It is clear that the European refugee crisis is bringing to the surface inherent problems such as the difficulty of tracking migration and dealing with transnational crimes across open borders. It also raises the issue of the limitation of state sovereignty and the centralization of power. Arguably, the EU is unable to meet the needs of its culturally, politically and economically diverse nations. Such issues might prove a risk to EU unity. Post-Paris, it is obvious now the Middle East’s strife is no longer its own.
By Georgiana Constantin | November 17, 2015
Christian persecution is a reality in many corners of the world, from Africa to China and even India. One situation in particular, however, is reaching atrocious proportions: the systematic destruction of Christian communities in the Middle East.
Christians there are being told to “convert, leave or die” on a daily basis, and, if any of them have even a glimmer of hope that this will not be the case, they will be subjected to violence, rape, torture and eventually, most of them will be murdered execution-style. Their children will be abducted to be raised as Muslims, to be sold as sex slaves, or they will simply be raped or killed in front of their parents.
Anyone in the region who is not adherent to ISIS’ ideology is doomed to suffer for their ‘infidel’ ways. Muslims, Jews and Christians are all suffering this fate. In the process, Christianity, “the largest non-Muslim religious minority left in the Middle East” is being extinguished from the region. The followers of Christ, apparently the most persecuted religious group in the world, are being subjected to inhumane and barbaric treatment.
It is possible, if things continue along this path, that “[w]ithin our lifetime, the Middle East could be wholly Islamicized for the first time in history,” wrote Nina Shea for National Review. “Without the experience of living alongside Christians and other non-Muslims at home, what would prepare [Islam] to peacefully coexist with the West? This religious polarization would undoubtedly have geopolitical significance.”
ISIS wants to wipe out any trace of history, which is not directly tied to its interpretation of Islam. It needs to erase the past so that its future would become incontestable. It does not need well-established arguments, for, if its terror is all that is left in the world, then it is what people would come to know as the ultimate truth. This is why they are killing and terrorizing. This is why they are destroying world heritage sites and important parts of history throughout the Middle East, such as the Palmyra ruins, Dura-Europos, and Mar Elian Monastery in Syria, Nineveh in Iraq, and so on. There has also been talk of demolishing the pyramids in Egypt, in order to put an end to the worship of images. ISIS’ belief system seems to be incompatible with those of any other religion.
This brings us to the migration crisis with which the West, particularly Europe, is dealing. The constant flow of people from North Africa and the Middle East is a testament to how serious and widespread religious persecution has become in these regions.
The EU has imposed mandatory quotas of refugees to each country. However, some nations argue that accepting great numbers of migrants will only increase the influx, and, as Germany reinstates border controls, one can plainly see that it feels overwhelmed and is trying to stem the flow, which it had so eagerly welcomed before. At the same time, Eastern Europe does not agree with Brussels’ desire to accept so many refugees.
Several countries are declaring that they will only accept Christian refugees. Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia all want to receive strictly Christians. Cyprus and, reportedly, even a French town are asking Brussels for the same. Part of the reason, they claim, is it would be a lot easier for these refugees to blend into a country that is majority Christian. They’ve made the case that Muslims would not even have mosques to pray in or anything to make them comfortable in the country.
While most nations have been wary of the infiltration of Islamic terrorists among the migrants, even more so in the aftermath of the November 13 Paris attacks, and so would feel safer if they did not run the risk of accepting such dangers. In fact, it would seem that even countries as apparently unconnected to the crisis in Europe as Australia are pushing for a policy of accepting mostly Christian refugees.
It is clear that the European refugee crisis is bringing to the surface inherent problems such as the difficulty of tracking migration and dealing with transnational crimes across open borders. It also raises the issue of the limitation of state sovereignty and the centralization of power. Arguably, the EU is unable to meet the needs of its culturally, politically and economically diverse nations. Such issues might prove a risk to EU unity.
Post-Paris, it is obvious now the Middle East’s strife is no longer its own. The sufferings of those being persecuted for their beliefs are spilling over into the West. The process is no longer slow. It is no longer quiet. It is no longer regional. It is rapid. It is loud. It is worldwide.
And, if it is allowed to continue unchecked, it will be the final conflict Christians in the Middle East will ever bear witness to, for there will be none left to brave another battle for their faith in the future. The birthplace of Christendom will have seen its last generation of believers slaughtered or driven out by waves of Islamic terrorism in pursuit of their caliphate.
Georgiana Constantin is a law school graduate who has studied International, European and Romanian law at the Romanian-American University in Bucharest and received her Masters from the Nicolae Titulescu University in Bucharest. Ms. Constantin, who is based in Romania, is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.