Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rep. Frank Wolf, co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, urges the appointment of an envoy to protect religious minorities. by CNA/EWTN NEWS  06/21/2013 

WASHINGTON — Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., has criticized the U.S. government’s “anemic and at times outright baffling” response to the persecution of Christians in the Mideast, urging the appointment of an envoy to protect religious minorities.

“America has always been a friend to the oppressed, the persecuted, the forgotten. But, sadly, today, that allegiance is in question, as religious freedom and human-rights abuses around the globe increasingly go unaddressed and unanswered,” Wolf said June 17 during a discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.

“Looking to the Middle East, there is often societal and communal violence and repression against religious communities, which specifically targets religious minorities,” he added during the discussion, which was hosted by the center’s Middle East Program.

Wolf, a co-chairman of the House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, spoke about the situation facing religious minorities in the Middle East.

The congressman noted that the civil war in Syria has killed some 93,000. Its consequences for Syrian Christians are “largely unknown and, unfortunately, rarely addressed by Western media.”

According to Wolf, the plight of Coptic Christians has been neglected by successive U.S. administrations. They now face marginalization under Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-controlled government.

He said the recently drafted Egyptian constitution is “highly problematic,” citing its provisions criminalizing blasphemy and allowing a stricter vision of sharia law.

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