President Obama's Christmas Eve message on Christian persecution sounds 'strange,' even 'crazy' to critics

U.S. President Barack Obama Obama is being criticised by some Republican leaders for opening America’s doors not to persecuted Christians but to the tens of thousands of Sunni Muslim refugees fleeing war-torn Iraq and Syria.Reuters

Conservative critics remained dubious of the real intention of U.S. President Barack Obama even after he issued a statement on Christmas Eve denouncing the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

"The devil is in the details," according to American author and journalist Joseph Farah, the editor-in-chief of the conservative website WorldNetDaily (WND).

In his message, Obama noted that "in some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent," adding that "this silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL," his preferred acronym for the Islamic State (ISIS).

But to Farah, what Obama said was "just words," a belated acknowledgment of Christian persecution without any expressed intention or plan to address the problem, WND reported.

Instead of providing a helping hand to the persecuted Christians, Obama is being criticised by some Republican leaders for opening America's doors not to these persecuted Christians but to the tens of thousands of Sunni Muslim "refugees" fleeing war-torn Iraq and Syria, who are not the most severely persecuted people in the Middle East.

Farah stated that "it seems more than strange that the U.S. welcomes overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims, the group nearly always associated with persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East, but not Christians."

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz also pointed this out, saying, "Christians who are being targeted, for genocide, for persecution, Christians who are being beheaded or crucified, we should be providing safe haven to them. But President Obama refuses to do that."

Farah also noted that Obama failed to point out that Christians are being killed and driven from their homes and churches on a daily basis throughout the Middle East – not just in Iraq and Syria as he said in his message.

Moreover, Obama only cited ISIS as the threat to Christians in the Middle East. "This is just not true. Christians are systematically persecuted throughout the Sunni Muslim world – from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan and throughout Africa and including the Palestinian Authority, a territory subsidised with U.S. taxpayer dollars and favoured for future statehood by Obama," Farah said.

The WND editor wondered why Obama is blaming only ISIS for the persecution of Christians when the truth is that many Islamic countries are also doing the same. "In Brunei, Christians who in any way observe Christmas face a five-year prison sentence. Saudi Arabia prohibits Christian worship of any kind. There's not a single church in the country," Farah said.

"Ironically, one of the countries in the Middle East that protects religious minorities, including Christians, is Syria—a nation Obama has desperately sought regime change," Farah said.

Obama's fixation against the Syrian regime has reached the point when his administration is even "training and funding groups allied with ISIS" just to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he added.

"It's kind of crazy," Farah said.