Merritt says American Christians are overly sensitive to what they deem to be persecution, but fail to understand what true persecution entails. Further, Merritt says, for American Christians to call what they endure and deem as “persecution” is an insult to those around the world who actually suffer from it, notably Middle East Christians.
Nowhere in the Middle East is the persecution of Christians as marked as Iraq. In a mass exodus, nearly two-thirds of Iraqi Christians have left the war-torn country and is it reported that fewer than 60 Christian churches remain. Those who fled were seeking a better life, away from the massacres and church burnings which became all too familiar.
Recent sectarian flare-ups across the regions highlight the widespread persecution. In the latest incident in Pakistan, 40 Christian homes were set on fire. Furthermore, Lebanon is now experiencing its own mass exodus.
Amin Gemayel, former President of Lebanon, noted “Massacres are taking place for no reason and without any justification against Christians; it is only because they are Christians.”
In a USA Today article titled “Middle East Christians need our protection” by Kristen Powers, Jeffrey Goldberg expressed his shock of the inattention the plight of Middle East Christians receives. Goldberg told Powers the persecution of Middle East Christians is “one of the most undercovered stories in international news.”
In Merritt’s opinion, the inattention to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East can be explained by the priorities of American Christians lying elsewhere, despite this being a “true ‘war’ on religion.”