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Why Is the World Turning a Blind Eye to the 'Eradication' of Christians in the Middle East?

'Christian Roots Don't Mean Much Anymore,' Religious Persecution Expert Asserts

Another reason Bandow believes the West has largely not done much to help the displaced Christian communities in the Middle East is because "Christian roots" don't carry the same weight that they once did among Western Christians.

"Part of it, I suspect, is that to some degree, Christian roots don't mean much anymore. They call these Christian countries — that is a heritage that most people don't affirm these days," Bandow asserted. "So, everyone would agree that this is wrong but there is not a personal identification that draws them."

"I think American Christians tend to be focused on America," Bandow continued. "The U.S. is a big country, it's rich, it's powerful, but you don't really see the rest of the world so much. It's not that people [don't care], but it doesn't impact you in a way like other countries are impacted by America."

Even though many Western Christians aren't concerned about the plight of Christians in the Middle East, Bandow warns that Christianity is close to being cleansed from that part of the world "where it began."

"We are seeing mass murder, we are seeing killing, we are seeing an attempted eradication of Christianity from where it began. It is an extraordinary thing to think about. Christianity risks, in many ways, being wiped out in large sections of the Middle East. I think it is important to kind of emphasize why this is important for all Americans and all people of good will," Bandow said. "Obviously as Christians, we should care about our brothers and sisters around the world and if we want to believe in life and dignity and believe that every human being is made in the image of God, we have to be concerned about the religious liberty of others, not just Christians, but everyone else."

Although the rise of the Islamic State is the greatest threat to Christianity in the Middle East, the militant group is not the only threat to Christians in the region.

As Bandow stated that every Islamic country in the world has some degree of persecution against Christians and other religious minorities, the he added that there are only two countries in the Middle East where Christians can relatively live without fear of consequence for their religious beliefs — Israel and Lebanon.

With some of the biggest persecutors of religious minorities being U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and NATO member in Turkey, Bandow contended that there is a role American Christians can take in helping combat international religious freedom violations.

"I think that individuals and churches can do a lot as well to make their views known to our policy makers, to support groups that are active in the area to try and embarrass regimes that are potentially embarrassable, maybe the Turks for example," Bandow said. "And also, to pray. This is an extraordinary challenge out there and these are believers and people of faith."

"Even if they don't share our theology, we find that in this enlightened liberal age where we are turning to the worse forms of persecution in the Middle East and elsewhere, we should not remain silent," he added. "It's not just Christians but other believers. We need to work with people of good will to try and confront this."

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