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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 6, 2013 3:45pm-5:00pm EDT

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>> co-authors paul marsha, lela gilbert, and nina shea look at the's accusation of christians around the world, next on book tv. >> welcome. on behalf of our chair, i'd like to thank everybody for attending. and thank our authors and panelists for making this program possible. my job is to be brief. i'll try to meet that. and secondly, my only task is to introduce eric metexas who is
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going to chair the program. he doesn't need much introduction because he has done many important things nobody to you and others that will be joining us via television. perhaps some of you have already read his book, pastor, martyr, prophet, spy, "new york times" best seller and an important book about an important man. in addition, metexas was the keynote speaker at the national prayer breakfast here washington, dc and i believe there are copies of that presentation available outside. we're also grateful for him being a participant in this book, persecuted, which we're releasing today and this panel is about. he helped to write the forward and has been an important contributor to the work of the office of the book, and i want
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to thank him for that participation. aside from much distinguished work, including the companion to the movie, amazing grace, heroic campaign to end slavery, another important man with important work that needed to be more widely known he helped make possible. has a very arrays of interest and a sense of humor, which for someone in washington is not all that common. he has written for not only "the new york times" and many other great publics publications but also for chuck colson and veggy e retails.
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and he was dubbed the true air to he farside's gary larson. i actually know people whoa would love to have that said about him. that may say more about my colleagues than anything else. i want to thank him for being here, the work on the topic of faith, truth, justice, and freedom, are well-known to most people here, and we hope to benefit from his continued collaboration with our office. so ought without any further adieu, let me introduce mr. metexas. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much, john. a lot of that actually is true so thank you. yes, it's because of my parity of the riply's believe it or not books i was invited to moderate this panel today. so i want to thank you for knowing the existence of that book. it's available for $400 on ebay, i think, one copy left.
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no. i hope i'm not here because of that. although i'm glad that someone is aware of it. i'm here probably for many reasons, significant, i hope, is my concern for the issue of persecution of not only christians but of anyone for religious reasons around the world. this is something that obviously gets very little coverage, it seems to me. some when i was asked to write the forward force this brand new book "persecuteds" way profoundly honored and thrilled to do it. there is so much to talk about, and well get to that. i just have a brief 45-minute presentation and then we'll get to the three of you any minute. i could probably do it in 42 if i talked fast. so hang on to your hats. thank you for laughing of that's out in truism will be extraordinarily brief.
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i only really want to say up front i think that what drew me into the subject of persecution, and religious freedom, was writing my become on bohnhoffer, this is nothing something about which i knew very much at all. i confess to having been ignorant about it, but i say that only because i know i'm speaking to many people can many people watching at home and who will hear about this, who are ignorant about this. i think particularly the american church is tremendously ignorant about this, and as someone who considered himself a noncard-carrying member of the american church, to have been ignorant about this for so long, tells me that we aren't talking about this enough. so it's a privilege for me to do my part because i think this is at the heart of so many issues, not least what is freedom in the world. just touches on so much.
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like stem cells, you hardly know where to begin. one thing i saw from the bon haver book when religious freedom is eclipsed it leads to genuine persecution, and i think that in america, suddenly religious freedom isn'ting very seriously threatened. no one seems to be talking about it. i spoke about it at cpac, not the kind of place where people seem to be so interested in it but i do think this is vital. it's a vital issue to so many things. and again, not least because it leads to genuine persecution, which we're seeing around the world in such a measure that we can hardly believe it. but again, most of us are ignorant of it. that's why i'm so excited about this book. this book, for anybody out there, of i would say a kind of guttering face, let me say, if you read this book, it will profoundly strengthen your faith. so, be careful if you decide to
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read it, but it will strengthen what faith you have. if you have no faith, it may give you some. so let's leave it at that. i think that there's so many questions i want to ask the panel. in a little bit we'll open things up for the audience. our panel -- i hope you know who is sitting here. you know lela gilbert, paul marshal, and nina shea. otherwise you wouldn't be here. but they prefer true or false questions. am i right? and if you can't come with atrue or false question, multiple choice, and number two pencil. so i'll ask the first question and then sit down. this is not a jeopardy thing. there's no buzzer ands no right or wrong answers. so my first question, before i sit down -- and i will -- is why did you write this book?
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now, if that's not enough of a softball i have others. but why tide you write this book and how can we get this wonderful product out? but in all seriousness for any of you, that's the main question. i've got some thoughts on that, but we're interested in your thoughts. so, anyone who wants to lead off and we'll just have our conversation. flrn. >> well, first of all, thank you so much, eric. we appreciate your taking the time to be here and to draw attention, public attention to this important story. the-all of us in -- i'll let my colleagues speak for themes -- had been working on documenting religious free tom violations vs and christian persecution for many years and we have becomes date from 16 years ago on the same subject. so we felt we would combine
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forces this time, and really highlight the fact that religious persecution is one of the gravest human rights abuses of our day. and that christians are the most persecuted -- widely persecuted group the world today, and that is not just our fining. it's also been reinforced by pew research century, the economist, "newsweek" magazine, the vatican, compass, and so an. it's almost irrefutable that christians are the most persecuted -- widely persecuted religious group out of sheer numbers. they've located globally. while there tibetan buddhist persecuted in china and the muslims percent indicated in pakistan, christians are persecuted in both places. so this is a story that is not very well known in america.
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it's not widely reported. and churches themselves do not even really take notice sometimes, and we just thought that it was time again to re-tell the story on some of -- some of you in this room have been working on this for many, many years, and we had a great deal of success 16 years ago when we got the -- worked with many churches and human rights groups to have come adopt and the president clinton at the time, signed the international religious freedom act, and that has led to some good state department reporting on these issues, but we feel this is another time of a great wave of persian accusation when not too many people are paying attention. >> i would just second all that. and add that it's phenomenon
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which has grown in the last 010 to 15 years, and to reinforce one of the points nina made, people in north america are -- whether they're inside churches or outside of them, usually don't know about this. if there's particular horrendous incident, say the bombing of the cathedral in baghdad or bombing of churches in egypt, it may get in the news, may get on cnn, but then it dies away again. but the actual phenomenon is continuing. not necessarily with 65 people dead but with ten, 12 people dead. so there's very little awareness of what is happening around the world, and in some cases there's very little awareness of the existence of christian communities in these places in many cases, community which are
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2,000 years old. >> paul and i wrote a book together in 1996? called, the blood cries out. and we covered this same issue. the book became more and more out of date as the problems increased in the world. i'd kind of set aside the problem of christian persecution when i 2010 jerusalem -- when i went to jerusalem in 2006 but it crossed my path over and over again in jerusalem because being at crossroadses people came from turkey, gaza, all over the middle east with terrible stories about what was going on. christian teachers and christian missionaries and christians indigenous to certain areas that were leaving. and i began to see the increase in this, and of course watching now, the arab spring explode --
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arab spring in quotes as we always say. it's made things so much worse, and it's not looking like it's going to get any better. so, we begin to talk about this a couple years ago, but it became necessary to update and to give a current report on what is going on. unfortunately, things are changing quickly. i thick we might have put egypt in a different chapter if we did it yesterday, but we have at least an up to dade report now. >> before we get to egypt, and we must, want to foul up what you said, paul. this is increasing. why is this increasing? >> most of the increase is focused in the muslim majority world. more christians persecuted in china, vietnam, and so on. that goes up and down but relatively stable. and if i can just add on that. china doesn't have an export model. the chinese don't care what somebody else does in their own
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country. just say don't interfere with us here. but you're getting increased radicalization in much of islam, and that where is you're seeing this increases. countries where -- which were comparatively free ten or 15 years ago, places like indonesia, or even more recently mali, now you're getting continuing attacks. indonesia, probably now hundreds of attacks on churches per year. so you see this increase, and islamist groups, whether there's outright terrorresses like al qaeda, or just extremist groups in egypt and elsewhere, want other people to do the same. so they're trying, with some success to get other muslim countries to get with their own program. so it's increasing in intensity and increasing in spread. >> so, it sounds like what you're saying is that this is a
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muslim issue. so then the question is -- ultimately if there's an increase, when you say there's an increase, it's a muslim issue. so, what does this mean? this means that muslims reasons the world who had not previously been radicalized are being radicalized and are being let to believe an expression of this faith is persecution of christians specifically? ...
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because they become as well. >> i just want to add that we, you know, the same forces that persecute christians are also persecuting the the other minorities in the middle east. christians are the largest nonmuslim minority in the middle east. so they're taking the brunt of this. but muslims are definitely effected, individual muslims as well as groups. and just to give a few examples what that -- what is happening right now. there's an person pastor imprisoned and facing possible death in iran right this minute. >> is he an american citizen. >> he's an american citizens of iranian origin. >> he's an american citizens.
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>> he was sentenced to eight years but often these sentences mean nothing and can be changed at will and women. >> okay an american citizens as much as possible. an american citizens is being held for his religious beliefs in iran now. >> in iran now. >> the question is what the american government done about this thus far? >> not enough. secretary kerry issued a statement months after the imprisonment. he issued a statement friday night a minute after the it closed at 6:01 p.m. talking about the pastor and expressing concern. he never mentioned that he was a christian pastor or that he's being basically sentenced for a. paul referred to libya, churches
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have been attacked there in recent weeking this month. a christian was from egypt in libya was tortured to death in egypt i.t. there is a mother of seven children who was sentenced her entire family fifteen years. for converting to christianity. she reconverted to christianity. >> i know there are number of specific cases. i want to back to the pastor. the american citizen held in iran right now. you implied that the that our state department has a renaissance about speaking out that this was done at the end of the day on friday. i assume you're saying for some reason deliberately and that the idea -- the fact he's a
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christian pastor was not mentioned. i want to know why do you think the administration -- what would the reasons be whether legitimate or ill legitimate for for doing this at the end of the week when traditionally obviously things are put out there so they don't get attention. why would the current administration do that? what would their reasons be for not being more vocal about or not mentioning it's a christian pastor? or is that just an oversight. i can't believe there's an oversight. there was a pattern here. and congressman frank wolf held a hearing on iran last week. they refused to send a sentence. -- witness. a witness to the hearing to talk about pastor. >> can you guess why that would be? i'm not converse on these things. >> i think it's misguided
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multiculturalism. a unwillingness to, you know, political correctness unwillingness to say that victims victims are -- christians a victim in that part of the world. i think it's trying to be nice, liked and i can't find any other explanation. >> has that ever worked? >> no. it really doesn't. in fact we have case after case where people have been freed from prison and there are two iranian christian converts who are in the united states who were imprisoned in '09. they wrote a fascinating book where they were saved by the voice of america reporting their story. it prompted amnesty international and jubilee campaign which they credit in their book of getting of them open sending of thousand of letters on their behalf and freeing them. it's just the opposite effect, really. it sends the wrong signal. >> if i can add to this, iranian
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s in term of individual cases -- exposure usually works. they back off death sentences or declare someone insane and they flee our country. one reason the state department -- let me also add that it's a fairly common patent if you are dealing with christian the u.s. government statement do not say say what religious they are. these things happen to these people and it's bad. one reason they offer for that, which may have some possibility in the case of iran we don't want to signal out that the christians because america's, you know, differenting christians. the christians getting together and so forth. but iran says that anyway. if you didn't say in iran the state department very properly will say they're in prison because they're behind. in other cases, it will refer to
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the reason. but christians not always but often it doesn't. >> i would add that paul and nina wrote a book called silence" which had to do with the discomfort and how there's been a intentional move within the islamic world as well as the cooperation within the western world to keep a lid on the issue. i think some of what is reflected in not taking a strong stance or maybe avoiding making this monday morning news is kind of keeping that why. i would -- [inaudible] and we all try to be careful because we all know people that are muslims that are anything but terrorists that are working very hard. but it's become sort of stigmatized to address it. >> is this just a kind of typical and lamentable
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left-right divide that, you know, when reagan is president, he'll say he'll call the soviet union an evil empire and everyone in the left will attack him saying it's not helpful. it's going to cause trouble. his thesis would be on the contrary this kind of confrontation is good because it projects strength and we must project strength and that's all they listen to it. it seems to be when i hear that cary would have done this kind of thing his thesis would be we don't want to confront that's going to be counter productive, and but you're suggesting that confrontation, in fact, is the way to deal with these kinds of issues. is that fair. >> when we say confrontation. we're not talking military confrontation here. but was there a, you know, hiker as there have been, abducted in iran, the state department has
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no hesitant sei to come out and make a major issue of these cases. it seems like when christians are involved, there is they shy away. and another example of this it actually is found in both republican and democratic administrations on very key issues. bush on iran and but in 2010, there was the last church in afghanistan was shut down by the karzai government -- or was a 99-year lease. it was canceled by a court, and that was the last remaining church in afghanistan. our diplomats, our defense contractors now have to go and hide their worship behind walled compounds. afghanistan, while the surge was going on over 100,000 american troops on the ground, joined
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saudi arabia as the only other country in the world that became so intolerant they don't have a single church. and the obama administration knew about it, and actually reported about it in the state cannot department religious freedom report which is the standard for human rights reporting. but at the time it was happening they said nothing and did nothing. on our watch this has happened. and the bush administration two-thirds of the christians of iraq were driven out and we have it in the book about conversations we had with secretary of riced at the time saying, you know, please speak up for them. please protect them. again, we had 100,000 troops on the ground and she said we can't get involved in sectarian afavors. -- affairs. meanwhile they installed a shiite government in iraq and negotiates on behalf of the sunny leaders to get sunni
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appointment in the government. it didn't ring true. >> it doesn't seem -- as i'm listened. i'm being educate. some rights are more equal than others. in other words if we're talking about the universal concept or standard of let's say womens rights. we with speak out against it. there's been a shying away with doing that with regard to religious liberty. it seems to me, at least the current administration but to some extent the previous administration is willing to some extent throw it under the bus for what they perceive as greater good of peace but it sounds like it's not working. >> yeah. it's i think that's happening for awhile the president obama and secretary of state clinton got to the habit of using the ocean presentation freedom of worship. which would be about 10% of freedom of religious. most of religion involved other
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things other than worship. there was enough criticism they stopped. it was worrying they did that. another rhetorical device is speak about religious toleration, which is sort of why can't we all get along? i like religious toleration -- it's not the same thing as religious freedom. religious freedom is, you know, legal right to do something if you have to be intolerant. so there's a attempt redefine the issue and put it out of the away. but it certainly not given the centrality it deserves. one important thing we want to emphasize and lee will mentioned the book which we had called "silences." we look at blasphemy codes in the muslim world and make the point that this stifles debate within islam and empowers the the radicals because, you know,
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liberal muslims by which liberal in this context, i mean, committed to freedom don't condemn radicals. goes the oh way around. freedom loving muslims are the ones who are silenced. it you want good things to come out of say the arab spring, you can't have the sort of blast ma fa me codes going around that cut down gay and that's a -- dee that's a religious freedom issue. and study of effect of religious freedom on the women economic development and growth. militarization. it has strong positive effects. and it's a good correlation religious freedom and economic growth. it goes both ways. there's a also this problem we often face of religious freedom is regarded as something on the side. it's what you do on sunday. if you don't have religious freedom you will not have
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democratic development in any country of the world. >> i want to touch on that. that this difference between freedom of worship, and freedom of religion. i recently spoke about that. i don't normally speak about the subject, but there is, as you said, a tremendous difference. it's almost laughable to use them interchangeably. i know, hillary clinton was talking about freedom worship and chuck coalson, noticed this and began to speak out against it. it's when i got involved in these issues. i thought my goodness, this is a chilling thing. freedom of worship they have freedom of worship in china. they have freedom of worship in the third reek. you do your weird religious ritual. the moment you come out of the ninety minutes or two hours, you belong to us and you are whatever it is you believe must bow to the secular or other
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orthodox of the state. so that's a lack of religious freedom. it's important, i think for folks who don't know it and again i didn't know it until recently. this idea for religious freedom at the heart of the ordered freedoms in america is the kind of freedom that must be expressed outside of the place where one worships. it in other words it has to do with the freedom of idea and conscious, and the idea of freedom worship or tolerance, as you mentioned. it it's a far cry from genuine religious freedom. and i want to thank you for making that point and underscore it. those who only come to this recently don't realize that freedom of worship is practically meaningless. those are wees l words, if i've ever heard this -- them. >> one of the issues that immediately comes to mind for this is what we used to call witnessing as christians. and it's become a dirty word.
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it's also in many muslim countries and also in china too. trying to spread chris began any which christianity which is the spread the word. and therefore does not fall in to the category of religious freedom. it has become a dirty word. >> yeah. we christians call sharing the good news. >> it's actually a basic huge right. and the u.n., to its credit, put out a very important report on this very subject about how it is a grave human rights concern that even is repressed in so many countries. >> it's a free speech issue. >> it's a freedom of religious issue. the u.n. special on religion said it goes to really the heart of religious freedom to be able to talk about your belief to others and teach others about your beliefs. so that it's a free speech.
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it's freedom of association issue. it's a freedom of religious. >> so we're talking specifically about the wide spread and increased per persecution of christians around the world. why isn't the american church or the western church or specifically the american church speaking out about this issue or are they? some members of the church are speaking out about that this. people very quickly want to become introverted within about the situation within the united states. often if particularly if i'm
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doing call in radio on this issue, one of the first calls is going to be we're persecuted here in america as well. and my reply is problem are increasing problems and they deserve attention. but whatever is going on i can say. i know, this program deals with that a lot. we don't deal with what i'm talking about so i want to focus on that. that's important. and . >> i think [inaudible] even in the churches. >> political correctness -- to the churches. yeah. and, you know, again the misguided multiculturalism. don't want to be unpleasant. we want to get along. i think that's a big part of it. >> okay. this leads at least me inevitably to dennis rodman or north korea.
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you and your book talk about the horror of north korea. when the generally misguided dennis rodman in m estimation went over there. i thought two things. it's like jane phone data sit -- phone data sitting on the gun. i would love to be corrected. it struck me that this was a way to prop up a murder use regime committing some of the worst atrocity along the line which you've described in your book. what is your perception of that? do you think that our state department could have done anything to prevent this where they knew about in? i frankly was so stunned especially since north korea, you know, there's gray areas and north korea. so what do you think about that? what do you think of the role one plays in doing things like
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that? , i mean, reaching out in that way, as it seems to me. misguided. naive. can anything good become of it? >> let me comment on the situation in north korea and refer to my copanellists to say what to do about it. but the north korea is probably the worst place to be any number of being a human being probably the worst. but it's probably the worst place to be a christian. persecution is the most intensive -- i want to go back to north korea. you use it an inthrow. the post communist world. cuba and north korea standing out on it own then they post soviet countries. and wide spread persecution in these countries too. in terms of total numbers it affects more christian because
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of china than in the muslim world. that's another huge path which we look at. but very correctly say that north korea stands on its own. >> yeah, i don't i have any insight in to dennis rodman . >> [laughter] it is, you know, people we have cases that we discuss in our book about north koreas being shot executed for being found in possession of a bible. families to three generations being put in their detention camp system because they've been revealed to be christian. it is the worst repressive country in the world, and, you know, then you have five only five churches there as one of
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our cases says they're there for the western benefit to fool the west. and, you know, this is going on in china to a lesser extent. they moved to a more regulatory system where we find throughout the world. it puts the more as countries become more involved in international trade they become more self-conscious about human rights and they don't use the -- we're not seeing so much the brutal method as we have seen in the past. it's places like china, it's the pastors and priests may be put in camps but they also are just as likely to be put in to retirement homes for detention house arrest. in vietnam they're still bulldozing monasteries and churches and graveyards to put in echo tourism resorts.
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and again, particularly brutal in the outlying areas where the international media is not present among the people in the remote triable area. dennis rodman is one way they are trying to -- whatever dennis rodnd was thinking we'll never know. what he was thinking we're going use the guy to fool the west. >> i would say not only to fool the west. again, i think of the corollary ever the soviet union when somebody would go over there and have a photo-op it served to prop up the regime and my understanding is that prisoners in the giew log would suffer when it happened. when someone would speak out
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heroically as reagan did a couple of times, their situation would improve. so . >> yeah. >> it seems to me that rodman was used. i guess another question just because i'm interested in our own administration, our own government's role. would they not have going he was going over there. would they not have at least have to give some approval to this. did they not care? did they have any sense of that. i was stunned it could occur. >> you would have to have a visa. >> i don't know. how he went i don't know whether he went through china or some other country. i don't have any input? >> it happened after the book was written. [laughter] we haven't done our research on this. >> just add i think if the north koreas thought they could use dennis rodman this way it backfired. this is the rahim that when -- regime -- sexiest man in the
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world replayed it as a serious news story. so, you know, dennis rodman is not the guy who is going to convince the west. he was -- [inaudible] how he got in and whatever i don't know. i think it might be worth pointing out because we talk about islam why the communist countries persecute christians. what we talked about in the past on the subject is that christians bow to a higher authority, and although this is not religious persecution, a guy in a plane said to me on the way here, he said religion is responsible for all brutality in the world. all the wars in the world. we need to get rid of religion. it's a common statement. these countries are not religious. they are antireligious because christians will not -- [inaudible] to a lesser god. and i think that's why we have to remember that we're dealing
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with atheism of a sort. it sort of becomes religious in the own way. s a atheism. it's so threatened by christians and other people of faith that strike out just as violently as if it were a religion. >> i think we're supposed to transition to audience questions. who has the timing on that? i think we are. is that right? somebody wink at me. there we are. thank you. we're going do that. as i said before, only true or false questions, please. and let me ask one final question, actually maybe i'll save it to the end. all right. if whose got a question. you have to limit it to fourteen syllables. >> wait for the microphone. a microphone being passed around? >> and please identify yourself. >> the microphone will be moved to -- here it comes.
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if you don't mind, actually we have a serious rule. please frame your question in the form of a question. >> [inaudible conversations] >> thank you. okay. a gentleman here who had his hand up. right there, you just passed him. the man with his hand up. [laughter] thank you. >> go ahead, sir. [inaudible] [inaudible] going back to iran for just a minute, and pastor. in libya, we had an american in jail for -- he was arrested with the south african.
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there is nothing from the state department nor will there be anything from the state department because and this is the question. are we or are we not doing the main enemy routine we the soviet union. we pick iran and up and going to talk about persecution of christians in iran. nowhere else because we view libya and egypt and all of the other muslim brotherhood controlled nations. whether they arrest americans or not. that's okay because they are against iran. and we are in our main enemy routine the way we were in the soviet union. >> i think that was more than 14 syllables. we'll let it go. >>well, you know, that was what was so mystifying about secretary kerry's at the same time where it didn't even mention the fact he was christian or that he was being sentenced essentially for apostsei.
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even if iran is the main hostile force. we're not even willing to speak up really much there either. so i wouldn'tn't go that far. as far as you have gone. >> there's a patent of going easy on our friends or people who want to be our friends. so that more of concentration on iran and less outspoken on afghanistan about what happens there. >> you mentioned egypt earlier. i don't know if you want . >> egypt too just to mention. several months ago an egyptian court sentenced several americans to death in connection with with the movie trailer thing the innocence of muslims. and that included pastor terri jones who's not one of my favorite people. when foreign courts are condemning americans to death and exercising the first amendment rights within the united states, i think there should be some comment about
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that. >> microphone to the front row. possibly? >> my name is fred weber. true or false -- [laughter] the dramatic rise in the persecution of christians worldwide but especially in the muslim countries is a direct result of the rise in opposition to our country to the antiamerican feeling that has been crescendoing especially in this past decade. >> i'm not sure that's the case. within the muslim world within i think something connected. at least radical islam if you go through al qaeda statements things of this kind, then you will see america is hated because it's thought to be christian. christians are not thought to be american. they see the world in religious
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terms. bin laden, you know, said, you know, the buddhist have a seen on the u.n. security counsel. why can't we? he's referring to -- [inaudible] everything is put in religious categories. so christians would be seen as a problem anyway. just add another. we cover sixty or seventy country in the book. nobody get in the weeds of each individual country. most of the rise in the muslim world. but increasing attacks in have a lane can since the end of the civil war thankfully that's over. but that means that the government is feeling more confidence and a tax on muslim minority muslim and christian have increased. you see there are problems elsewhere. but the big increase is in the muslim minority.
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>> while the microphone is moving. when do we lose c-span? fifteen after or thirty after? [inaudible] proceed to a raised hand. i'll leave it to you. thank you. >> nathan -- [inaudible] recently egypt won official government registration after an eight-year process. with a lot of back and forth. at one point the egyptian media reported that it was denied like the carter center for threat to national sovereignty. that's a preface. now to the 4 syllable question. what in situations like egypt where there's a strong phobia of money, foreign political influence. how do we work without exposing indigenous christians as we have seen even among our indigenous staff the charges of being
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foreign spies, working for antinational political interest? >> well, i'll take a stab at nap i think the key the operative phrase is foreign money. in other words u.s. money. we are basically about to we're promising egypt government upwards of $10 billion either through our direct aid, military aid, economic aid, debt forgiveness, $2 billion debt forgiveness, approval for imf loans, worth about $5 billion right there. so the egyptian government is not adverse to foreign money. it's adverse it wants it for itself. not football anybody else in civic society. and we have to use our leverage. we have to put some condition on
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our foreign aid to protect the rights of minorities, to protect human rights, and to promote our interest? egypt such as flourish l of real democracy and a strong civic society that's thing on way that, you know, the other interesting thing about paul mentioned the correlation between women's rights and religious freedom and so forth. there's also the converse is true. when there is religious repression and restrictions, there's instability. and pugh has documented this. it's in our own national interest. not just our ideal to have to ensure that a country respects the rights of its national citizens. so i think that the answer is that we have to start making
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clear that we expect religious freedom and protection for the cause and protection for human rights in general with our generous aid. >> just to add to that in terms of egyptian ngo. a lot -- the government wants it all and there are others. the second thing there's a lot of foreign money going egypt from the gulf. i haven't seen any documentation of that. but all of the reliability people i know say it's the case. it's only certain type of money. it doesn't help an ngo if it runs on foreign money. i think the main thing would be what does the organization itself want? the democracy human rights activist in egypt was commenting
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on this. the year or two back and said ask the organization it's probably the best judge of its own risk and what it needs. so that's all i can suggest on that. >> john with the investigative project on terrorism. our information track the domestic islamic group affiliated with the brotherhood -- [inaudible] we've been able to see if there's a close correlation between these groups and the lobbying the obama administration. they come out in support of the brotherhood in egypt and elsewhere in the middle east. do you think they're having any impact on how the administration deals with indigenous christians in the muslim world? >> naval we have no idea on, you
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know, the dynamic. just observe the phenomena the current administration also medicationed as knee that did before with the bush administration at least as far as we're doing with iraq, did not raise the issue or focus on the persecution of christians. i think there are many dynamics including one of political correctness where by the u.s. and also the u.s. doesn't want to be seen as a christian nation simply defending christian. the other motive operate. how the decision making goes on. i don't know. >> i think that there's a blind spot in our -- [inaudible] when journalist don't get religion. but i think there's a blind spot . >> excuse me you have only written one book on that subject.
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i'm sorry to hear that. [laughter] there's a blind spot in our embassy there. they made couple of obvious missteps recently. one was bringing over a woman that -- ?awbl on our staff in the back there uncovered the fact she was getting a human rights award an egyptian national who ted tweeted her congratulations for attack on 9/11 against united states. and wanted to see america burn and that kind of thing and tax on israel and celebrating jihadist attack. when it was uncovered, the state department was hosh belie embarrassed and sent her packing home without the award. on the anniversary of 9/11, last fall the embassy when the youtube trailer paul mengessed came out, the embassy put out an
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statement saying it was an abuse of freedom of speech. it's the same kind of characterization that egypt government i.t. had used for many years in the u.n. we must not abuse freedom of speech. we need to have international blasphemy laws. there's a problem coming from that embassy as well. >> if i can add she mentioned the blind spot when journalingist don't get religion. one of my coed editor. the explore in this is most journalists of course many hon rabbling exception -- honorable exception don't understand religion. i'm not talking about christian any. -- actually don't know what goes
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on outside that bubble. and there are many things they missed they just don't see. so if you're dealing with persecution, it can sometimes happen in the capitol of country. often in remote areas. if you're in the capital talking to other journalists and talking to diplomats and other people who don't know what is going on in the country. there's a general phenomena of journalists missing things. >> yes -- [inaudible] you mention that north korea is the worst place in the world for christians. the world -- [inaudible] said that nigh nigeria the most violent place in the world for christian is -- [inaudible]
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given that nigeria has more christians killed than the rest of the world put together in 2012, could you maybe speak to this -- [inaudible] thank you. >> yeah, the obviously there's a variety of dimensions i'm talking about persecution. you noticed that we said christians are the most widely persecuted group that persecuted more countries and involves more people than any other group in the world. i steer clear of saying the most persecuted. much of what that means -- [inaudible] intensively persecuted. it's less wide spread. similarly, for myself at least refer to north korea and all of us the worst place.
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there's no christian in north korea that is not persecuted. it's totally repressive. in nigeria you have 5560 million christians. it's in the thousands. this is another area that the state department has been reluctant to speak out on some of these issues. so in terms of death toll, then, you know, obviously more christians are killed in nigh nigeria than anywhere else. we should probably spend more attention on this. it's one of the largest christian community in the world. every one of them is persecuted inspect nigeria there are thousands of deaths. for many christians -- [inaudible] and so on they are not facing
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that. maybe the middle built. that's the way we're usingment term in are many dimensions which -- coming up to easter this sunday. last easter a series of churches were bombed full of worshipers and this happened repeatedly over and over again. i think in unlike every sunday we saw a church bombing and again more recently. so it's just a horrific situation. again, the link between stability and religious freedom could not be clear. and the state department should be making this a priority instead of giving speeches as you the secretary did after the easter bombing at one of the other think tank in town saying that this had nothing to do with religion.
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the author of the attacks very name means question education is prohibited. is a sin and not tried to hide the fact they want to impose a islamic state on the country. and, you know, really cleans the area of christians. so called religious cleansing. >> let me add i think jubilee issued a report -- i got it in the e-mail. imagine what i would instanbul and documenting the number of attacks and killed because there's a lot of confusion on the. [inaudible] thank you for the book and your moderation, eric. my question is, i'm seeing in my own work a tendency of our government and media and others to make the perpetrator to the
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victim. and i wonder if you tawrnt that at all. and about the idea of moral equivalence which we see -- the state department has choose ton call them victims rather than perpetrators. thank you. >> okay. an camp you have given that that attacks are labeled religious sectarian clashes. when they're not. it's a terrorist organization bombing churches almost every sunday. and there's a tendency when it kills muslim as well. which it certainly does.
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it's attacking the state and christians. and so that gets miscast because there are obviously muslim deaths. it's not religious and the sectarian clashes. it goes on in newspaper and sometimes even state department coverage of egypt. if a, you know, if there's a conflict they call it a sectarian clash. which implies no it's a program. that's like calling co clucks clan in, you know, 1920 in the there was racial clashes in alabama. twenty five people were killed. it's not the violation is the retaliatory. the aggression is going one way. and how many musics have i been attacked? to my knowledge number. large number of churches. i adopt want to say all muslim
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are attacking christian or anything of this kind. it's not just a clash between two forces. it's radical islamists versus the rest and christians are one of the principle topic. >> one of the cases we talk about in the book is the massacre in october 2011 and in cairo. and a group of cops they got together they got together with some of them to protest the burning of their churches going on where the government failed to come to their rescue or to give them any protection. and the the government set out to -- this was the beginning of
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the arab spring. it was first year of the arab spring. and i remember i never forget how the u.s. government put out a response condemning it and saying that asking for both sides to refrain from further violence. >> because some of the tanks were damaged? >> and, you know, sam wrote at the time on nro he said, well, maybe i should tell the military to stand down from killing the cops. i should tell the cops to stop dying. it's a perfect example of the phenomena. >> i want to ask a question. as i said, i gave a speech about this and how we seem to have lost the understanding in america one place i think we red
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light understanding of ordered liberty and how you cannot have so called democracy or self-government without the protection of religious freedom. it seems to me that both republicans and democrats have gotten this willfulfully wrong. you can't sprinkle democracy dust and you get democracy. if you don't have built in protection for minority and religious freedom in the arab spring quote, unquote, seems to me a classic example of this. this idea we're willing to tolerate certain things so we can get democracy. we believe democracy will lead to all kinds of good things. and the irony is just the opposite. it seems to be happening. that democracy becomes meaning less and it this understanding of the ordered liberty that the founders gave us is so different from what we're talking about. this is sort of faux democracy. yeah. and i think that we feel that
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the citizens the good citizen of america need to speak up at this point. it's why -- it goes back to the initial question why did we write the book. we want everyone to know what is going on. because we cannot rely on our political leaders to lead us. we have to lead them at this point. >> what can we coto speak up? that's one question i want to throw to you. >> we fled to become informed as americans. we need use our citizenship to appeal to our political leaders. and we have written this book. we have also want to introduce today today a new website. called persecution this website is an aggravator of the top stories of religious freedom in the world. it's going to be updated weekly. it's going cover all religious
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group. it's going to be a resource for the media, resource for the average citizen, resource for church group, and anybody else. what is happening in the world today. that is just being announced right now. it's breaking news. >> purse -- persecution in terms what we can do, the answer is a whole lot. just one story nina wrote a book sixteen years ago so did we on the persecution of christian. in both of the book if you asked us what the worse place now the answer is clear. on sue dan and there was tremendous lobbying in the united states. by a whole range of groups.
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in term of the number of bodies, most of them we're dealing with christians, you know, 350,000 congregation in this country. you can mobilize far more people than amnesty international can. the particular focus when the bush administration came in and said we'ring rid of the idea of special envoy. there was strong lobbying by cot legislation in the united states to have a special envoy for sudan. there were many other countries involved. the american churches or the american government. those were central plans. those are the largest plans. and, you know, that lead to a ceasefire in sudan and later on to referendum. and [inaudible] country in the world. that's actually make the new create the conditions for new
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country. that's not a thing you want everyone. it shows if there's a real focus on this thing. it's amazing. >> why did it snap why was there focus. why do you think it was different than what we're seeing now? >> can i add a footnote to what paul said. the state department and religious freedom report when it came out last summer noted that sudan the place had seen genocide l level of religious persecution had no report of persecution whatsoever. or no even reports of discrimination. either by the government or by forces within society. that's an amazing transformation . >> what do we think it was in '97 and on ward? >> one of the things was the great chuck coulson. there were other leaders --
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christian persecution and the situation in sue dna at the time -- sudan at the time. i think there's a complacency after wards after that success, sudan after the north, south con flingt in darfur and -- [inaudible] dreadful and repression of christian in north sudan is horrible. there was that success and there was the international religious freedom act coalition that succeeded as well back in those days late '90s. i think those two things. the coalition fell apart. and thought that maybe with a mechanism within the religious freedom act the government couldn't take care of it. and no, we must be vigilant about our freedom. >> since we're talking about north korea, a few moments ago, what do you think accounts for
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the renaissance of the korean the south korea. that's a vibrantly christian nation. i know, there are many very successful korean american christians. are are they not speaking up enough. wouldn't it make a difference? paul, i know you had something to say. >> many of them are and one story which needs some attention colleague written about is the north korea in to china and river. the networking which exist in china the whole range of people recruiting mainly koreas. mainly korea christians working with them. this is a sort of only real hole in the fortress of north korea. i think that may affect them. as to why the administration is -- wants to talk do nuclear
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weapons moment. those issues overhad dough it. we are worried about those as well. i worry about the fact that human rights questions are seen then as a slide agenda to the realism of international relations. there's a fact of many cases. we go back to the old example of the soviet union. the third basket -- [inaudible] regarded as keep the human rights ngo happy. it had major effect with the soviet union of providing the treaty-based form of criticism. so the issues should be seen z as it ties in with other foreign policy agenda and at georgetown university has written eloquently on foreign policy and religious freedom.
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time for one more question here. perhaps in the front row, we have a hand without a microphone. microphone approaching. we only have a moment left. [inaudible] i was the president of the freedom coalition. i do a lot of other things -- [inaudible] i want to mention something about the state department. a little history -- we have an infiltration of islammic -- i'm concerned about that. that needs to be stated [inaudible] she has a strong link to the muslim brotherhood. something broke yesterday within john kerry son-in-law it department come out in the vetting process. his son-in-law is an iranian-american with close relative in iran. that's a break down of the betting process.
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and so i'll ask if you're concerned about this. i would have to know more about the iranian. most iranian americans are strong opponent of the iranian regime. so i don't know about this person. this could be a problem too inerm of pressure and blackmail. i could be concerned about that. i would say on the state department now -- [inaudible] aware of the fact they may be able to take steps prebility him in some way or put him in some other portfolio. i don't know about the situation. since we're losing media coverage. there's a book called persecuted the global assault on christians. three of the three authors are here on this panel. we're grateful for your time, also new website persecution
4:59 pm don't neglect to visit that and keep up on the important issues and maybe a round of applause for the authors of this brand new book. [applause] >> thank you. any closing comments? i don't know there's so many questions. anything you would like to say. >> again, thank you for coming. thank you to eric, john, and our staff and charlotte sawier who helped with a new website. i would like to have you think about some of the real cases that's what we try to do in the book. put faces and names on the stories. people like asia, pakistan on death row. mother of five for blasphemy christian, in china, a lawyer who defended christians has been in prison for about seven years. father lee in


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