House Panel Highlights Persecution of Christians Worldwide

Members of the House Foreign Affairs Human Rights Subcommittee had the opportunity to hear from a distinguished panel of witnesses on the pandemic of Christian persecution worldwide. Establishing the reason for the hearing, Chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ) stated, “We stand for human dignity and respect for life from the womb to the tomb, and this subcommittee has and will continue to highlight the suffering of religious minorities around the globe…. Christians, however, remain the most persecuted religious group the world over, and thus deserve the special attention that today’s hearing will give them.”

Among those testifying were Commissioner Elliott Abrams of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and a number of other experts, including NRB member Alliance Defending Freedom’s Legal Counsel, Tehmina Arora. Based in New Delhi, Ms. Arora focused on attacks on Christians in India. In an ADF release, she stated, “Christians should have their legal rights protected no matter what country they are in. The persecution of Christians in India calls for a concerted legal effort to deter future attacks and to bring about justice. Emergency measures must be taken to stop the brutal torture and ruthless murder of Christians and the senseless destruction of their property.”

Dangers in the Middle East, Nigeria, East Asia, and elsewhere around the world were highlighted. Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt, the Vatican’s representative at the United Nations, also noted, “[R]eligious persecution, be it overt or discrete, is emerging with an increased frequency worldwide. Even in some of the western democracies, the longstanding paragons of human rights and freedoms, we find instances of increasingly less subtle signs of persecution…. This suggests a profound identity crisis at the heart of these great democracies, which owe to their encounter with Christianity both their origin and culture, including their human rights culture.”

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: February 14, 2014