US should do more to protect Coptic, Syrian Christians, says religious freedom commission chair
August 29, 2013
The chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom called upon the Obama administration to use its leverage to help protect Christians in Egypt and Syria.
“I think we need to put pressure on the military government to protect the Coptic Christians, and to make the protection of the Coptic Christians a high priority,” Robert George said in an interview with Catholic World Report. “We need to make it clear that where attacks on Christians are done with impunity, and where the government just looks aside or doesn’t treat the issue as serious enough to protect the victims, there will be consequences in our relations with the military rulers in Egypt.”
In Syria, “we do not have much leverage, certainly, with the Assad regime,” he added. “We have leverage with the Saudis and we should be using that to protect the Christians and other persecuted minorities … We need to be working with the international community to relieve the plight of Syrian refugees, especially those from the Christian community who are, like my own relatives, fleeing.”