Will No One Hear the Screams?

____________________________________________ 
President Clinton and the media are ignoring  
Arab Muslim and Asian communist violence  
against Christians. 
____________________________________________ 

 
By Tom Hess 
 
    Network TV crews have provided Americans with coverage of 
Serbian attacks on Bosnian Muslims for the past three years, and 
President Clinton has ordered thousands of American troops to join 
a peacekeeping force in the Balkans. Yet the American public is 
unaware, the media is silent, and the United States government is 
inactive on a much broader campaign of terror: worldwide 
persecution of Christians.

    "Evangelical Christians are becoming the late 20th-century 
versions of European Jews in the 1930s," said Michael Horowitz of 
the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. "Just like the Jews, 
Christian kids are getting beat up as devils."

    The problem is most evident in Arab nations, where Islam is the 
predominant religion.

    "The 'burn-the-infidels' faction of Islam is scapegoating 
Christians as a way of capturing the soul of Islam," Horowitz said.

    Jim Jacobson of Christian Solidarity International (CSI), says 
Christian persecution is most severe in Sudan, which adjoins Egypt 
and Ethiopia.

    "Imagine your son being captured by Muslim militia and sold as a 
slave to a rich man, who will force him to convert to Islam or die," 
Jacobson said, "or your daughter being given as a concubine to a 
government official. It's possible to buy your children back for five 
cows, but the militia has stolen your cows. That's the reality for 
Christians in southern Sudan today."

    Last October, CSI sent a team of observers who were 
accompanied by reporters from the British Broadcasting Corp. 
(BBC) and the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel. The team 
interviewed parents of captured children, former slaves, Arab 
traders and local Christian leaders. They left with certain 
conclusions:

    * Tens of thousands of Christians are being held as slaves in 
northern Sudan.

    * Women and children who are deemed unfit to serve as slaves 
are generally killed or tortured; men are systematically killed.

    * The slave raids are a means--along with the denial of 
humanitarian aid--that the Sudanese government is using to convert 
the nation into an Islamic state.

    Horowitz said the situation in other Muslim states--such as 
Egypt and Saudi Arabia--is not much better.

    "Saudi Arabia pays bounties of thousands of dollars to people 
who expose Bible study groups, and they go and arrest and torture 
the people in the study," he said. "And the problem has gotten 
worse since Desert Storm," he said.

      Communist nations such as Vietnam and China persecute 
Christians because they cannot be bribed, and therefore pose a 
grave threat to corrupt authorities, Horowitz said.

 A Lonely Voice
    U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., wrote a letter dated Oct. 31 to 
Clinton, asking the president to speak out against the worldwide 
persecution of evangelical Christians. Here is an excerpt:

    "When Soviet Jews were denied freedom under communism, 
President Ronald Reagan repeatedly spoke out on their behalf. The 
Congress and the INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] 
declared Soviet Jews to be part of a special class eligible for refugee 
status. Jews and Christians alike rallied around the cause of 
freedom of emigration. I am frustrated by the lack of public 
discourse on the subject among the evangelical community, but I 
am equally frustrated by the lack of concern in our own government 
for their plight. We ignore mass imprisonment of Christians in 
China and Vietnam.... We step lightly around persecution of Coptic 
Christians in Egypt. We remain silent about Christian persecution in 
Saudi Arabia. We ignore the pleas for help from Iranian Christian 
refugees who are seeking asylum in the U.S. from Turkey. Neither 
you nor the Secretary of State have made a speech on the subject."

    Even after receiving the letter, neither Clinton nor Secretary of 
State Warren Christopher had spoken publicly on the issue by 
presstime. Nor had the mainstream media--the Associated Press, 
NBC, ABC, CBS, the Washington Post, the New York Times or 
the Los Angeles Times--mentioned one word of the letter.

    In fact, the Clinton administration has missed a number of 
opportunities to state its concerns over Christian persecution, 
Horowitz said.

    "When the United States normalized relations with Vietnam, why 
didn't the Clinton administration ask the Vietnamese to end their 
terrorism against Christians?" he said.

    Horowitz and Jacobson hope that Republicans in Congress-- 
perhaps Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey--will get the president's 
attention by conducting hearings on the State Department's 
indifference toward Christian persecution.

    Smith aide Stan DeBoe confirms that the representative is 
considering conducting hearings before the House Subcommittee 
on International Operations and Human Rights--which Smith 
chairs-- early this year.

    Jacobson offered Hebrews 13:3 in advocating Christian 
involvement in the congressional hearings: "Remember the 
prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-
treated, since you yourselves also are in the body." []

 What You Can Do
Urge President Clinton to speak out against Christian persecution. 
Write: The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500. Phone: (202) 
456-111. Fax: (202) 456-2883. E-mail: president@whitehouse.gov.

_____

"Will No One Hear the Screams?" appeared in Focus on the 
Family Citizen magazine. Copyright (c) 1995 Focus on the 
Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

Reproduced by permission. Article may be freely disseminated on 
the internet,  but may not be posted to any commercial online 
service other than American Online. 



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