The mar­tyrs no one cares about

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

The blood of in­no­cent Chris­tian mis­sion­ar­ies spills on Afghan sands.

The world watches and yawns. The United Na­tions of­fers noth­ing more than a for­mal ex­pres­sion of "con­cern." Where is the global up­roar over the hu­man rights abuses un­fold­ing be­fore our eyes?

For two weeks, a group of South Korean Chris­tians has been held hostage by Tal­iban thugs in Afghanistan. This is the largest group of for­eign hostages taken in Afghanistan since Op­er­a­tion En­dur­ing Free­dom be­gan in 2001. What was their of­fense? Were they smug­gling arms into the coun­try? No. In­cit­ing vi­o­lence? No. They were peace­ful be­liev­ers in Christ on short-term med­i­cal and hu­man­i­tar­ian mis­sions. Sev­en­teen of the 23 hostages are fe­males. Most of them are nurses who pro­vide so­cial ser­vices and re­lief.

Over the past few days, the blood­thirsty ji­hadists have de­manded that South Korea im­me­di­ately with­draw troops from the Mid­dle East, pay ran­som and trade the civil­ian mis­sion­ar­ies for im­pris­oned Tal­iban fight­ers.

The Tal­iban lead­ers have made good on threats to kill the kid­napped Chris­tians while Afghan of­fi­cials plead feck­lessly that their mon­strous be­hav­ior is "unIs­lamic."

Two men, 29year-old Shim Sung-min and 42-year-old Pas­tor Bae Hyeong­gyu, have al­ready been shot to death and dumped in the name of Al­lah.

Bae was a mar­ried fa­ther with a 9-year-old daugh­ter. Ac­cord­ing to Korean me­dia, he was from a de­vout Chris­tian fam­ily from the is­land prov­ince of Jeju. He helped found the Saem­mul Church south of Seoul, which sent the vol­un­teers to Afghanistan.

Across Asia, me­dia cov­er­age is 24/7. Strangers have held nightly prayer vig­ils. But the hu­man rights crowd in Amer­ica has been largely AWOL.

And so has most of our main­stream me­dia. Among some of the sec­u­lar elite, no doubt, is a blame- the-vic­tim ap­a­thy: The mis­sion­ar­ies de­served what they got. What were they think­ing bring­ing their mes­sage of faith to a war zone? Didn't they know they were sit­ting ducks for Mus­lim head-chop­pers whose idea of evan­ge­lism is "con­vert or die"?

I noted the me­dia shoul­der­shrug­ging about ji­hadist tar­get­ing of Chris­tian mis­sion­ar­ies five years ago dur­ing the kid­nap­ping and mur­der of Amer­i­can Chris­tian mis­sion­ar­ies Martin and Gra­cia Burn­ham in the Philip­pines. The si­lence is rooted in view­ing com­mit­ted Chris­tians as alien oth­ers. At best, there is a col­lec­tive cal­lous­ness. At worst, there is out­right con­tempt — from Ted Turner's ref­er­ence to Catholics as “Je­sus freaks” to CBS pro­ducer Rox­anne Rus­sell's ca­sual in­sult of for­mer GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Gary Bauer as “the lit­tle nut from the Chris­tian group” to the mock­ery of GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mitt Rom­ney's Mor­mon faith.

Cu­ri­ously, those who ar­gue that we need to “un­der­stand” Is­lamic ter­ror­ists demon­strate lit­tle ef­fort to “un­der­stand” the Chris­tian evan­gel­i­cal mis­sion­ar­ies who risk their lives to spread the gospel — not by sword, but through acts of com­pas­sion, heal­ing and ed­u­ca­tion. An es­ti­mated 16,000 Korean mis­sion work­ers risk their lives across the globe — from Africa to the Mid­dle East, China and North Korea.

Th­ese are true prac­ti­tion­ers of a re­li­gion of peace, not the hate-mon­gers with bombs and AK-47s strapped to their chests who slay in­stead of pray their way to mar­tyr­dom.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.