As if they really care about Christians. But since Israel’s involved, and it’s yet another chance to smear the Jewish state, a group of US congressmen have written a letter addressing a phony crisis involving the Christian residents of Jerusalem (of whom I am one).
The letter, which was sent to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, reads:
“In recent months, the leaders of Christian churches in Jerusalem, including the Greek Orthodox Church, Catholic Church and others have spoken publicly about the mounting challenges faced by Christian communities in Jerusalem.
“While the Israeli government has committed to protecting the rights of all religious minorities in Jerusalem, the actions of radical groups are threatening the safety and long-term viability of Christian worship and presence in the city.”
In other words, if the US government doesn’t do something fast there may before long be no Christians left in Jerusalem. As if there is some active and coordinated campaign to cleanse the city of the followers of Jesus. (I can assure you, there is not.)
Oh, and just so there’s no mistake, the “radical groups” fingered by the congressmen are Jewish. Doubtful such a letter will ever be written in response to Muslim persecution of Christians.
The American congressional leaders seem to be responding to two recent statements issued by traditional (read: Orthodox and Catholic) church leaders in Jerusalem.
The first came in mid-December of last year, in the run-up to Christmas, and accused “radical groups” understood to be Jews of “frequent and sustained attacks against Christians throughout the Holy Land.”
Their conclusion was that these (Jewish) groups wanted to “diminish the Christian presence.” Church and political leaders around the world gasped, calling this new plea from Christians in the Holy Land “unprecedented.”
The second statement came in late March, when a Catholic spokesman issued an urgent notice that Christians had been reduced to a mere 1% of Jerusalem’s population!
Of course, he left out some key details.
He was correct in stating that Jerusalem once had 300,000 Christian residents and they at that time made up 25% of the local population. And he was also correct in noting that today Christians in Jerusalem number just 16,000.
But that’s where he stopped, leaving his audience to reach the obvious conclusion that Israel had been cleansing Jerusalem of Christians right under the West’s nose.
However, a quick fact check reveals that the major exodus of Christians occurred between the mid-1940s and the mid-1960s, when the eastern half of Jerusalem, where all the Christians lived, was occupied by Muslims, namely the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Since falling back into Israeli hands, Jerusalem’s Christian population has only been increasing.
It’s a shame that the aforementioned congressmen didn’t have their staffs do a bit of fact-checking before putting their names to that letter. Such recklessness only fuels fake news.