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August 15, 2012

Where’s the Coverage? The Real Persecution of Christians in the Middle East


You may have seen CAMERA’s recent advertisement in The Wall Street Journal calling for CBS to correct on-air the falsehoods contained in the "Christians in the Holy Land" story broadcast on 60 Minutes on April 22, 2012. Not only was the story replete with inaccuracies, but it completely ignored the true suffering of Christians under Arab and Muslim regimes.

Case in point: Iran. Major media outlets have said precious little about the widespread persecution of Christians under the rule of Iran's Ayatollahs. Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), told The Jerusalem Post:

Iran continues to persecute Christians simply because of their religious beliefs. Sadly, this nation is one of the world’s worst offenders when it comes to abusing religious and human rights.

Iran would prefer that the outside world never know what’s happening to these pastors -- the imprisonment, the torture, and the executions.

The ACLJ is following the cases of at least three Christian pastors who have been imprisoned in Iran: Youcef Nadarkhani, Benham Irani and Farshid Fathi. The organization reported:

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has spent 1022 days in prison for his faith under the threat of execution, is only one of many Christians persecuted in Iran for their faith. Recently, the ACLJ learned that Iranian Christian Pastor Farshid Fathi, who was arrested on December 26, 2010, lost his appeal and is now serving six years for his faith in the notorious Evin prison.


Roughly thirty miles away, another Christian Pastor languishes in jail. Pastor Behnam Irani ... was not formally charged with apostasy, the verdict sentencing him includes text that describes the pastor as an apostate and reiterates that apostates "can be killed."

And yet, a Google News search for "Farshid Fathi" turned up few mentions and none in major media outlets. Even fewer turned up under a search for "Benham Irani" and of notable mainstream media outlets, only The Wall Street Journal allotted any space to "Youcef Nadarkhani."

If the press is concerned with the plight of Christians in the Middle East, it is curious that there is so little attention to these cases. One might easily ask of, say, CBS… Where’s the coverage?

Posted by SC at August 15, 2012 01:48 PM


This is a great, much-needed post. One can observe a similar disparity between our government's reaction to mosque-burnings in the West Bank in which no one is killed, and state-sponsored persecution and killing of Christians in the Islamic Middle East.

I believe this will continue to be the norm until our leaders see a political cost to ignoring anti-Christian persecution. I'd encourage my fellow readers to sign this petition to President Obama and Mitt Romney (who has said hardly anything about the issue) on behalf of the Mideast's persecuted Christians:

Posted by: Joel at August 15, 2012 06:45 PM

It's a shame that you couldn't obtain the information from a group other than Pat Robertson's ACLJ, which supports discrimination against women and homosexuals, among others.

Posted by: Brian Swords at August 17, 2012 04:55 AM

my prayers are with my suffering bothers and sisters!

Posted by: Anonymous at December 21, 2012 07:21 PM

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