Rights lawyer on U.S. ‘indifference’ to plight of Mideast Christians: Doesn’t want to look like ‘crusader army’

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July 11,2016

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – The United States government is afraid to work directly with persecuted Iraqi and Syrian Christians because it doesn’t want America to look like a “crusader army,” prominent human rights lawyer and religious freedom advocate Nina Shea said Friday. …

IndifferentShea, the director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, detailed the U.S government’s troubling pattern of indifference toward the plight of persecuted Christians across the world. …

[M]aybe the U.S. can overcome its reluctance to work directly with Christians because it has a complex that it doesn’t want to look like a ‘crusader army,'” she explained. “This was true under the [George W.] Bush administration and more so now that the United States is desperate to avoid the label that we’re a ‘crusader army.'”

In general, Shea added, the U.S. government is “so unsympathetic” to the plight of Christians. “The day before [Sec. of State John] Kerry designated [ISIS’ atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities] as genocide officially, the [State Department] were announcing they were only going to name Yazidis as victims of genocide,” Shea stated. “We signed petitions and put enough pressure on them with facts and arguments that [Kerry] listened but he hasn’t done anything since then.” …

Shea pointed out the fact that Syria’s Christian population has not been fairly represented in U.S.’ Syrian refugee resettlement program. “Christians comprised 10 percent of the population of Syria before the war five years ago, they constitute less than one percent of the refugee resettlement in the United States. The United States has resettled about 60 christians in five years from Syria,” Shea said. … “The United States as a government is absolutely indifferent and keeps its distance from oppressed Christian minorities,” she added.

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