The NCC chief followed up by writing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to share “profound concern” over “recent violence against minority Christian communities around the world.” He declared that “attacks on Christians anywhere in the world are attacks on Christians everywhere.” And he pressed for Egypt to “protect Christians and other minorities” while bringing the unnamed attackers to “justice.”
Traditional Religious Left groups like the WCC and NCC should not be mocked for their careful condemnations of the anti-Christian attacks in Egypt. At least they are speaking. The NCC chief even called the attacks “evil.” And acclaiming the Coptic Christians as “brothers and sisters,” as the NCC chief did, is surely progress. In recent decades, much of the Religious Left has been loath to proclaim special concerns about or association with persecuted Christians, preferring instead an abstract solidarity with all of the “oppressed,” without “privileging” Christians.
It also should be noted that many Religious Left groups so preoccupied with social justice have so far said nothing publicly about the anti-Coptic killings. As of January 6, Jim Wallis’s Sojourners website seemingly had not posted any mention. But it does feature the recent death of a Palestinian activist killed by an Israeli tear gas canister during a “nonviolent” demonstration against the “separation fence,” as reported by a member of Christian Peacemaking Teams. Israeli security forces report that protesters were throwing rocks. In some Religious Left eyes, perhaps the inadvertent death of a Palestinian protester is more significant than the murder of 21 Christian worshippers outside their church.
Almost none of the NCC’s large Mainline Protestant member denominations seem to have said anything about the Coptic murders, although these churches have social justice and communications agencies that routinely commentate on global events. And former National Association of Evangelicals lobbyist Richard Cizik’s New Evangelical Partnership, founded ostensibly to tout a new progressive vision of social justice focused on Global Warming and fighting U.S. “torture,” seems to have no comment about the Coptic murders so far.
So at least the NCC and WCC have commendably spoken about the outrages against the Copts, but without citing the likely perpetrators and their motives. And they strangely claim that the unnamed, abstract Islamist killers were not motivated by religion but merely by an isolated and ethereal fanaticism. Perhaps the Islamic Society of North America officials, whom the NCC quoted extensively, could have clarified this situation by specifically condemning radical Islam rather than just “fanatics.” Even more, the Islamic Society and its friends at the NCC and WCC could have observed that the Copts are threatened more broadly not by Islamist terror but by ongoing Egyptian state sanctioned discrimination, which includes widespread non-prosecution of anti-Coptic crimes.
But for Religious Left groups like the NCC and WCC, maybe the baby steps should be appreciated, in anticipation of hopefully eventual more comprehensive acknowledgement of the global Islamist war of terror against Christians, Jews and other targets intolerable to jihadists.
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