The Persecution and Genocide of Christians in the Middle East: Prevention, Prohibition, & Prosecution
by Jane F. Adolphe and Ronald J. Rychlak
In summer 2014, ISIS waged a bloody blitz through Iraq’s Nineveh province, crucifying, beheading, raping, torturing, forcibly converting to Islam, and driving out every member of the region’s 2000-year-old Christian community. Christian girls, as young as three, were sold at ISIS sex slave markets in Mosul. Ancient churches were burned and ISIS attacked dozens of Christian towns in Syria. The beheading in 2015 of 21 Egyptian Copts was videotaped by ISIS and became a searing, iconic symbol of this wave of persecution that threatens to eradicate Christianity in the Middle East. Many in the West, even Christians, remain unaware of the scale of this persecution, and even fewer know what can be done about it.
Inspired by Pope Francis’s denunciation of these acts as “genocide,” a group of Catholic legal scholars, writers, and theologians began work on The Persecution and Genocide of Christians in the Middle East. Its case studies focus on persecuted Christians, but its analysis equally applies to the other victims. In the United States, military and diplomatic responses are contemplated and sometimes undertaken. But what about the legal system? Are there things we can or should be trying? That question animates this book as it explores various facets of religious persecution, examining ISIS’s ideology and their relationship to Islam as practiced by most Muslims, as well as exploring the nature of religious freedom. Practical, relevant, and rich in ideas, this book addresses the most crucial religious freedom issue of our day. It is a primer for Christians, students of international human rights, and all concerned about religious persecution. Available from Angelico Press
Countdown to Death of Christianity in Parts of Middle East Ticking ever Louder
October 23, 2019: Aid to the Church in Need released a press release titled “Countdown to death of Christianity in parts of Middle East ticking ever louder” The release highlights the 2019 Persecuted and Forgotten? report, which warns of Christianity vanishing from towns and cities in the region – despite the defeat of Daesh (ISIS) and that unless the international community provides effective security and aid, another eruption of Islamist persecution could result in the complete disappearance of the CHurch in threatened countries. here are some highlights:
- In Iraq the number of Christians has declined of up to 90 percent within a generation.
- In Syria Christian numbers have fallen by two thirds since the conflict began in 2011.
- The report warns that the Church in the region could vanish if radical Islamists were to mount another attack on vulnerable communities.
- The report also found that the persecution of Christians has worsened the most in South and East Asia.
- In a number of African countries Christians were threatened by Islamists or the state seeking to eliminate the Church.
The report can be consulted at https://persecutedchristians.acninternational.org/
Aid to the Church in Need’s Religious Freedom in the World 2018 Report
Examining the two-year period up to and including June 2018, this report assesses the religious situation of every country in the world. Recognizing that religious liberty cannot be adequately assessed in isolation, the country reports critique the often intricate relationship between matters of religion and other related factors – for example politics, economy, education (see Backgrounder – Not only a religious issue). 196 nations have been examined with a special focus in each case on the place of religious freedom in constitutional and other statutory documents, incidents of note and finally a projection of likely trends. From these reports, the countries have been categorised (see the table which appears on page 36-39). The table focuses on countries where violations against religious freedom go beyond comparatively mild forms of intolerance to represent a fundamental breach of human rights.
The countries where these grave violations occur have been placed into two categories – ‘Discrimination’ and ‘Persecution’. (For a full definition of both categories, visit www.religion-freedom-report.org). In these cases of discrimination and persecution, the victims typically have little or no recourse to law.
- The 2018 report
- The executive summary of the report • Download the Report
- A world map identifying where persecution is worst
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is a U.S. federal government commission created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. USCIRF is independent, bipartisan, the first of its kind in the world, dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties.
- USCIRF 2014 Annual Report
- USCIRF 2015 Annual Report
- USCIRF 2016 Annual Report
- USCIRF 2017 Annual Report
- USCIRF 2018 Annual Report
- USCIRF 2019 Annual Report
Open Doors World Watch List 2019
For over 60 years, Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement and Christian Community Restoration.