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Why ISIS Must Be Stopped

But no special pleading on behalf of Christians is required.
Why ISIS Must Be Stopped
Image: Gail Orenstein / NurPhoto / Corbis

Here’s a chilling thought experiment that, given the arc of world events, might seem eerily like a peek into the not-so-distant future.

Imagine a community of Middle East Christians under assault from a ferocious, well-armed band of terrorists. The Christians live peaceably and faithfully, their presence stretching back centuries. The terrorists aim to destroy them or drive them out, and they have both the power and ruthlessness to prevail. Imagine, further, that the United States can halt the onslaught and restore harmony—but only by deploying military might. Should Uncle Sam send in the troops?

Now repeat the same thought experiment, but replace the besieged Christians with a community representing some other religious faith. Then ask yourself, once more, whether America should intervene to prevent genocide.

If the first scenario stirs you to demand boots on the ground, but the other doesn’t, perhaps some soul-searching is in order. Why favor an aggressive national response only when Christians need protection?

Of course, few of us give voice to such blatant chauvinism. We’re unlikely to tolerate a foreign policy governed by crude religious litmus tests. And yet, as Christians, the suffering of fellow believers tends to pierce our hearts more profoundly. We sympathize, often achingly, with the plight of non-Christians under persecution. But it’s savagery against Christians that really gets our blood boiling.

It’s important to keep this in mind as we encounter anti-Christian cruelty, with depressing regularity, in today’s headlines. This summer, the world awoke to discover a jihadist army, styling itself the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), brutally seizing power across Iraq and Syria. ...

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Christianity Today
Why ISIS Must Be Stopped
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October 2014

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