Standing with persecuted Christians

In 1988, Ronald Reagan went to the newly restored Danilov Monastery in Moscow. Founded in the 13th century, the monastery had been restored not by the generosity of the Soviet state but by, as Reagan noted, “35 million believers” who had given “personal contributions.”

“Our people feel it keenly when religious freedom is denied to anyone anywhere,” said Reagan boldly in the heart of Communist oppression.

“And hope with you that soon all the many Soviet religious communities that are now prevented from registering, or are banned altogether … will soon be able to practice their religion freely and openly and instruct their children in and outside the home in the fundamentals of their faith.”

That historic moment occurred in the waning days of a dying Soviet empire. But to date, no American president, Republican or Democrat, has replicated it in the other regions of the world where religious repression is commonplace.

Clearly, President Obama has not taken up the torch, as he has shown little, if any, interest in international religious liberty.

His first State Department ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom wasn’t confirmed until April 2011 — 27 months into his first term.

This disinterest is reflected in the administration’s disregard for the religious nature of much of international terror:

  • When ISIS beheaded 21 men on a Libyan beach, the White House said in a statement, “The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya.”
    “Citizens,” not Christians whose faith led to their death.
  • When a Taliban faction deliberately targeted Christians in an Easter attack in Pakistan, a spokesman for the president’s National Security Council said, “The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s appalling terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan.”
    An attack on whom is unclear. Not to the Taliban: They issued a statement saying they specifically had aimed at killing Christians. Continue reading


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