It looks like the Christians suffering persecution in the Middle East might be getting help soon.
On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the Trump administration would focus on protecting Christians living in the Middle East. The United States will no longer give funding to the United Nations efforts to assist persecuted Christians.
Instead, the funding will go directly towards helping Christians who are dealing with mistreatment at the hands of their governments and terrorist groups.
Who Can Help Christians?
During his remarks on Wednesday, Pence announced that the Trump administration would focus on protecting Christians who are subject to persecution as part of its national security agenda. “Christianity is under unprecedented assault in those ancient lands where it first grew,” he said. “Across the wider Middle East, we can now see a future in many areas without a Christian faith.”
Pence assured Christians living in the Middle East that “help is on the way.” He talked about the United States’ continued efforts to eliminate terrorists who have carried out atrocious acts against Christians. He stated that we would “[take] the fight to terrorists on our terms, on their soil.”
He also reiterated the Trump administration’s commitment to wiping out the Islamic State (ISIS). The vice president did not go into detail about how the funding being diverted from the United Nations would be allocated towards helping persecuted Christians, but he did say it would directly assist Christian communities in the Middle East.
The Plight Of Christians In The Middle East
Middle Eastern Christians endure some of the worst persecution in the word. Last year, a study found that over 90,000 Christians were murdered worldwide in 2016 for practicing their faith, making them the most persecuted religion in the world. Liberty Nation reported that a large number of these were victims of Islamic terrorism:
“30% of these murders were carried out by Islamic terrorist groups. Open Doors, a Christian advocacy group, has stated that there has been an upward trend in global persecution of Christians over the last four years.”
What is happening to Christians all over the world is nothing less than genocide. Most of the victims are persecuted by Muslims, who subject them to imprisonment, rape, and murder because of their faith.
The reason the United States is no longer providing funds to the U.N. to help Christians is that the international body has not efficiently addressed the issue. “Here is the sad reality: the United Nations claims that more than 160 projects are in Christian areas. But for a third of those projects, there are no Christians to help,” Pence said.
Pence is right. The Christian population in the Middle East has been on the decline. The New York Times reported that the number of Christians in the area has seen a disturbing decrease over the past century. As of July 2015, a third of the 600,000 Christians living in Syria fled. The Christian population in Lebanon has decreased from 78% to 34% over the last century. Only one-third of the 1.5 million Christians who resided in Iraq in 2003 are still living there.
Middle Eastern Christians Need Our Help
The United States is making the right move here. The United Nations is not the proper organization to deal with the issue of Christian persecution. Their Human Rights Council includes countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates who have high levels of persecution against Christians according to Open Doors.
The United Nations has continually shown that their objectives are at odds with ours. They allow oppressive regimes to have decision-making votes in their most important councils. The organization routinely lambasts Israel while all but ignoring the actions of countries who systematically violate human rights.
The president has already committed to putting distance between the United States and the United Nations. Just recently, he pulled the U.S. out of UNESCO in part because of their virulently anti-Israel bias and their efforts at removing Christian and Jewish ties to important sites in the region.
This new move on the part of the Trump administration is another positive step towards lessening our ties to the United Nations. Not only is this a sensible step for the U.S., but it will also empower us to provide real help to the Christians who are being persecuted. If anyone is going to help these people, it is the United States.
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