SWC Urges Protection for Embattled Christians Across the Globe

December 28, 2011  

In the wake of the horrific Christmas Day bombings of churches in Nigeria, the Simon Wiesenthal Center urges the U.S. and EU to do more to protect embattled Christians around the globe. 

In apparently coordinated attacks that left scores of worshippers dead, Muslim terrorists associated with Boko Haram (which translates as “Western education is forbidden") struck near Nigeria’s capital and in the cities of Jos and Gadaka. “From the ‘religious cleansing’ operations in Iraq’s Christian Triangle, to mob attacks against believers in Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia, to the prosecution of Christians for blasphemy in Iran – Christians face each new year with less security than before in a widening arc of hatred and intolerance,” said the Center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper. “The United States and the EU should need to use their influence to protect embattled religious minorities and the fundamental human right of religious expression. We must send an unmistakable signal to all- and especially to governments that count on our economic support that the crisis of endangered religious minorities is a cornerstone of our foreign policy concerns.”

“The timing of the attacks was significant,” added Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s Director of Interfaith Affairs. “As Jews, we recognize all too well when those who want to beat down a group add humiliation and contempt to their murderous violence. Picking Christmas Day to murder women and children on the steps of their church was calculated to intimidate all other Nigerian Christians."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.

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