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The Christian population has been plummeting across the
Middle East in recent years. The primary cause of the decline is radical
Islamic persecution of non-Muslims, from church burnings to outright murder
simply for the "crime" of being Christian.
Approximately 150,000 Christians are murdered globally each
year because of their faith, with many of these murders taking place in the
Middle East. For the persecutors, dhimmitude by these "infidels" is no longer
enough. Christians must convert to Islam, leave, or die.
Yet the persecution of Christians is not limited to that
inflicted by Islamicists. Christians who live in Israel are dealt with as
second class citizens.
This discrimination may have more to do with Israeli
Christians being primarily Arab by ethnicity rather than because of their
religious beliefs. Whatever the motivation, the Christian Israeli population is
Near Bethlehem, the Israeli government is planning to extend
a wall to protect two Jewish settlements that the Palestinians contend are
illegal. The government contends that the wall is necessary for security
Based upon its current path, the wall will evict dozens of
Arab Christian families from their lands. In addition, the wall will divide a
Christian monastery and convent from each other.
Both Islamic and Jewish governments must respect the rights
of religious minorities. Treating Christians as dhimmis or worse is
unacceptable behavior that violates fundamental human rights.
The international community should apply diplomatic and
economic pressure on all Middle Eastern countries - Muslim and Jewish - to
protect the rights of Christians and other religious minorities who live there.
The rule of law must protect rather than persecute diverse religious beliefs.
Bethlehem nuns in
West Bank barrier battle, BBC News (May 2, 2012)
the Crossroads, Zenit.org (May 4, 2012)
Have All The Christians Gone?, StrategyPage.com (May 9, 2012)
UK Event to Draw
Attention to a New Generation of Martyrs, Zenit.org (May 4, 2012)
Are Christians Really Leaving Bethlehem?, CBN.com (May 8, 2012)