By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R) from Montrose delivered a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives highlighting the plight of Christians being persecuted at the hands of oppressive governments or in the absence of a functioning government.
Congressman Byrne said: “As a Judeo-Christian nation and the greatest force for good on the planet, our nation has a moral responsibility to contribute to ending Christian persecution. As the Christian communities in nations like Egypt, Iran, and Pakistan continue to be decimated, we cannot turn a blind eye to this injustice.”
Representative Byrne also announced that he will join the International Religious Freedom Caucus, headed by Representative Trent Franks (R) from Arizona.
Rep. Byrne said: “The ability for people to exercise their faith without fear of retribution is the key to a stable democracy, which serves our national interests abroad. I am proud to partner with a great leader on this issue, Congressman Trent Franks, and look forward to working with him and the rest of the members of this caucus to promote religious liberty abroad.”
We know from our own history and experience that religious freedom is a critical prerequisite for all people in a functioning democracy. It is the manifestation of all the other rights operating in concert with one another. Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘The constitutional freedom of religion is the most inalienable and sacred of all hu”
Christians are facing persecution all over the world. The Arab Spring unleashed a wave of hatred that has spread through much of the world.
On February 17, a Catholic Priest, Father Evarist Mushi, was assassinated by gunmen in Zanzibar.
In January, the Governor of Punjab in Pakistan, Salman Tanseer, was assassinated by his own bodyguard for asking for clemency for a Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi, who had been wrongly sentenced to death sentence for blasphemy.
The U.S. State Department has recently designated the Islamic militia group Boko Haram as a terrorist group after reported that the group has murdered over 2,800 Nigerian Christians.
3 million Christians in South Sudan are on the verge of starvation due to violent factional fighting in the government in the aftermath of a 20 year civil war to get independence from predominately Muslem Sudan.
2/3s of Iraqi Christians have fled the nation since the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein, who actually did a better job of preventing sectarian violence than either the U.S. occupation or the Shiite dominated Iraqi elected government have done.
Last year more than 60 Christian Churches, hospitals and schools in Egypt were burned to the ground by mobs loyal to the Muslem Brotherhood. They also killed, harassed or assaulted Christians unfortunate enough to be found in their path.
In Syria, there have been reports of kidnappings, Christian communities intentionally displaced by militants and shootings and beheadings of Christians who refused to convert to Islam.
Despite facing enormous state persecution, Christianity is rapidly gaining followers in China.
On February 12 Archbishop Dieudonnè Nzapalainga of Bangui in the Central African Republic warned of possible genocide by sectarian militias there. “If there is no one to hold back the hand of the devil here, he will achieve his goal. Many people will be hunted down and killed,” the Archbishop said after accusing a militia of wiping out a 200 person Muslem town.
This bipartisan caucus is made up of nearly 60 Members of Congress committed to raising awareness and fighting for the right to freely worship across the globe.