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: firstname.lastname@example.org. _____ "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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