Who's best for persecuted believers – Clinton or Trump?

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both are being asked what they will do, if they are elected, to help persecuted Christians around the world.

Especially in light of the last eight years, where U.S. international policy and practice, as well as that of other nations, have allowed massacres of Christians in Africa and the Middle East to become everyday events as Islamist terrorists run amok over the countryside .

“If we get another four or eight years of a laissez-faire attitude toward religious freedom from the next president, we can expect there to be an extinction of Christianity in the Middle East,” said David Curry, chief of Open Doors USA.

The organization has worked for some 60 years in support of Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Each year it ranks the 50 nations where Christian persecution is worst, a list that each year is dominated by Muslim-controlled nations.

It was in an opinion piece posted online by Fox that Curry brought his challenge.

WND’s acclaimed Whistleblower magazine shows in its powerfully moving April issue, “PERSECUTION RISING,” how today’s treatment of Christians in many nations is disturbingly reminiscent of the brutal persecution of the early followers of Christ.

He pointed out that two years ago, 276 women were kidnapped in Chibok, Nigeria, by the Islamic Boko Haram. They were taken from a school and held as prisoners or sold as sex slaves.

“In May of that same year, First Lady Michelle Obama posted online a photo of her holding a sign encouraging us to #bringbackourgirls. Many people at the time sensed that it marked the beginning of something different in foreign policy. But what exactly? Why would the first lady of the United States need hashtag diplomacy to move a country to action when the Obama administration was in power and presumably had the ability to influence action?” he said.

“Perhaps Mrs. Obama was simply trying to raise public awareness of an important issue. But the question remains: why didn’t the United States government put more action behind the appeal to #bringbackourgirls?”

He pointed out that governments have been failing to protect religious rights, so “private advocates” have stepped up.

But he said, “Neither of the leading candidates in the 2016 presidential campaign has seriously addressed the issue of the persecution of Christians around the world and its impact on religious freedoms as a whole. Nor have they acknowledged the very real regional instability created by increasing persecution. But the growing privatization of advocacy for religious rights, and how the candidates feel about it, is an important issue that we must be pushing the candidates to take a strong position on.”

Obama, he said, has been “slow in taking action,” failing to fill a State Department position focusing on religious freedom, shifting to “hashtag diplomacy” and more.

“This laissez-faire policy has had disastrous consequences for Christians and others who want the freedom to choose their faith for themselves and not to have it assigned at birth. (In many countries, the religion of babies are registered at birth based on their parents’ faith and cannot be changed later in life),” he wrote.

“It has allowed extremists groups like Boko Haram and ISIS to expand its forced conversion at the threat of the sword,” he said.

The number of “incidents” against Christians has doubled, every year, for the past three years, he noted.

“If the policies of the current administration are continued, there can be little doubt that this terrifying trend will continue,” he warned.

Christians used to be 20 percent of the population in the Middle East, but now are just 3 percent, he said.

“With Christians now nearly extinct in the region, four more years of indifference will surely lead to further declines in other countries and regions as extremists and totalitarian regimes expand their reach unchecked and unfettered,” he said.

And it’s not just freedom of religion.

“Freedom of religion is a canary in the coal mine for other freedoms. When this fundamental freedom is extinguished, all other freedoms are at imminent risk,” he said.

“Will we have a president who will use his or her platform of power to actively encourage religious freedom and to protect the rights of Christians and others around the world to practice their faith? Now is the time to urge the candidates to speak out and articulate their plans to support religious freedom. My fear is that the Obama administration’s hashtag diplomacy was not the beginning of something, but rather the sad end of generations of U.S. presidents that supported religious freedom through action.”

WND’s acclaimed Whistleblower magazine shows in its powerfully moving April issue, “PERSECUTION RISING,” how today’s treatment of Christians in many nations is disturbingly reminiscent of the brutal persecution of the early followers of Christ.

 

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