Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Religion | War on Terrorism | John Boehner | Obama

Boehner's Blog: Is Obama Doing Enough to Protect Mideast Christians?

By    |   Friday, 24 April 2015 03:18 PM

House Speaker John Boehner's office is questioning, on various social media platforms and on his Speaker.gov blog, the Obama administration's commitment to defend Middle Eastern Christians .

"On Sunday, a video surfaced depicting the execution of dozens of Ethiopian Christians in Libya, a country that has descended into terrorism-fueled chaos in recent years. This atrocity is only the latest in a string of mass killings of Christians targeted because of their faith," Boehner aide Matt Wolking writes on Speaker.gov, leading to the question posed to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest this week: Is the White House doing all it can to protect Christians all over the world from increasing violent attacks?

Earnest defended the administration by saying it has "taken steps regardless of an individual's religious identity to try to protect anybody who is being targeted because of that religious identity," but did not specifically respond to the question.

Rather than directly answer the question himself, the blog lists various occasions when ISIS has directly targeted Christians and the administration or Obama himself has refused to identify those killed as Christians, as well as particular areas where the administration has not demonstrated a commitment to defending Christians.

The post noted that the Obama administration has failed since 2013 to produce the annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom, as required by law, and that the position of special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East and south-central Asia, which was created seven months ago, has remained unfilled to date.

On Monday, a group of religious leaders wrote to Obama imploring him to nominate an envoy as soon as possible.

"The persecution and even eradication of religious minorities in the Middle East right now is the biggest humanitarian and national security crisis that we face," Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore, who serves as president of the denomination's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, wrote in the letter, according to CruxNow.

"There is a moral imperative to do everything we can to advocate for imperiled religious minorities," the letter continued.

Frank Wolf, a former congressman who was responsible for pushing the bill establishing the role of envoy through Congress, also says the White House is not doing enough.

"Overall there has been a silence on the part of the church in the West. There has been a silence on the part of this administration," Wolf told Fox News in February.

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In particular, Wolf noted the refusal of the administration to identify those executed by ISIS and other terrorist groups as "Christians," which even major media outlets have done.

"The New York Times called it the beheading of Christians, the Guardian called it that way," Wolf said. "[But] the White House said just 21 Egyptians."

Questions about Obama's commitment to combating the ongoing persecution and execution of Christians worldwide have been raised by Democrats as well.

"Obama was mute on the killings. He failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith. If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy threw 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested?" Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers wrote in a recent USA Today column.

"Rather than hectoring Christians about their ancestors' misdeeds, Obama should honor these men and the countless Middle Eastern Christians persecuted before them," added Powers, author of the coming book "The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech."

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House Speaker John Boehner's office is questioning, on various social media platforms and on his Speaker.gov blog, the Obama administration's commitment to defend Middle Eastern Christians.
John Boehner, Obama, Middle East, Christians, ISIS
Friday, 24 April 2015 03:18 PM
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