President Obama is not taking the Islamic State threats against Christians seriously enough, according to the Christian Freedom International organization.
Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, President Obama made a remark that certainly raised the eyebrows of many Christians. It seemed that the president was justifying the increase in violence against Christians as something "deserved" from the actions of those living hundreds or even thousands of years ago. "And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."
In response, the CFI interviewed three Christians living in three different majority-Muslim countries to gauge their reactions to Obama's statement. These Christians are currently living under persecution for their faith every single day. Here's what they had to say:
A Christian in Pakistan
"I strongly condemn this statement by US President Obama. Christianity has never caused persecution. Christianity has always preached to love our neighbor. The Bible teaches us, 'But now I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If any one slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too.'
"I know of no Christian extremist groups attacking people of other faiths. All over the world, especially Pakistan, Christians are attacked mostly for their beliefs. So I do not agree with President Barack Obama."
A Christian in Egypt
"I disagree. Coptic Christians in Egypt are very much pacifists and considered the most vulnerable minority so we cannot persecute people of other faiths. We Christians do not persecute Muslims. But we Christians are persecuted."
A Christian in Bangladesh (this person is a former Muslim who converted to Christianity)
"With due respect, I strongly disagree with President Obama. It might be some people faced problems by Christians in the past, although I am not sure and the Crusades had a cause. But, the basic difference is that Muslims today are being influenced and taught by their religious books to persecute the people of other beliefs. There is not a single word in the New Testament that influences Christians to persecute others. The New Testament teaches loving others.
"A lot of people became famous just following Jesus Christ and His teachings that are written in New Testament, like Mother Teresa. They are the real examples of Jesus' teachings. But there is not a single example in the Muslim World of a Mother Teresa. The Muslims have examples like Osama Bin Laden.
"Finally I would like to say, that the Honorable US President Barak Obama just copied these sayings from Dr. Zakir Nayak, an Indian Muslim scholar who is the owner of Peace TV. Dr. Nayak defends al Qaida activities by saying, 'Christians and Jews did terrible things in the past.' I believe the US President memorized those words from Dr. Zakir Nayak while visiting India and just repeated those in the US recently. I have confusion whether President Obama ever read the New Testament. I challenge him to find a single Word in the New Testament that influences people to persecute others, where there are thousands in the Muslim book, Quran."
The CFI works in these Muslim countries to aid the persecuted Christians, and they have recently launched a petition campaign for further aid for those Christians in the Middle East.
"It is time for President Obama, Western leaders, and a coalition of freedom loving nations to exercise leadership to stop the systematic killings of Christians," said Jim Jacobson, president of Christian Freedom International. "It is time for an end to this jihadi war against Christians."