The mainstream media are failing to report an unprecedented number of attacks against Christian churches around the world in 2011. The media may report an attack occasionally as if it were a one-off but no journalist is setting the attacks in the wider international context. Why is that?
Here is a summary of the burning of churches around the world in 2011:
Egypt - Since al Queda and its militant allies spread the incendiary lie that two Christian women who had converted to Islam were being held against their wills by Copts as many as six Christian churches have been attacked this year. Last week a Christian caretaker of a Cairo church was beaten to death by a mob.
Pakistan - A mob of Muslim militants in Punjab attacked and burnt down Christian homes and churches after false rumours that Christians had burnt a copy of Koran.
Ethiopia - Mobs of Muslim militants burnt down 69 Christian in March after false rumours were spread that Christians had flushed copies of the Koran down the toilet and using pages as toilet paper.
Nigeria – After the Christian candidate for president defeated the Islamic candidate in April 2011 hundreds of Christian churches have been burnt down and an unknown number of Christians killed.
Protect the Pope comment: Imagine if there were sustained attacks around the world on Muslim Mosques or Jewish Synagogues! Rightly so, there would be outrage and condemnation in the media. There would be Panorama and Cutting Edge documentaries. Sharp questions would be put to the Foreign Office Ministers on Radio 4 Today show and Newsnight. Journalists would be asking who is behind these international attacks on Mosques or Synagogues? What can be done to stop them?
But in the face of hundreds of Christian churches being burnt down around the world in 2011, what is the media response? Nothing, absolutely nothing. And when they do report the odd, isolated case of attacks against a Christian minority in a Muslim majority country journalists at the BBC or SKY or CNN go out of their way to talk about ‘sectarian conflict, as if both sides were equally matched and equally to blame for the attacks on Christian churches. As one Copt put it last week, if just one Mosque was burnt down in Egypt all the Christians would be massacred.