Sen. John McCain said President Barack Obama is not doing enough to fight extremist violence perpetrated against Christians overseas.
One day before Obama delivered a eulogy for the Christian victims of the South Carolina terrorist attack, McCain published an op-ed for Fox News in which he argued the administration is not doing enough to protect Christian victims of terrorism abroad. He said the president is ignoring Christians persecuted by the Islamic State group in both Iraq and Syria, The Hill reports.
The opinion piece, entitled, “Christianity under attack: US must do more to promote religious freedom” was co-authored by Tony Perkins, Family Research Council president. Family Research Council is a conservative Christian group and lobbying organization.
“The Obama administration has repeatedly refused to defend religious freedom abroad and continues to ignore its devastating cost to those religious communities targeted by terrorists because of their religious beliefs,” McCain wrote.
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The article's focus was primarily on Christians, but McCain wrote: “While the world has been rightly outraged by the violence waged by (Islamic State group) against people of all sects, ethnicities and religions, the United States, Europe and other key allies have done little to end (Islamic State group's) systematic efforts to drive out and eradicate entire religious communities from their historic and sacred homelands.”
McCain wrote that Christianity has particularly suffered under the rise of the Islamic State and other radical groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria. He wrote that “some of the oldest and most sacred Christian communities and relics in the world” have been destroyed in the place where the religion started.
“They are committing brutal atrocities against Christian communities in Syria and Iraq, persecuting religious minorities and destroying entire towns and local economies. Christians are fleeing their homes in increasing numbers, creating an exploding refugee crisis that will have grave ramifications on the stability and security of the entire region,” McCain wrote.
While Christians and Yazidis have been the target of brutal attacks by Islamic State group, close to 90 percent of the victims of the group’s violence have been Muslims, The Daily Beast reports.
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The senator urged Obama to prioritize defending Christianity and other religions in his counterterrorism strategy.
“Properly designed and implemented, a U.S. foreign policy committed to religious freedom can advance our national security interests, stabilize and consolidate the spread of democracy across the globe, help sustain economic growth and promote the equality of men and women,” McCain wrote.
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