(JNS.org) A report from the United Kingdom-based Catholic charity group Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has found that Middle East Christians, especially in Iraq and Syria, are “on course for extinction” within a generation or sooner.
The report—titled “Persecuted and Forgotten? A report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2013-2015”— finds that the time period from October 2013 to July 2015 has been “catastrophic for many Christians in the regions where persecution is worst,” such as in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
The report blames “religio-ethnic cleansing” that is being powered by the “well-publicized threat of genocide” as the main factor behind the persecution of Christians.
“Be it in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria or parts of east Africa, the growing threat of militant Muslim groups—notably Daesh (Islamic State)—has prompted hundreds of thousands to flee” and that is “the primary cause of the contraction of Christians—changing from being a global faith to a regional one, with the faithful increasingly absent from ever-widening areas,” said the report.
“Christianity is on course for extinction in many of its biblical heartlands within a generation, if not before,” the report concluded.
Joop Koopman, communications manager for ACN, told JNS.org that the despite the report’s grim findings, “there has yet to be a popular outcry among Christians in the U.S or in Western Europe.”
“Part of the reason seems to be is that Christian beliefs—when it comes to marriage, gay marriage and such—are seen as oppressive in the West, which neutralizes the outrage that should be evident at the treatment of Christians in the Middle East,” Koopman said.
Koopman went on to urge “top Christian leadership in the U.S. to marshal their grassroots constituencies and force genuine political action—in the form of more military action on behalf of Christians in Iraq and Syria, as well as a recognition that Christians are victims of persecution at home and therefore eligible for asylum in the U.S.”