walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
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Africa's God Wars
Christians Persecution Deaths Doubled Last Year

Christian deaths due to religious violence doubled last year, and things don’t look like they’ll be getting any better this year. World reports on Open Doors USA’s new rankings:

Syrian Christians have experienced the most intense increase in persecution—the country jumped from No. 36 two years ago to No. 3 in 2014. The Syrian civil war, now almost three years old, has left more than 100,000 people dead, including many Christians caught in the middle of the fight between Bashar al-Assad’s regime and rebel fighters composed largely of radical Muslims [...]

The Central African Republic (CAR), Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh were the only three newcomers to the 2014 list. CAR, another failed state, is a mostly Christian country that has never appeared on the WWL, but rampant persecution—including the murder of at least 13 pastors—at the hands of Muslim extremists catapulted it to No. 16.

A recent UN report puts the Central African Republic in an especially troubling light. According to NBC News, UN officials are now calling the situation “Darfur, plus anarchy.” Readers will remember that Darfur became a genocide, and that there was a loud and sustained public outcry about the violence there. Public discussion about the CAR and other places on the Open Doors list has been restrained by comparison, despite the very real chance that some of these conflicts could spiral into genocide. We hope these new rankings will bring more attention to the issue.

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  • rheddles

    The attention will change nothing except the ratings for FNC and CNN unless we want to pick sides. This is simply inevitable for quite a while.

  • Jim__L

    The civilized world needs to make it a priority to turn Islam’s directive to kill converts to other religions into a dead letter. Use whatever means you like — diplomacy, economics, even force (in extreme cases.) Make the change happen, no matter how much squawking the Saudis do.

    Once that particular problem gets resolved, we’re on our way to a brighter future.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The Christians in these vulnerable countries need to be able to defend themselves. I believe small concealable and cheap revolvers, and shot guns are the best way charitably help these at risk Christians.

    • free_agent

      Dunno… I suspect the killings are done with AK-47s, and many are done in ambushes.

      There was a day in Italy when every gentleman carried a sword and knew how to use it. The homicide rate wasn’t low then.

  • free_agent

    It would be helpful if you had quoted the actual numbers. From the reference:

    Open Doors, a non-denominational group supporting
    persecuted Christians worldwide, said on Wednesday it had documented 2,123
    “martyr” killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012.

    You write, “A recent UN report puts the Central African Republic in an especially
    troubling light. According to NBC News, UN officials are now calling the
    situation “Darfur, plus anarchy.””

    It’s intriguing to see how much central Africa resembles medieval Europe — a place where the state system was not installed, and consequently had endless wars between hundreds of leaders. Unfortunately, I don’t see any rich country willing to spend the effort to pacify the area.

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