by Rob Schwarzwalder
September 11, 2013
Family Research Council is not a foreign policy organization, nor are American military or diplomatic affairs in the top tier of FRC’s bank of issues. However, we care deeply about global injustice, violence against the innocent, and the persecution of professing Christians in so many regions of the world. In light of the President’s remarks last evening about the brutality of the Assad regime against its own people, it is worth noting that what has taken place in Syria is by no means unique, in terms of evil or currency, in our fallen world:
The Congo: “Conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo have taken the lives of 5.4 million people since 1998 and continue to leave as many as 45,000 dead every month, according to a major International Rescue Committee study.”
Egypt: “The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters have began forcing the roughly 15,000 Christian Copts of Dalga village in Egypt to pay a jizya tax as indicated in Koran 9:29, author and translator Raymond Ibrahim reported on Sunday. Jizya is the money, or tribute, ‘that conquered non-Muslims historically had to pay to their Islamic overlords “with willing submission and while feeling themselves subdued” to safeguard their existence,’ Mr. Ibrahim explained.”
North Korea: “Up to 20,000 North Korean prison camp inmates … of Camp No 22, one of Kim Jong-un’s most brutal labour camps, have disappeared according to a human rights group … There are fears that up to 20,000 may have been allowed to die of disease or starvation in the run-up to the closure of the camp at the end of last year. The suspicion has emerged from a newly-released report by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) detailing the situation in penal colonies as Kim Jong-un consolidated his power after taking over as leader from his father, Kim Jong-il who died in 2011.” Source: The Telegraph
Uganda: “For over two decades, the Government of Uganda engaged in an armed conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda that led to the internal displacement of more than 2,000,000 Ugandans from their homes … The members of the Lord’s Resistance Army used brutal tactics in northern Uganda, including mutilating, abducting, and forcing individuals into sexual servitude and forcing a large number of children and youth in Uganda, estimated by the Survey for War Affected Youth to be over 66,000, to fight as part of the rebel force.” Source: GovTrack
These are only four examples. We cannot but be moved by the horror of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but we should not fail to recognize that great evil is done on an ongoing basis by terrorists, despots, and other brutes throughout the world.
That’s why so many Evangelical and Catholic ministries are reaching out to those in dire need in troubled places. FRC is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, whose “Servant Match” site can connect you with mercy ministries targeted toward the victims of violence and persecution. Catholic Relief Services works to “assist impoverished and disadvantaged people overseas, working in the spirit of Catholic social teaching to promote the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person.”
Whatever position one holds on U.S. military intervention in Syria, all of us can pray for victims of oppression and violence in that tortured land and in other countries in similar situations, and prayerfully partner with ministries that are actively helping them.