This past weekend's Palm Sunday attacks at two Egyptian churches left dozens of Christian worshipers dead in just the latest example of radical Islamist efforts to erase Christianity from the Middle East. Writing at WorldCrunch, Mathieu Bock-Cote says it is past time to take action against this hatred of Christians in the land where their faith was born:
The Western world has long gotten used to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, as if their bad lot is inevitable and has to simply be accepted. As if Christianity is destined to die or have no more than a residual existence in what used to be its cradle.
Christians have been rooted in the region for 2,000 years. And yet Islamists present them as invaders or foreign agents soiling a land that should be exclusively dedicated to Islam. And in our societies, people who express concern over the fate of those Christians are suspected of cozying up to the far-right, which has managed, apparently, to appropriate this cause and make it an ideological marker. Those same critics accuse anyone who feels passionate about the cause of Christians in the Middle East of actually concealing a shameful islamophobia or an identitarian view of Christianity. Justifiable outrage over what, in reality, is a steady massacre gets dismissed as reactionary whim.
But as the savage attacks against two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday reminds us, the war of extermination being waged against Christians in the Middle East is very real indeed. We know the result: at least 43 dead — a massacre. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, the organization having made no secret of its goal to eradicate Christianity from the region, either by murdering Christians or by expelling them massively. For ISIS, it's about making Christians understand that this land is no longer their home.
For a long time, we've been saying that Christians in the Middle East needed a protector. This has never been truer...