Aid proposed to stop Christian persecution in the Middle East, panel says

by
March 25, 2014

The United States can help Christians being persecuted in the Middle East by using foreign aid to modify behaviors in countries where persecution is rampant, educating U.S. diplomats about the issue in their assigned regions and asking for help from Arab-Americans, a panel of religious freedom researchers said Monday.

But in helping fight Christian persecution, the U.S. must not become a crutch or a larger target for those it’s trying to protect, said Marwan Kreidie, a political science professor at Villanova University.

“You don’t want to be ‘the great white hope,’” said Mr. Kreidie, a coordinator for Villanova’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies. “The future of Middle Eastern Christians should be in the Middle East.”

Mr. Kreidie was one of a three-member panel assembled by the Center for American Progress to discuss Christian persecution overseas and what can be done about it.

According to a 2012 Pew Research Center study, millions of Christians in more than 100 countries are subjected to some form of persecution.

In terms of religious freedom, “I think the world is getting much worse,” said Paul Marshall, a senior fellow with the Center for Religious Freedom.

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