The report comes on the heels of another study by the Center for Studies on New Religions that showed nearly 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith in 2016 and that as many as 600 million were prevented from practicing their faith through intimidation, forced conversions, bodily harm or even death.
“These numbers underscore what we already know," Robert Nicholson of the Philos Project, an advocacy group for Christianity in the Middle East, told Fox News at the time of the report’s release. "There are many places on Earth where being a Christian is the most dangerous thing you can be. Those who think of Christianity as a religion of the powerful need to see that in many places it’s a religion of the powerless. And the powerless deserve to be protected.”
Open Doors said in its new report that some 215 million Christians around the globe are facing some degree of persecution. But that number, it noted, could actually be much higher.
“Our report is conservative because it only calculates incidents that are reported and can be validated,” Curry told Fox News. “It is likely that there are thousands of incidents that are never reported and nobody knows because Christians are often fearful to tell anyone – even their own family members."
During a recent interview with CBN, President Trump was asked if he thinks America should prioritize persecuted Christians as refugees. He responded:
Yes. Yes, they’ve been horribly treated. If you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, or at least very, very tough, to get into the United States. If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair -- everybody was persecuted, in all fairness -- but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.
This is a far different response than that given by Barrack Hussein Obama back in November 2015. Then, as president, he lashed out against the idea of giving preference to Christian refugees, describing it as “shameful”: “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” Obama had added.
While Obama was making such lofty admonishments, his administration was quietly discriminating against Mideast Christians in a myriad of ways—including, as Trump pointed out, by aggressively accepting Muslim refugees over Christian ones. Despite the U.S. government’s own acknowledgement that ISIS was committing genocide against Christians in Syria—and not against fellow Sunni Muslims—the Obama administration took in 5,435 Muslims, almost all of which were Sunni, but only 28 Christians. Considering that Christians are 10 percent of Syria’s population, to be on an equal ratio with Muslims entering America, at least 500 Christians should’ve been granted asylum, not 28.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday told settlers evacuated from the illegal Amona outpost the move was unavoidable but the whole country shared their “great pain.”
Speaking as security forces wrapped up the West Bank evacuation of some 40 families, Netanyahu repeated his promise to build a new settlement and strengthen existing ones in the wake of the forced evacuation of Amona, which the High Court of Justice ruled in 2014 was built on privately owned Palestinian land.
“We know [these are] difficult days,” Netanyahu said during a visit to the West Bank settlement of Ariel. “We made every effort to avoid getting to this point, but ultimately we abide by the demands of the law because we are a law-abiding nation. You and I all share in the great pain of the families that were forced to leave their homes, that actually had to abandon their life’s work.”
Israeli Left Fanning Flames of Arab Glee at Evacuation of Amona Jews
The most striking response to the tragic expulsion of the Jews of Amona Wednesday belonged to Abd Rahman Abu-Saleh, the Mayor of the Arab town next-door to Amona, Silwad (birthplace of Hamas leader Khaled Mashal), one of the petitioners to the Supreme Court against the alternative-housing plan, who said, according to a Channel 2 News’ Gal Berger tweet: “The only solution for the Amona evacuees is to return to Europe, where they cam from.”
Yes, that was revolting, but at least it wasn’t a lie – that’s how the gentleman really felt, which is, presumably, consistent with the way the majority of the Muslim Arabs living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea feel, deep down.
The more revolting response to the travesty of Amona’s destruction by the court came from the flagship newspaper of Israel’s left, Ha’aretz, which ran an op-ed by an 83-year-old Arab woman named Maryam Hamed, also a resident of Silwad, with the headline: “I’ve Already Prepared Wheat and Lentils for Sowing.” She related her memories of her father who used to till the lands up there, before the “settlers” came and took away everything.
Aerial photographs of the Amona area from the 1940s – made by the British, and the 1960s and 1980s – made by the Israelis (no Jordanian photographs were ever made, apparently) show clearly that the bulk of the land was never utilized. Not because the local Arabs were lazy, but because the land is mostly rock, and to turn it into a profitable project took investments that were beyond the capacity of the local Arabs.
It stands to reason, despite whatever Mrs. Hamid recalls from the happy childhood assigned her by the PR folks at Yesh Din, that no self-respecting Arab farmer would shell out good money to purchase those almost barren lands.
Naturally, the farmers of Silwad never paid good money for the land – it was a gift from the king in Amman, to compensate them for their growing rage over their neglect by his government – for their lack of roads, power, water, medical clinics, schools – all the nice things the Israelis started bringing in after 1967.
The myth of ancient ownership of the Judea and Samaria lands by the local Arabs must be busted, repeatedly, using historic facts and persistent messages, because the world is unaware of this Big Lie, and Israel’s Supreme Court does not care.
In a speech in the West Bank settlement of Ariel in memory of its founder and late mayor, Ron Nachman, Netanyahu said that he “listened with appreciation to the remarks of General [Michael] Flynn on the need to counter Iran’s aggression,” indicating that the issue was also discussed in his phone conversation with President Donald Trump following his inauguration last month.
The prime minister termed the Iranian drills a “flagrant breach” of UN Security Council resolutions.
On Wednesday, National Security Adviser Flynn declared that the United States was “officially putting Iran on notice,” over its launch on January 29 of a 4,000-kilometer (2,500-mile) range ballistic missile that drew immediate concern from the UN Security Council and outrage from Netanyahu, who demanded reimposed sanctions against Iran.
Trump on Thursday echoed Flynn’s statement in a tweet aimed at Iran, saying Tehran “has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the US made with them!”
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Trump was responding to a question about whether a military response to Iran was under consideration.
“Nothing is off the table,” he replied, borrowing a phrase Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has used for years vis-à-vis Tehran’s nuclear program.
Trump’s comment followed a string of remarks by Republican senators, including the House Speaker, backing additional sanctions on Iran in the wake of the missile test, which prompted an emergency UN Security Council session and a call by Netanyahu to reimpose punitive measures.
“I would be in favor of additional sanctions on Iran,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a weekly press conference on Thursday. “We need to have a tough-on-Iran policy… We should stop appeasing Iran.”
“I think the last administration appeased Iran far too much. I think they went too far with Iran and I think as a result Iran is far more activist than it otherwise would be,” he said.