This Christmas, there will be fewer Christians celebrating in their homes in the Middle East than ever before.
Before Obama, Nineveh Plains hosted 90,000 Christians. Today, it’s under 40,000.
Nineveh is one of the first cities mentioned in the Bible. The Nineveh Plains are the heartland of Syriac Christianity. But now the plains are barren with ruined churches and deserted homes in formerly Christian towns and cities. And that same story repeats itself across Iraq where 81% of Christians have disappeared.
In Mosul alone, over 100,000 Christians were displaced as Jihadists marked their doors with an “N” for Nazarene. From cities to small towns, the end of the year bears witness to a Christian genocide.
In 2008, there were an estimated 700,000 Christians in Iraq, today estimates hover between 250,000 and 300,000. While ISIS is most directly associated with terror against Christians, most Jihadist groups, including those backed by Obama, intimidated, robbed and tortured them.
In January 2014, Obama dismissed ISIS as a “jayvee” team. That summer, the team took Qaraqosh and its surrounding villages, including Bartella. The Christians were given a choice between converting, paying Jizya, the traditional Dhimmi tax that Muslims impose on non-Muslims under Islamic law, and “death by the sword.”
The Shiite government finally took back Bartella, but now its Christians have found themselves under the thumb of the Shabak, a Shiite cult, whose soldiers that are part of the Shiite Jihadist Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) backed by Iran. The Christians of the Nineveh Plains that had been displaced by Sunni Jihadists backed by Turkey and Qatar are now being displaced by a Shiite Jihadist cult backed by Iran.
While the Obama administration backed the Pro-Iranian government in Baghdad and its Shiite militias, it discouraged the Americans who had volunteered to come and help protect Assyrian Christians. Congressional efforts to protect Christians were likewise stymied by the Obama administration and by State Department personnel in the region who refused to act on Congressional mandates.
The situation in the Nineveh Plains highlights the larger dilemma for the Christians in the region. As a middle class minority, instability turns Christians into immediate Jihadist targets. When Shiite and Sunni Muslims fight, they both rob the Christians. And when the fighting dies down, the Muslims go back to some version of the status quo, while the Christians lose what little they were trying to protect.
Christians in neighboring Syria have been similarly dwindling.
Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo had stated that Syria’s Christian population had fallen to 500,000. That number was down from 1.2 million before the war.
In Aleppo, the largest Christian community in the country had fallen from 150,000 to 35,000 last year.
In Tel Tal, 900 Christians remain in 30 villages where there were once 10,000. One of the villages has only two residents, a mother and son.
In Syria, as in Iraq, Christians have been caught between Sunni Jihadists and Shiite militias, exploited and robbed by both. In Iraq, Obama backed the Shiite government and in Syria, he supported the Sunni Jihadists. But either way, the Christians were caught in the middle in the instability he had unleashed.
Across the region, the beneficiaries of the Arab Spring were Islamists, Shiites or Sunnis, and the losers were Christians. Islamists are now more entrenched than ever from North Africa to Iraq. Jihadist militias on both sides have won or lost, collecting land, wealth and power, or losing it, but Christians have always lost. Under the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or Iran’s puppet regime in Iraq, in cities and towns, the chaos and violence that was unleashed has worsened their position and thinned out their numbers.
The Arab Spring brought church bombings and terror to Egypt’s Coptic Christians. The Obama administration had done everything possible to prop up the Muslim Brotherhood regime. And its emissary had even warned Egyptian Christians against protesting their own oppression.
Popular protests eventually brought down the Muslim Brotherhood regime, but not before turning Coptic Christians into the scapegoats for Muslim terrorism. Egyptian Christians had stood up for their rights, despite the violence of the Muslim Brotherhood and Obama’s intimidation. And they paid the price in a wave of political terrorism by Islamists and disdain for their plight by the mainstream media.
An estimated 200,000 Christians fled Egypt in the face of the rising tide of Islamist violence. That’s nearly 5% of the population. When hundreds of thousands of Muslims flee a country, it’s dubbed a genocide.
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