Michael Gerson is unhappy that democracy promotion gets some of the blame for the persecution of Christians:
The growth of this persecution is sometimes used as a club against the very idea of democracy promotion. Middle East democracy, the argument goes, often results in oppressive Sunni religious ascendancy. Majority rule will bring the harsh imposition of the majority faith.
But this is the criticism of a caricature.
No, it is a criticism of the results of policies that Gerson and other advocates of democracy promotion have supported for more than a decade. Advocates for democracy promotion may intend something else, but in practice majoritarian and illiberal democracy is typically what takes root. The “caricature” is certainly a fair description of what happened to Christians in Iraq, who were exposed to Islamist persecution following the invasion and whose communities have been devastated by the last decade of violence and threats.
Of course, the real issue in many of these cases is not democracy promotion by itself, but the desire to topple governments that are already in place. It is the security vacuum and the resulting empowerment of armed fanatics during and after regime change that do the most to threaten the safety and well-being of Christians and other minorities across the region, and yet there are those like Gerson that pretty consistently argue in favor of creating greater instability and chaos by backing the overthrow of foreign governments. Minorities are always likely to be vulnerable during rapid and violent political change, and the record of many of the loudest advocates of democracy promotion has been to urge on just this sort of change in the Near East and elsewhere.