US Archbishop Candid About Islamic Persecution of Christians
By Gudrun Schultz
WASHINGTON, DC, United States, December 16, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Archbishop Charles Chaput, of the diocese of Denver, broke free from politically correct restrictions to speak openly about growing Moslem persecution of Christians, in an address to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, of which he is a member.
“Anti-Christian discrimination and violence seem to be growing throughout the Islamic world,” said Archbishop Chaput. “In the past several years, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and even Moslem-controlled areas of the heavily Catholic Philippines have all seen extraordinary acts of bloodshed against Christians.”
The Archbishop expressed his concern over consistent lack of media attention given to acts of violence against Christians.
“Three things distinguish anti-Christian persecution and discrimination around the world. First, it’s ugly. Second, it’s growing. And third, the mass media generally ignore or downplay its gravity.”
Archbishop Chaput referred to media coverage of recent bloody persecution in Indonesia of the Christian minority, by Moslem extremists, as an example of media inaccuracy and neglect.
“News reports tend to describe Indonesia’s violence as generically “sectarian,” as if Moslem and Christian extremists were mutually responsible. This is troubling and flatly false,” said Archbishop Chaput. “The bloodshed is overwhelmingly provoked and carried out by Islamic militants against the Christian minority. Over the past decade, hundreds of thousands of persons have been displaced and thousands killed in this anti-Christian campaign of violence.”
The attacks referred to by the Archbishop included the beheading of three Christian teen-age girls in late October by Moslem extremists, on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
The Archbishop ended his address with a warning that localized acts of violence against Christians by extremists threaten relationships between Christians and Muslims worldwide, “something neither community of faith can afford.”