By Robert R. Reilly, The Washington Post.
Recently I saw a riveting new play, “My Report to the World: The Story of Jan Karski.” In 1943 Karski, a member of the Polish Catholic underground, was the first eyewitness to the Warsaw ghetto and a Nazi concentration camp to reach the U.S. He sought to convince President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter that Judaism was being systematically wiped out by the Nazis. Frankfurter told Karski he couldn’t believe it because the horror was unfathomable.
A similar story is playing out again, as Christians are being wiped out in the Middle East. On his recent trip to Latin America, Pope Francis said, “Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus.” He continued: “In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place.”
Middle Eastern Christians are being exterminated by Islamic State, or ISIS, simply because they are Christians. As Jews were forced to wear the yellow Star of David, Christian homes are marked with the Arabic letter “N” for Nazarene. Iraqi Sister Diana Momeka testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee in May that “ISIS’s plan is to evacuate the land of Christians and wipe the earth clean of any evidence that we ever existed.”
There is another grisly similarity: In the 1940s Jewish refugees were turned away by the U.S. and other countries. Karski recalled in a 1995 interview: “The Jews were abandoned by all governments.”
Today’s persecuted Christians also have nowhere to go.