Much has been made – and rightly so – of recent news reports that President Obama somehow managed to find a spare $250 million to send to Egypt while warning American taxpayers about “immediate, painful, arbitrary budget cuts” to come as a result of the so-called sequester.
The president’s dishonesty offends. But what particularly outrages is that he gifted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi with U.S. foreign aid even as his Islamist regime continues to persecute the country’s Coptic Christians, who make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population.
CNN recently reported, “Threats by Muslim extremists against Coptic Christians in the past year have forced scores of Christian families to flee their homes in Dahshur and the Egyptian border town of Rafah.”
For Egypt’s Copts, memories remain fresh of Islamist terror attacks upon their churches two years ago, as well as violence suffered at the hands of Egyptian military and security forces by Christian protestors demanding protection of their places of worship.
The reason Mr. Obama has no compunction whatsoever about cutting a quarter-billion dollar check to Cairo – a mere down payment on more than $1.5 billion Morsi’s government will receive in 2013 – is that the more than three-quarters of Americans who count themselves Christian haven’t uttered a peep in protest.
Well, we should be silent no more. We should raise voices until they are heard all the way to Washington. We should demand that Congress withhold foreign aid to countries, like Morsi’s Egypt, in which our brothers and sisters in Christ are being persecuted.
The initial targets should be the ten countries that are, both, among those for which Mr. Obama has proposed the most foreign aid in 2013, according to the State Department’s foreign assistance dashboard, and those that rank among the 50 countries where persecution of Christians is most severe, according to the 2013 watch list compiled by Open Doors, an international faith-based organization.
Here, then, is The Christian Diarist list of the Worst of the Worst U.S. Foreign Aid Beneficiaries:
Afghanistan. The president proposes to send $2.5 billion this year to Kabul (not including U.S. funding of continuing military operations). According to Open Doors, Christians cannot meet in public and even gatherings in private houses require extreme caution. No church buildings exist, even for expatriates. Both local and foreign Christians are subject to kidnapping, abduction, killing, often having to flee the country.
Pakistan. Mr. Obama’s foreign aid budget includes $2.2 billion for the ally – supposedly – that harbored Osama Bin Laden. Many of Pakistan’s persecuted Christians are uneducated manual workers, says Open Doors, who suffer unfair treatment from employers. Muslim men continue to sexually assault underage Christian girls. Opening a new church building is virtually impossible and emigration of Christians continues.
Iraq. The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki looks forward to $2 billion from Washington. Christians in Iraq are on the verge of extinction, Open Doors warns. Large numbers of persecuted Christians have fled abroad or to the (until recently) safer Kurdish region. The church faces many challenges, not the least, members being killed or abducted.
Egypt. For the reasons previously stated.
Jordan. King Abdullah II is expecting $671 million from U.S. taxpayers. Public evangelization of Muslims is against government policy. There is no official recognition of those that leave Islam for Christianity. Converts can find their marriages annulled and children taken from them.
Nigeria. Lagos has a $600 million payday coming from Washington. The government of President Goodluck Jonathan has done little to reign in the Nigerian terror group, Boko Haram, whose attacks upon Christian churches have claimed the lives of at least 800 Christ followers.
Tanzania. President Obama has earmarked $571 million for this Christian majority African nation. On the Zanzibar archipelago, Islamic militants are bent on wiping out all Christians. They have burnt and looted churches and threatened persecuted Christians with death.
Kenya. The birthplace of the president’s father looks forward to $460 million in U.S. largesse. Like Tanzania, Kenya is a Christian majority country. However, according to Open Doors, in the Muslim-majority areas there are high levels of intolerance and hostility towards Christians. Al-Shabaab and similar Islamist terror groups were responsible last year for a high level of violence against Christians, according to Open Doors, with 22 killed and more than 10 churches were burnt, looted or destroyed.
Uganda. Mr. Obama proposes $438 million for Kampala. Muslims are spread over the whole country. They live in pockets, and in those areas Islamist extremists present a serious threat to the Christian church. Meanwhile, local authorities controlling those Muslim areas discriminate against Christians, barring them from public office or denying them promotion.
Ethiopia. The government of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is in line for $351.3. Converts to Christianity, as well as “underground believers,” have to be exceedingly cautious to avoid being traced by Islamist extremists, like the terror group, Kewarjah, which is blamed for repeated attacks against Christians in the country’s southwest.