The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has released its 2013 report. According to its own press release, “The Report highlights the status of religious freedom globally and identifies those governments that are the most egregious violators.” Among those that were already on the list of “countries of particular concern,” eight were recommended to be re-designated as such: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan. There were also seven other countries recommended to be put on that list: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.
You will notice a trend among these nations and that is that many of them are in the Middle East. The report singles out Iran among the most particularly egregious violators of religious freedom. Many of these countries target non-Islamic persons, subjecting them to torture, prolonged detention in horrific condition, disappearances or death.
As a result, Christians are fleeing the region in record numbers. The Chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Leonard Leo, believes that in our lifetime Christians could disappear altogether from many countries within the region.
One of those countries is Egypt, which is now run by the Muslim Brotherhood. Some 100,000 Coptic Christians have fled Egypt in recent years. Why? Well for example, just last month Muslims attacked the sacred St. Mark Cathedral in central Cairo. They attacked with guns, machetes, stones and Molotov cocktails. It gets worse … video footage recovered from the attack shows that uniformed police watched the attack, but did nothing. From the report: “In Egypt, despite some progress during a turbulent political transition, the government has failed or been slow to protect from violence religious minorities, particularly Coptic Christians. The government continues to prosecute, convict, and imprison individuals for 'contempt' or 'defamation' of religion, and the new constitution includes several problematic provisions relevant to religious freedom.” And yet we continue to send F-16s, tanks and aid to Muhammad Morsi? Outrageous.
Egypt is not alone. In places like Mali, 200,000 Christians have fled since an Islamic coup in 2012.
I find it heartbreaking that so many Christians around the world are subjected to such atrocities, leaving them no other option than to flee their homes for the sake of their survival.