The Trump Administration is calling attention to the plight of persecuted Christians around the world. At the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians last week, Vice President Mike Pence said, "ISIS is guilty of nothing short of genocide against people of the Christian faith, and it is time the world called it by name."
The Vice President's comments are a welcome sign to Christian and faith-based groups who have been sounding the alarm about the plight of Christians across the planet for the past few years. While Christians have endured attacks on their beliefs here in the U.S., the attacks on Christians overseas have been much more brutal, with millions killed, kidnapped, tortured and driven from their homes by ISIS and other radical Islamic groups. "Christianity in the cradle of civilization itself is actually becoming extinct," says Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor for The Catholic Association. "From Nigeria to Egypt, to Iraq and Syria, to North Korea and Indonesia, there are countless incidents of what is actually becoming a genocide against Christians."
Indeed, the numbers are staggering. Ferguson tells KTRH that in Iraq alone, the number of Christians has fallen from over a million to about 200,000 in recent years. "In places like Iraq and Syria, the presence of Christians has almost been completely depleted," she says.
While The Catholic Association and other faith-based leaders are pleased to see the White House taking a strong stand on Christianity, they are calling for more specific action from President Trump. "We look forward to the appointment of an Ambassador for International Religious Freedom," says Ferguson. "This is a post at the State Department that can be very important with the right person in this post, and we believe that the Trump Administration is on the verge of appointing a very strong person to that position."