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This new, heartbreaking piece in the newsmagazine This Week is a must read. In it, writer Michael Brendan Dougherty looks at the horrific persecution Christians in Middle Eastern countries are subjected to, and the apathy it is met with among many in the West. In country’s like Egypt, which receives billions of dollars from the U.S., “the Christians in that country are not allowed to build churches (or even so much as repair toilets in them) without explicit permission from the head of state, almost never granted.” In nations like Syria and Iraq—which are home to some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, believers are routinely executed and subjected to systematic discrimination.

Throughout the Middle East the pattern is the same. Christians are murdered in mob violence or by militant groups. Their churches are bombed, their shops destroyed, and their homes looted. Laws are passed making them second-class citizens, and the majority of them eventually leave.

The article, which also references the book The Silence of Our Friends, encourages those in the West to learn about what Christians are facing in the Middle East, how policy has shaped the situation and to not stand by while “Western silence allows it to continue” …