(Published on Breitbart on January 5, 2016)
It’s refreshing when statements issued by the President of the United States correspond to reality – as in President Obama’s 2015 Christmas statement, when he acknowledged that Christians and other religious minorities are persecuted because of their faith.*
But words cannot prevent the jihad against Christians, Yazidis, Shabaks, Mandaeans, and other Middle Eastern minorities. The U.S. government must match words with deeds on behalf of those who have been raped, tortured, enslaved, and murdered by ISIS and other jihadists.
On Wednesday, December 23, the White House released President Obama’s statement on “Persecuted Christians at Christmas.” After certain other statements by Obama, the acknowledgment was a pleasant surprise to many global religious liberty advocates and others who track such issues. Recall that in February 2015, a White House statement on the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS in Libya referred to “Egyptian citizens.” Only later was it acknowledged that they were Christians. In April 2015, the President lamentedthe slaughter of 148 college students in Garissa, Kenya by al Shabaab, not mentioning they had been singled out for death specifically because they were Christians.
In his Christmas statement, the President gave thanks for being “fortunate enough to live” in a country that honors “the birthright of all people to practice their faith freely.” He said that he and Michelle were “ever-mindful” that many of their fellow Christians “do not enjoy that right,” and their hearts and minds were with “those who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence and persecution.” Obama deplored the “brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL,” and urged prayer on their behalf.