ForeignPolicy.com’s new story on the Islamic State’s genocide of Christians in Iraq and Syria notes that CSI was among the first NGOs to warn of the threat:
Christian Solidarity International, a nonprofit that provides support for victims of religious persecution, issued a “genocide warning” for religious minorities in the Middle East as early as 2011, but few American Christians paid any attention.
Other Christian leaders accuse the Obama administration of downplaying the crackdown on minorities in Iraq because of a perceived discomfort with the topic of religion. John Eibner, the CEO of Christian Solidarity International-USA, told FP that persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East, and especially Christians, has been difficult for Washington to directly address because it touches on a sensitive foreign-policy issue.
“The shared political interest of mainstream Republicans and Democrats is to win the hearts and the minds of Muslims,” Eibner said. “After 9/11 this became a much more serious theme, and everybody knows it. This is a major foreign-policy concern of the U.S. It’s seen as a matter of national security.”
That means, he continued, that policymakers worry that adopting specific measures to defend Christians in the Middle East “would put us in the position of being seen as Crusaders.”