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RELIGION/ Christians surrounded

FERNANDO DE HARO describes the situation of Christians in the world today, where in many places they are persecuted and even killed for their faith, and why they are seen as a threat.

(Fotolia) (Fotolia)

Since the decolonization of the last century, Europeans and Americans try to see the world differently, but they continue to do so from top to bottom. It is inevitable. The north-south perspective is obvious, despite efforts to overcome Eurocentrism. Perhaps the American’s recent interest in the Pacific is helping to change this mentality a bit, but the process is slow. This explains why the importance of the phenomenon of the persecution of Christians at the beginning of the XXI century is not adequately understood.

The Western media tends not to give it importance because they consider it an ideological or at least moral problem. If the media is radically liberal or progressive, the issues of the “Christians” are considered a matter for experts in law and it is not convenient to give those people space. If we think about a radio station, television channel or an independent newspaper, they certainly do not know how to handle the topic. It is not easily classifiable, there is no homosexuality in it or problems about the free market, and nor does it have to do with the clash of civilizations. In fact, Christians in the Middle East are Arabs like the Muslims. And so the media ends up not talking about it.

More than 100,000 Christians are killed every year and 200 million suffer because of their faith. The silence surrounding what is a true genocide is morally unacceptable. It is unacceptable because each case of persecution not only involves the freedom and dignity of an important group of people, but a junction on which the future, freedom and progress of much of the planet depends.

Let us take the case of the Middle East. The American mentality which gave rise to the intervention in Iraq was influenced by an abstract Christianity, unable to understand the origin and historical value of its beliefs, and also unable to understand the decisive importance of the Chaldean minority, who have been tortured since the war in 2003. The Chaldeans are the key to guaranteeing a pluralist state. They constitute an obstacle to the interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran in the region, and because of this, there are those who want to eliminate them. This is what Bush failed to see, and Obama as well.