'Christianity Threatened in the Very Place It Started'

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | August 15, 2014 | 2:11 PM EDT

Addressing Pres. Obama's Iraq strategy, Editor in Chief Terry Jeffrey told CSPAN today he doubts Obama understands the gravity of the persecution of Christians there.

Asked about Obama's comments yesterday announcing that the military and humanitarian missions in Iraq have been a success and will be ending soon, Jeffrey said he fears the president's strategy fails to take into account the historical consequences of allowing Christianity to be snuffed out at this birthplace:

"I think it's very narrow. I'm not sure the president understands the true historical gravity of what's taking place here:

"The Middle East is where Christianity began. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, lived in Nazareth; he was crucified in Jerusalem and resurrected there. His apostles went out from Israel. They went to Egypt. Saint Paul was converted on the road to Damascus.

"Iraq was one of the first Christian places in the world. So, you have this area, which, for two thousand years, we've had Christians, where now there's a threat of Christianity being eradicated. And, where all the Christians are either being driven out or killed."

"You have Al Qaeda moving in and occupying one of the original Christian villages in the Middle East. And, you have the existence of Christianity threatened in the very place where it started. And, that's happening in our historical epoch. It's happening now."

There is far more at stake than just the fate of Christians in Iraq, such the ability to live in peace and freedom in the Middle East, Jeffrey said.

"The question is: how does the United States help reestablish stability in the Middle East so that Christians can live there in peace and freedom, so that Jews can live there in peace and freedom, so that Israel is secure, and so that Muslim-Arabs also can live in peace and freedom?

"That's the question. It's a huge strategic question. But, we need to grapple with it."