Congressman Frank Wolf, who has been a champion of human rights, is hard pressed to understand why U.S. churches are silent when it comes to advocating for persecuted Christians.
The Republican Virginia rep. specifically called out big-name pastors such as Rick Warren and John Piper for their non-activity, especially at a time when Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Egypt are at greater risk for persecution.
"The church in the West is relatively silent," Wolf said on "The Janet Mefferd Show" this week. "Where are the (Dietrich) Bonhoeffers (20th century German Lutheran pastor who stood against Nazi dictatorship)? Where's Rick Warren? Where's John Piper? Where are the people? Why aren't they speaking out on this?
"I just have a hard time wondering why more in the West are not speaking out."
Since last year, Wolf has been pushing for a special envoy at the State Department that would focus exclusively on the plight of religious minorities in South Central Asia and the Middle East. While his legislation (H.R. 440) passed in the House last year, it has been on hold in the Senate.
According to Wolf, the State Department urged Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) to oppose the Senate version of the bill until a hearing is held.
Wolf said he welcomes the hearing but Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, has never held it.
"I am concerned that time is running out – both in terms of the legislative calendar for this year and in terms of the plight of these communities," Wolf said in a statement last week.
Some 8 million Coptic Christians in Egypt are living in fear, he said, as the Muslim Brotherhood majority government drafts its new constitution, which is expected to have Islamic Sharia law as its foundation.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Syria where Sunni Muslim rebels are targeting Christians, forcing many to flee the region.
"I'm not surprised that the Obama administration is opposed to this (legislation) but where's the church in the West?" Wolf lamented. "I would've thought the church would've just been up in arms."
"We have no one advocating for them (religious minorities)," he added. "The Coptic Christian community can't understand why the West doesn't advocate."