By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
In recent interviews, US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) has spoken out about the growing persecution and slaughter of Christians that is occurring around the world.
On Monday, April 6, Congressman Byrne wrote on Facebook, “Even though Easter celebrations may be over, we shouldn’t stop talking about Christian persecution in the Middle East. We must continue to stand up against the injustice of religious persecution and work to ensure no one is attacked simply because of their religious beliefs.”
On Thursday, April 2, Rep. Byrne wrote on Facebook, “Consider this: In 1914, Christians made up 28% of the Middle East. Today, that number is closer to 4%. That is heartbreaking. I devoted my column this week to the alarming issue of religious persecution. This Easter holiday, join me in saying a special prayer that our nation will wake up to the reality of Christian persecution and stand firm against this grave injustice.”
On Wednesday, April 1, Rep. Byrne wrote in a statement on Facebook, “Sadly, in many places around the world, individuals are under attack simply because of their religious beliefs. Right this moment, in the Middle East, the brutal, self-proclaimed Islamic State (or ISIL) is attacking Christians and destroying sacred religious sites. In the very land where Jesus once walked, Christians are becoming extinct.”
On Friday, March 27 Rep. Byrne wrote in his column, “From Iraq to Syria to Egypt, Christians are under attack because of what they believe. The city of Mosul in northern Iraq paints a clear picture of the threats posed to Christians. In 2003, over 35,000 Christians lived in Mosul. Today, that number is down to almost zero. Christians were faced with the choice of converting to Islam or being executed. Imagine being faced with that threat. It is truly chilling.”
Rep. Byrne continued, “As a Judeo-Christian nation and the greatest force for good on the planet, our nation has a moral responsibility to combat Christian persecution. As the Christian communities in the Middle East and Asia continue to be decimated, we cannot turn a blind eye to this injustice. Apathy is not an option. From Congress to the White House to the State Department, the United States must reaffirm our commitment to religious freedom around the world. President Obama must stop with the ambiguity on this issue and make clear that the United States will not tolerate Christian persecution.”
On Friday, April 3, Pope Francis condemned the “complicit silence” over the killing of Christians. During a Good Friday procession in Rome the Pope condemned the persecution of Christians with special reference to the slaying of 147 Christian University Students in Kenya by al-Shabaab gunmen who attacked the Garissa University College on Thursday.
Pope Francis said, “We see, even today, our brothers persecuted, beheaded and crucified, for their faith in you, in front of our eyes or often with our complicit silence.”
ISIS fighters in Libya murdered 21 Coptic Egyptian Christians in Libya. ISIS has been exterminating Christians in ISIS occupied areas of Syria and Iraq. Reportedly thousands of Christian women and children have been taken as sex slaves by ISIS fighters. Meanwhile Boko Haram has intensified their attacks on Christians in Nigeria and neighboring East African countries. In Kenya, Somali Al-Shabaab Islamic militants have threatened to make the streets of Kenya “run red with blood.”
Reuters, Fox News, and ‘The Independent’s Lamiat Sabin contributed to this report.
Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.