Martyrdom of Christians Doubles in 2013

I hate our foreign policy. I try not to get too agitated about it on the pages of Eagle Rising because I know there is a lot of disagreement within our “family’s” foreign policy beliefs. But having to report that 2013 was a horrible year worldwide for our Christian brothers and sisters has me angry.

Our President pours millions, no billions, of dollars into fascist Islamist regime nations like Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen… all the while, they are subjugating and persecuting our brothers and sisters.

In 2013 we documented that at least Two Thousand One Hundred and Twenty Three Christians were killed for their faith. 2,123 of our brothers and sisters martyred for believing as we do. And this number is low, because these are only the martyrdoms that we can confirm.

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“This is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm,” said Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors. Estimates by other Christian groups put the annual figure as high as 8,000.

What has our government done about it?


Nine of the 10 countries listed as dangerous for Christians are Muslim-majority states, many of them torn by conflicts with radical Islamists. Saudi Arabia is an exception but ranked sixth because of its total ban on practicing faiths other than Islam.

In the list of killings, Syria was followed by Nigeria with 612 cases last year after 791 in 2012. Pakistan was third with 88, up from 15 in 2012. Egypt ranked fourth with 83 deaths after 19 the previous year.

The report spoke of “horrific violence often directed at Christians” in the Central African Republic but said only nine deaths were confirmed last year because “most analysts still fail to recognize the religious dimension of the conflict.”

The report had no figures for killings in North Korea but said Christians there faced “the highest imaginable pressure” and some 50,000 to 70,000 lived in political prison camps.

Look at some of those names. Saudi Arabia, Paikistan, and Egypt. Three of our “allies” that depend on the millions of dollars we give them or the trade we complete with them. Each of them is in the top six of nations in the world that persecute Christians.

Persecuted11Do we demand that they set their Christians free from imprisonment? Do we demand that they cease persecution of their Christian minorities? Do we demand that they give free and fair treatment to their Christian citizens? Do we even ask for any of these things? No. We make speeches where we attempt to shame them into fairness, but they know that we will never back up our speeches with actions and so their Christian minorities continue to suffer.

If we but threatened to pull funding or political support or international trade agreements, some of these villains would change their tunes.

In Iran, Pastor Saeed Abedini has been imprisoned for over a year for his crime of being a Christian. Recently his wife learned that the American government had been at work in Iran, but not in getting her American husband released.

“Initially, when I went to the U.S. government, they said we don’t have a direct relationship with Iran,” Naghmeh Abdeini said, moments after telling a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee her husband’s health is failing in prison. “Here we were sitting across table from Iran. It was our best leverage. It should have been a precondition.”

Needless to say, she felt betrayed.

In North Korea, an American Christian was taken prisoner for “crimes against the state”,” though the North Koreans will not enlighten us to those crimes.

U.S. officials have repeatedly called on North Korea to release Bae. In August, the two countries appeared close, but North Korea rescinded an invitation to a U.S. envoy. Ambassador Robert King, President Barack Obama’s special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, had been expected to fly to Pyongyang to try to win Bae’s freedom.

Words. Nothing more.

I guess I just didn’t realize that the most powerful nation in the world was in the practice of allowing its citizens to be kidnapped and held imprisoned by their enemies.

We must demand that our government be more proactive in demanding the protection and liberties of Christians around the planet.

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