Steve Strang, founder of Charisma and CEO of Charisma Media is addressing an event at the United Nations in New York at 5:28 PM today called “Not Peace but a Sword: The Persecution of Christians in the Middle East as a Threat to International Peace and Security.”
He is one of several speakers and was asked to address the topic: “The Role of the Media—or lack of—in Highlighting the Persecution of Christians in the Middle East.” Here is the text of his remarks:
It’s an honor to be here this afternoon at this historic event to speak about the role of the media in covering the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
Each year, 100 million Christians suffer persecution, imprisonment and even death for their sacred religious beliefs. According to The Voice of the Martyrs, a ministry dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide, “more people have died for their faith in Christ in the last 100 years” than in the previous 19 centuries combined.
As you are probably aware, until recently, the media have largely ignored and downplayed the slaughter of Christians in the Middle East and throughout the world.
It should have shocked the conscience of the world, but it registered barely a blip on the media’s radar for decades.
There are exceptions, of course.
Several years ago, Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, held a forum on “The Persecuted Church,” noting that of all the religions in the world that are being persecuted, “the single largest persecution is of the church—Christianity—far more than of Islam, of Buddhism, of Hinduism or any other religion.”
A few days after Easter this year, Pope Francis—reacting to the slaughter of nearly 150 Christians by Islamic militants in Kenya—called on the world to give tangible help to persecuted Christians, describing them as modern “martyrs.” The Vatican’s official preacher said there was a “disturbing indifference” among the world’s institutions and in public opinion to the killing of Christians.
Until recently, the media have mostly looked the other way, and even today we are still witnessing examples of how the media are ignoring, or minimizing the fact, that Christians are the primary targets of genocide by ISIS and other Islamic extremists in the Middle East. For instance, in January, numerous media outlets focused on the terrorist attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo while ignoring the ongoing massacre of Nigerians, including many Christians, at the hands of the terror group Boko Haram. As many as 2,000 people are believed to have been killed and several churches were burned.
As head of Charisma Media, one of the nation’s largest Christian media outlets, we have closely covered the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and throughout the world for four decades. Our writers, sources and readers have witnessed some of the most horrific acts of human depravity imaginable. As a journalistic observer of these atrocities for decades, I can tell you without a doubt that the situation is reaching an unprecedented dimension of crisis.
I have personally reported as recently as this month persecution of Christians in Egypt, Dubai and Malaysia based on interviews with Christian leaders from those countries.
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SOURCE: Charisma News