The Persecution and Genocide of Christians in the Middle East: Prevention, Prohibition, & Prosecution
— An eye-opening account of the plight of Christians in the Middle East
— The most in-depth work available on the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians
In summer 2014, ISIS waged a bloody blitz through Iraq’s Nineveh province, crucifying, beheading, raping, torturing, forcibly converting to Islam, and driving out every member of the region’s 2000-year-old Christian community. Christian girls, as young as three, were sold at ISIS sex slave markets in Mosul. Ancient churches were burned and ISIS attacked dozens of Christian towns in Syria. The beheading in 2015 of 21 Egyptian Copts was videotaped by ISIS and became a searing, iconic symbol of this wave of persecution that threatens to eradicate Christianity in the Middle East. Many in the West, even Christians, remain unaware of the scale of this persecution, and even fewer know what can be done about it.
Inspired by Pope Francis’s denunciation of these acts as “genocide,” a group of Catholic legal scholars, writers, and theologians began work on The Persecution and Genocide of Christians in the Middle East. Its case studies focus on persecuted Christians, but its analysis equally applies to the other victims. In the United States, military and diplomatic responses are contemplated and sometimes undertaken. But what about the legal system? Are there things we can or should be trying? That question animates this book as it explores various facets of religious persecution, examining ISIS’s ideology and their relationship to Islam as practiced by most Muslims, as well as exploring the nature of religious freedom. Practical, relevant, and rich in ideas, this book addresses the most crucial religious freedom issue of our day. It is a primer for Christians, students of international human rights, and all concerned about religious persecution.
The book also examines:
- Sexual violence as a tactic of terror and an element of genocide under international law.
- The responsibility, not only of the militant terrorists who commit and direct the crimes, but also the network of businesses, bankers and money brokers, social media experts, clerics, academics, madrassas, prison chaplains, charities, and donors supporting them.
- Applicable international law, especially criminal law, as it pertains to the special case of ISIS and other non-state terrorists.
- U.S. law against torture.
- The shortcomings of the International Criminal Court and potential role of ad hoc regional as well as national courts.
- The tensions between peace and justice.
- The Vatican’s role in peace efforts in Syria, and the Christian response to persecution.