The Islamic State has been committing heinous crimes across the globe. But are Western countries purposely ignoring the violence that ISIS (or ISIL) is perpetrating against Christians?
ISIS is enacting a genocide of Christians in both Iraq and Syria. While some are extorted for money, others are being executed. Jihadists are crucifying Christians who refuse to convert to Islam. Death by crucifixion was outlawed in the 4th century A.D. by its largest practitioner; the Romans. It is now the 21st century A.D. It was considered then too violent a death for even the worst criminals. Now, Christians are being hung from metal crosses at the hands of ISIS. When crucified, death usually comes from suffocation.
Northeast Syria and western Iraq have seen thousands of deaths and thousands more are fleeing.
Yet, if you look up, “news coverage of christians in Iraq and Syria”, very little comes up as being recently published. In fact, news outlets such as Daily Express have pointed out that the western world in its entirety seems to be turning a blind eye to the crisis. Shouldn’t the news here be that this is happening to innocent people? Instead, what there is to report is that those innocent people are being ignored. Religious leaders seem to be entertaining an audience of none when they voice their concerns. The British Church actually mounted a campaign to lobby the government to accept some of the displaced Christians. Little has come to fruition.
Meanwhile, thousands of refugees trying to escape are going largely unassisted.
Patrick Sookhedo is the founder of Barnabas Aid, a charity that works to aid persecuted Christians. The group has already begun missions to rescue Christians from Syria. In an interview he shared a bit of what is really going on:
“It is like going back 1,000 years seeing the barbarity that Christians are having to live under…I think they have lost all respect for human life…they are using forms of killing which they believe have been sanctioned by Sharia law…For them what they are doing is perfectly normal and they don’t see a problem with it.”
There have been reports of not just crucifixion, but also beheadings and rapes as well as children being sold into slavery.
While 158 Christians found refuge in Poland, Sookhdeo is struggling to find countries willing to take in the people his organization are willing to save. More than 700,000 Christians have been displaced by ISIS in Syria alone.
Another roadblock to safety is the way that refugee policy is being written. Many Christians have found temporary refuge in churches and homes, which excludes them from being accepted by legislation that says they must come from refugee camps to qualify. So while Britain’s offer to take 20,000 Syrian refugees seems magnanimous, it leaves behind those who are at the most risk of death and violence.
Sookhdeo makes note that resistance to accepting refugees is more difficult the further west the requests are made.
Criticisms toward the U.S. government’s acceptance of merely 10,000 refugees seem light when there are hundreds of thousands of lives on the line; many for whom the belief that “In God We Trust” could cost them everything.