They Are Us: Evangelicals and Middle Eastern Christians

Eric Metaxas is exactly right. (Also recommended is this update from the Middle East Forum.) From Breakpoint:

Well, there’s some good news coming out of the Middle East: American evangelicals have awakened to the plight of their Christian brethren.

Seven years ago, Lawrence F. Kaplan, writing in the New Republic asked “who will save Iraq’s Christians?” He wrote that “Sunni, Shia, and Kurd may agree on little else, but all have made sport of brutalizing their Christian neighbors.”

What made matters worse was the indifference of American Christians to their Iraqi brethren’s plight. The head of Open Doors, USA, which works on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world, told Kaplan that “The denominations in Iraq aren’t recognized by Americans . . . The underlying attitude is, ‘They’re not us.’”

And the consequences were tragic: an ancient Christian community driven into exile.

The good news is that we seem to have learned from our mistakes.

One example is the outpouring of concern over the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt. People who, a decade or so ago, may not have been familiar with the word “Copt” and unaware of Christianity’s long history in Egypt were expressing their solidarity with this ancient community.

This identification with ancient Christian communities has really taken off in the debate over intervention in Syria. As my good friend Rod Dreher has pointed out, “Somehow, the word is getting out to American Christians that they—we—have a particular stake in Syria, in that our brothers and sisters in the faith are facing mass murder and exile.”

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