Sunday, on the eve of All Saints`
Day, Nov. 1, 2010, the faithful gathered at the Assyrian
Catholic Church of
Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad.
As Father Wassim Sabih finished the
mass, eight al-Qaida stormed in, began shooting and
forced him to the floor. As the priest pleaded that his
parishioners be spared, they executed him and began
their mission of mass murder.
When security forces broke in, the
killers threw grenades to finish off the surviving
Christians and detonated explosive-laden vests to kill
the police. The toll was 46 parishioners and two priests
killed, 78 others wounded, many in critical condition
after losing limbs.
Within 48 hours, al-Qaida in
issued a bulletin:
centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and
followers, are legitimate targets for the (holy
It was the worst massacre of
Christians yet. For Assyrian Catholics known as
Chaldeans, whose ancestors were converted by St. Thomas
the Apostle, the U.S. war of liberation has
been seven years of hell.
Estimates of the number of
Christians in Iraq in 2003 vary from 800,000 to 1.5
million. But hundreds of thousands have fled since the
invasion. Seven of the 14 churches in Baghdad have
closed, and two-thirds of the city`s 500,000 Christians
While Saddam Hussein, a secularist,
had protected religious minorities, Muslim
vigilantes—Shia, Sunni and Kurd, as well as
al-Qaida—have attacked the Christians who have
endured kidnappings, pillage, rapes, beheadings and
And what has happened to this
Christian community, which had lived peacefully
alongside Muslim neighbors for centuries, must be marked
down as one of the predictable and predicted
consequences of America`s war in Iraq.
"Iraqi Christians fear they will be the first victims of a war that
might dismember their country, unleashing ethnic and
religious conflicts that Baghdad had previously
suppressed. Tariq, a Christian merchant in Baghdad, told
the French weekly Marianne that `If the United States
goes to war against our country … (t)he Wahhabis and
other fundamentalists will take advantage of the
confusion to throw us out of our homes, destroy us as a
community and declare Iraq an Islamic nation.`
"If recent history is any indication, Tariq has cause for concern,"
wrote Allensworth. "The Shiite uprising in southern Iraq
during the first Gulf War—encouraged and then abandoned
by Washington—targeted Christians. Many Christians had
supported Saddam`s regime, in spite of creeping
Islamicization, as their best hope of survival in the
Islamic Middle East."[CULTURAL
"We let the
Shia genie out of the bottle," said a rueful Yitzhak Rabin after Israel`s
invasion of Lebanon gave birth to Hezbollah.
We Americans did the same with our
wars against Saddam`s Iraq.
Why is Christianity being murdered
in its cradle by Muslim fanatics?
Multiple reasons. A return of
Islamic militancy. The rise of ethnic nationalism that
conflates tribal and religious identity. Hatred of
America for its domination of the region, for our war on
terror that they see as a war on Islam and for our
support of Israel in its suppression of the
Christians across the Middle East
are now seen as both members of an alien religion and a
fifth column of the
Crusaders inside their camp.
Paul Marshall of Hudson Institute`s
Center for Religious Freedom
warns that we may be in another great wave of
persecution, "as Christians flee the Palestinian areas, Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt."
Christians are gone from Jerusalem,
gone from Nazareth, gone from Bethlehem. From Egypt to
Iran, the Vatican counts 17 million left.
Middle East," writes
Robert Fisk in The
"it is the same
story of despairing—sometimes frightened—Christian
minorities, and of an exodus that reaches almost
In an essay titled in Christ`s own
Loses His Life for My Sake …" [PDF]
columnist Doug Bandow writes,
"Although Christians are no longer tossed to the lions in the Roman
Colosseum, believers are routinely murdered, imprisoned,
tortured and beaten. Churches, businesses and homes are
regularly destroyed. The opportunity to meet for worship
and prayer is blocked. There is real persecution rather
than the cultural hostility often denounced as
`persecution` in America."
America remains the most
Christianized of the Western nations. Yet, the protests
of the White House, State Department and major media
over the eradication of Christianity in the Middle East
Are we so wary of offending Muslim
sensibilities or inflaming Muslim rage we cannot
denounce the pogroms perpetrated against Christians in
the name of Allah?
Of what worth these wars for
democracy if we end up freeing fanatics to annihilate
communities or expel populations of our own Christian
brothers and sisters across the Middle East?
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.