Christianity in Iraq – "the end is very near"
"Things are so desperate, our people are disappearing," says Canon Andrew White, the courageous Vicar of Baghdad.
"We have had people massacred, their heads chopped off.
"Are we seeing the end of Christianity? We are committed come what may, we will keep going to the end, but it looks as though the end could be very near.
"The Christians are in grave danger. There are literally Christians living in the desert and on the street. They have nowhere to go.
"We do not want Britain to forget us. We - and I'm saying 'we' talking like an Iraqi Christian - have always been with the British because they have already been with us. Individual churches, individual Christians in Britain, have been a bigger help than anybody around the world."
But as the Sunni-Wahhabi-Salfist Jihadists of the Islamic State carry on cleansing with impunity, the United States says nothing; the European Union says nothing; and the United Kingdom does nothing. Millions of Christians across the Arab-Muslim world are being systematically persecuted, tortured, beheaded or exiled into the desert, and the leaders of the Western world don't even lift a finger in prayer.
Or perhaps they do pray, but as their words fly up, their thoughts remain below. And words without thoughts never to heaven go.
"We do not want Britain to forget us," is the plea of Canon White. And yet we have. Or most of us have. Or HM Government has. Christians are the world's most persecuted people, and still British foreign policy fails to reflect the appalling reality or agitate for religious freedom or make aid contingent on adherence to Article 18.
..the world's Christians fall through the cracks of the left-right divide – they are too religious for liberals and too foreign for conservatives. In the UK, it is socially respectable among the secular elite to regard Christianity as weird and permissible to bully its followers a little. This produces the surreal political reality in which President Obama visits Saudi Arabia and "does not get the time" to raise the suppression of Christianity in the oil-rich nation; and in which Prime Minister Cameron gets a broadside from illiberal secularists for the historically unquestionable assertion that Britain's culture is formed by Christian values.And so "the end could be very near" for Christianity in Iraq, where the Chaldean and Assyrian churches have worshipped since the earliest centuries of the Christian era. Without Western intervention, the end will surely come. Christ built His church, and the gates of ISIS have prevailed against it.
But only because we stood by, watched, and did nothing.