The persecution of Christians has gone from bad to extraordinarily worse, said New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, pictured here, at the congressional hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday (Feb. 11). RNS photo by Amanda Murphy

The persecution of Christians has gone from bad to extraordinarily worse, said New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, pictured here, at the congressional hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday (Feb. 11). RNS photo by Amanda Murphy


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

(RNS) The global persecution of Christians has gone from bad to worse, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith at a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday (Feb. 11).

Smith, a New Jersey Republican, along with other U.S. House subcommittee members and various speakers gave testimony about religious hostilities against Christians worldwide. Speakers noted that religious persecution violates basic human rights.

Smith likened the persecution of Christians in Iraq to genocide.

“Christians remain the most persecuted group in the world and thus deserve special attention,” he said.

Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that past administrations have not taken the issue of Christian persecution seriously enough.

“The system isn’t working properly,” said Abrams, who serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. “It sends a message to other countries that we don’t care.”

Abrams held up several photos of Christians who had either been harassed or killed for their faith.

Elliott Abrams, Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, speaks during the congressional hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday (Feb. 11). RNS photo by Amanda Murphy

Elliott Abrams, Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, speaks during the congressional hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday (Feb. 11). RNS photo by Amanda Murphy


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“These images reflect a disturbing reality,” he said.

Other countries such as Nigeria, Vietnam, Burma and Egypt are notorious for persecuting Christians.

Abrams and Smith stressed that those countries that experience religious liberty must hold other countries to a higher standard.

John Allen, an associate editor at The Boston Globe, agreed by saying that in the Western world, Christianity is seen as a “social institution.”

“It is hard for Christians to wrap their minds around persecution that takes place around the world,” Allen said.

YS/AMB END MURPHY

6 Comments

  1. I would normally go into a tirade about conservative politicians having a selective level of concern for human rights abuses in the world.

    However, Rep. Chris Smith is not one of them. He has an admirable (and fairly non-partisan) record when it comes to addressing human rights abroad.

  2. Persecuting of Christians, has and will always be according to the Word of God. John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying.

    What one must do, is define what is a Christian, according to the Bible! Many use Bible words and terminology, yet define their words outside of Biblical definitions. Are the church of Jesus Christ Christians? Are the church of Christ Christians? Are the Jehovah Witnesses Christians? Are Christian Science Christians? Are Church of Christ Christians? Is the World Church of God Christians? How can they not be, with all their religious connotation? NO, and that is emphatic, NOT according to the God of the Bibles definition of what a Christian is!!!

    2John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.

    • @Ty- Let each one prove what his own work is, and then he will have cause for exultation in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person.—Gal. 6:4.

      Glad you aren’t “the judge of all the earth”…. HE will judge each one in righteousness.

  3. Violence of one human against another is always wrong. No one should be in fear for their lives or be persecuted for their beliefs. If however they try to force their beliefs onto others, or attempt to infringe upon the human rights of others with their religious dogma, then they should be checked, but that should not include violence, ever.

    The christians are not alone in being persecuted though and do a fair amount of it themselves, so they should not think they hold the moral high ground.

    Their are several reasons for humans to be violent against another human, but perhaps other than mental illness, religious belief is the most pointless as it is only for something that really doesn’t exists, and gains nothing.

    Religion is truly poisonous!!

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