith) and is not some kind of "imperialist" or "colonialist" plot.
Anybody think as I do?