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Is there a reason for Middle Eastern Christians to be optimistic?

2016-01-09

The United States and its allies have engaged in a bombing campaign against the Islamic State for more than a year. Their diplomatic and humanitarian aid efforts have gone on for longer.

But with Syrian Civil War remaining a stalemate, and the Islamic State still controlling vast territory, many Christians in the region are growing impatient.

FR. JACQUES MOURAD
Syrian-Catholic Priest
"Europe, the West, does not see its responsibility to the hordes people fleeing war, bombings, and massacres.”

FR. REBWAR BASA
Iraqi Priest
"If the house of my neighbor is ablaze, I cannot just watch and say that I'll pray for him. Prayer is important but I must do something to put out that fire. If not, the fire will come to my own house.”

The U.S. Department of State's Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom rejected the notion that the U.S. isn't doing enough in the fight against extremism. 

DAVID SAPERSTEIN
U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom
"So we think that we are using a broad range of diplomatic, and economic, and military tools to end ISIL's ability to control any territory in those countries and to make it possible for normality of life to be restored, which we know will be a very heavy lift. But we're doing everything possible to create the conditions to allow normal life to resume once ISIL has been defeated.”

What remains unclear is exactly how long the process will take, and what will happen to the people being persecuted today as the fight drags on.


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