Canadians should be disturbed by the crisis facing millions of Christians overseas.
Experts say Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. CIJA and Rabbis across the country are calling on Canada to take decisive action to help Christians in the Middle East and Africa.
Dear Minister Dion,
We are writing to ask that the Government of Canada take decisive measures in response to an urgent crisis. Your action today could have an untold impact on countless lives in peril.
As concerned Canadians, we are appalled by ongoing persecution, discrimination, and violence directed against Christian minorities in much of the Middle East and Africa. Observers believe that Christians are now – in raw numbers – the most persecuted faith group in the world. One estimate is that “between 200 million and 230 million of them face daily threats of murder, beating, imprisonment and torture.” (Toronto Star, December 4, 2010)
Sadly, the well-known brutalization of Christians in Iraq and Syria by groups like ISIS, including the violent expulsion of ancient Christian communities, is just the tip of the iceberg. As noted recently in The Hill Times:
While various religious and ethnic communities around the world endure terrible persecution, the situation facing Christian minorities is acute, deteriorating, and, as clergy have noted, unmatched in scale. In countries governed by Islamic law – including Iran, Sudan and Saudi Arabia – the state bans both conversion out of Islam and various activities by Christian ministers (often called ‘enmity against God’ or ‘spreading corruption on earth’) on penalty of imprisonment or even execution. In countries such as Nigeria and Kenya, Christians are singled out for attack by local extremists or heavily-armed terrorist groups like Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab. In Egypt, home to the largest Christian population in the Middle East and North Africa, discriminatory laws (including restrictions on church construction) combined with local harassment have increasingly put the very future of the Coptic community in question. (“Canada should do more to aid persecuted Christian minorities” by Shimon Koffler Fogel, December 21, 2015)
Canada has a long and proud history of standing up for the vulnerable and speaking out for the voiceless. Minister, we ask that you make this urgent issue a high priority, and offer immediate diplomatic and humanitarian aid to protect Christians facing dire threats in the Middle East and Africa.
Each name makes a difference. Please encourage your family and friends to take action as well.