There are pictures one cannot forget — for instance, of Russian troops hoisting their flag over burning Berlin in 1945. It was the end of Nazism but the rise of Communism. Another photo is of U.S. Marines raising the American flag over the battle-scarred Japanese island of Iwo Jima.
Today the West faces another totalitarianism: radical Islam. One place that witnessed the new horror is Mount Sinjar in the Nineveh province of Iraq, once a home to religious minorities, especially Christians and Yazidis. Thousands of years of history changed when the jihadists of ISIS invaded Sinjar in August of 2014. They slaughtered men and enslaved girls and women. Christian churches were razed to the ground, and houses of worship, looted.
In 2016 alone, 90,000 Christians around the world were murdered for their faith, according to a report from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. Between 2005 and 2015, 900,000 Christians were martyred. According to Open Doors, another Christian advocacy group, one out of every 12 Christians today experiences extreme persecution for their faith; the total comes to 215 million around the world.
“The persecution of Christians is real. It is global in scope, brutal in its nature, daily in its occurrence, and growing worse than ever”, said University of Notre Dame Professor Dan Philpott. A recent report by the World Council of Churches put the number of Christians left in Iraq at fewer than 250,000. “Christianity is finished”, said Canon Andrew White, the great vicar of Baghdad.