President Barack Obama is spending a vacation in Hawaii and took time out to share a Christmas message with the American people. He spoke about President Obama put out a Christmas message that highlighted the persecution of Christians in much of the world. Paying tribute to the Constitutional protections of free speech and assembly, the president said “Many of our fellow Christians do not enjoy that right, and [we] hold especially close to our hearts and minds those who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence and persecution.”
It is because of “the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL,” said Obama, that church bells have gone silent in many countries. Obama appeared to conflate the persecution of Christians with the circumstances found among other faiths. In countries as widespread as Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan, it is mostly Christians who are subjected to the most violent forms of persecution. In Syria and Iraq, Christians have been systematically dispossessed, crucified, murdered, and raped, by both Shiite and Sunni Muslims.
Obama offered, “We join with people around the world in praying for God’s protection for persecuted Christians and those of other faiths, as well as for those brave men and women engaged in our military, diplomatic, and humanitarian efforts to alleviate their suffering and restore stability, security, and hope to their nations.”
The president continued, “As the old Christmas carol reminds us:
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.
However, according to investigative journalist Michael Isikoff, Christians may not be included in the upcoming annual State Department report on human rights. According to Isikoff, the Yazidi people - who have been singled out for murder, rape and extermination by the Islamic State - will be declared victims of "genocide" by the State Department. But Christians, who have been persecuted not only by the Islamic State but also in much of the Muslim world, will not figure into the report as victims of genocide. Human rights advocate Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute wrote in the National Review: "This is not an academic matter. A genocide designation would have significant policy implications for American efforts to restore property and lands taken from the minority groups and for offers of aid, asylum, and other protections to such victims." 
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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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