ADL leader joins Jewish groups' call to protect Mideast Christians

Click photo to download. Caption: Abe Foxman. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Director Abraham Foxman believes that the U.S. should do more to protect Middle Eastern Christians from Islamic fundamentalism.

“We have not paid enough attention to the discrimination, persecution of Christians in the Middle East, especially by Islamic fundamentalists,” Foxman said in an interview with Newsmax TV.

“We’re watching a world where on Sunday they burn churches and on Friday they burn mosques. So there’s a lack of respect for religion,” Foxman added.

Foxman’s call echoed that of B’nai B’rith International, the world’s oldest Jewish service organization, which has also taken up the cause of Mideast Christians. B’nai B’rith is teaming up with experts to promote knowledge about Christians who are being persecuted in the Middle East. 

The Jerusalem-based B’nai B’rith World Center recently hosted Assyrian Christian Juliana Taimoorazy from the Iraqi Christian Relief Council and Egyptian Coptic Christian Author Raymond Ibrahim for a discussion about persecution of Christians.

“This is an issue that’s a major human rights issue in the world, that is not getting the attention it deserves in the West,” said Alan Schneider of the B’nai B’rith World Center, according to CBN News. 

ADL’s Foxman, who is a Holocaust survivor, has been the national director of ADL for more than 25 years. While primarily focused on combating worldwide anti-Semitism, the ADL also works to combat discrimination and violence against other persecuted minorities.

Foxman went on to urge Congress to create a special office to fight fundamentalism.

“There is an effort in Congress to establish a special office to deal with religious freedom and religious tolerance globally, especially as it relates to fundamentalism,” he said.

Despite the religion’s origins in the Middle East, Christians comprise only 4 percent of the region’s population, down from more than 20 percent a century ago, according to the Pew Research Center.

The remaining Christian communities throughout the region have come under increasing threat from the growing tide of radical Islam associated with the “Arab Spring.”

Posted on January 31, 2013 .