For too long, Christians have lived in a bubble, according to Christian Solidarity International-USA President John Eibner.
That’s why Eibner says he started a seminar series in locations around the country on the issue of Christians being involved in intelligence analysis and terrorism threat assessments.
“The series of public events was initiated in response to the need for CSI to issue a genocide warning regarding the Christians of the Islamic Middle East,” Eibner said.
“We did so because we could clearly see that the conditions for eradication of Christian communities in the region existed, and that the likelihood of genocide was heightened by the forces of intolerant Muslim supremacism that were unleashed as a result of the so-called Arab Spring,” Eibner said.
Eibner says the likelihood of violence against Christians in the region has increased since the U. S. initiated its operation in Iraq.
“Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, roughly half of Iraq’s one million Christians were forced to flee the country, while many – perhaps a majority – of the remnant in Iraq are internally displaced,” Eibner said.
He says there is a similar situation in Syria.
“Today, Syria’s Christian community is in the process of destruction. Not only is it subject to the general ravages of war that affect all Syrians, it is targeted by the Islamist-dominated opposition (who are supported politically and materially by Washington via Sunni allies – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey),” Eibner said.
Eibner also points to the situation in Egypt.
“Pogroms and other acts of violence against Christians have become daily occurrences in Egypt. We have a report showing the criteria we used as the basis for the genocide alert,” Eibner said.
“As the region spins out of control, the prospects for restraining anti-Christian genocidal forces worsen,” Eibner said.
Eibner says he sees similarities between the Christians’ situation in the Middle East and Europe’s Jews before World War Two.
“There are many parallels between the plight of Christians today in the Islamic Middle East and that of Jews in Central Europe in the 1920s and 30s, and in both cases the U.S. government and mainstream media, with few exceptions, tended to play down the threat of genocide, which complicated other American interests,” Eibner said.
“The biggest complication today arising from the threat of the eradication of Middle Eastern Christian communities is related to America’s alliance with Sunni Islamist states, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey,” Eibner said.
Eibner says that his organization doesn’t want to accept the government’s “official story.”
“CSI is not prepared to go with the flow of establishment spin on the realities facing the Christians and other religious minorities of the region,” Eibner said.
“The condition for genocide exists and we are prepared to say so. Once, not so very long ago, there were large and thriving Jewish communities in the Arab Middle East. Today, they are no more,” Eibner said.
“Unless the current trajectory in the region changes, the ancient Christian communities of the region will look very much like their Jewish counterparts. Sunday is following Saturday,” Eibner said.
Christian emergency response and awareness ministry Christian Emergency Network President Mary Marr says the recent Benghazi attack is an example of the real threat to the West and Christians from Middle Eastern terror groups.
“The statistical fact that our diplomatic facility in Benghazi was struck and the ambassador and three others being killed, along with several embassies that were attacked, and the black flag of Islamic extremism are clear examples of the real threat,” Marr said.
“Missionary groups need to reevaluate their missionaries’ security as the sovereignty of embassies is no longer respected by these Islamic groups,” Marr said.
“Threat activity has increased both domestically and globally in the past 10 years. The Middle East is particularly risky for missionaries,” Marr said.
Eibner says he’s asked Barack Obama for help.
“I have written to the president about this crisis of survival,” Eibner said.
He adds that his group is also encouraging others to get involved.
Eibner is also promoting a series of seminars on the need for Christians to become actively involved in technical activities such as intelligence analysis and threat notifications.
“The seminar series is also a part of this campaign. The silence of American political, religious and economic leadership about the plight of the Middle East’s beleaguered religious minorities is staggering,” Eibner said.
“Not a word about it has been uttered by either Obama or Romney. We are still at the level of creating awareness. The plight of the Christians of the Middle East has not yet impinged on the consciousness of most American Christians, let alone the non-Christian public. The challenge we face is to mobilize opinion before it is too late,” Eibner said.
Marr says the need for real, factual information warning of acts of violence against Christians is vital, even in the United States.
“Timely, accurate, threat information which is risk-based, whether it validates open source news or not, and that is customized for the soft target – the church community whose risk level has increased sharply to the same degree that the nation has strengthened the hard targets – is necessary,” Marr said.
Marr says there is also a need for stateside churches to have a heightened awareness of the terrorist threat.
“The churches are more vulnerable today than in 2001. Churches are able to work together to build support networks locally based on the threat analysis,” Marr said.
“They are able to develop viable emergency operations, plans with fit their community risk analysis,” Marr said.
“Christian security experts are able to assess risk and threats based upon not only their secular intelligence analysis and information, but also their own security analysis which may be enhanced with a spiritual worldview,” Marr said.
Marr says she believes denial of reality is a major explanation for why Christian groups have not developed a system for real-world threat analysis.
“Denial is as much of a problem in the Christian community as the secular, despite the fact that they have the hope of Jesus in their lives,” Marr said.
“Christians have fallen into the proverbial trap of believing that the government will save them,” Marr said.
Marr cites the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to illustrate government inefficiency in safety and security operations.