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Dougherty on the Destruction of Christian Communities

Michael Brendan Dougherty has written a valuable article on the ongoing destruction of Christian communities in the Near East. Here is an excerpt:

And yet the Western world is largely ignorant or untroubled by programmatic violence against Christians. Ed West, citing the French philosopher Regis Debray, distils the problem thusly: “The victims are ‘too Christian’ to excite the Left, and ‘too foreign’ to excite the Right.”

Church leaders outside the Middle East are afraid to speak out, partly because they fear precipitating more violence. (Seven churches were fire-bombed in Iraq after Pope Benedict XVI quoted an ancient criticism of Islam in an academic speech in Germany.) Oddly, unlike Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. are the only powers acting in the Middle East that do not take any special interest in the safety of those with whom they have a historic religious affinity.

More than that, the U.S. and U.K. have tended to go out of their way in at least the last fifteen years to pursue policies that have worsened conditions for Christians in the region, and in some cases they have knowingly aligned themselves with political forces that are openly hostile to Christians. It would not be so strange if the U.S. and U.K. didn’t take an interest in Christian communities if they were content not to interfere regularly in this part of the world, but the truly damning thing is that they do interfere and nonetheless often take the side that causes the most harm to Christians.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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