Significant admission: Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic, noted last week that "the most under-covered story these days is the sustained assault by Islamist terrorists on Christians." He was complaining about the placement on page A8 of The New York Times of a brief story covering a car bomb at a church in northern Nigeria: It killed at least 15 and wounded more than 40. Of course he's right about the lack of coverage on the Islamist war on Christians, and today's Globe Trot is nearly all about that.
Hardly a Sunday goes by that the terrorist group Boko Haram doesn't assault churches in northern Nigeria-and yesterday was no different. Here's the NYT's page A9 coverage of the bombing in Jos and Borno that killed at least four. The Times erroneously names an ECWA (Evangelical Church Winning All) church bombed in Jos, but this report from Compass Direct News, with photos, points out that it was another congregation that was hit, the Pentecostal Christ's Chosen Church of God. It also points out that the death toll is expected to increase "as injuries were severe." And here's another informed report on the June 3 church attack in Nigeria, as well as the sustained attack on Christians in Sudan.
Reporting also gets skewed at The Washington Post when it comes to religious freedom. A June 8 blog post by Michelle Boorstein reports on the lawsuit filed by Safiya Ghori-Ahmad, who charges that she was discriminated against as a Muslim staff member of the U.S. International Religious Freedom Commission. The report highlights former commission member Nina Shea, a strong advocate for persecuted Christians, and quotes her-erroneously-as writing that "hiring a Muslim like Ms. Ghori-Ahmad to analyze religious freedom in Pakistan would be like 'hiring an IRA activist to research the UK twenty years ago.'" As Shea has pointed out in a letter to the editor: "I did not write those words and did not oppose giving Ms. Ghori-Ahmad a permanent contract as an USCIRF analyst because she is a Muslim. I voiced opposition to Ms. Ghori-Ahmad because of the bias evident in some of her writings, for example, her analysis of the 2008 Mumbai bombings that included blaming the attacks of the terrorist group Lashkar i Taiba on America for failing to resolve the Kashmir crisis. As I wrote at the time, "her writings reflect MPAC activism and bias, not scholarship, which would not serve us well on the research staff." MPAC is the Muslim Public Affairs Council, an advocacy group where Ghori-Ahmad had been employed as a Washington lobbyist. Shea posted that letter to me and other journalists this morning because, to date, the Post has issued no correction.
We're following: the closure of a legal church in Iran, an Assemblies of God congregation in Tehran. Most of the Islamic regime's crackdown on Christians has focused on underground activity, but church leaders report a stepped-up campaign to end activities of churches once granted permission to operate.
Open Doors reports a successful campaign to fund safe houses for North Koreans seeking to escape religious repression.
Dueling op-eds: At WaPo, deputy political editor Anne Kornblut makes the case why, "among some liberals, [Hillary] Clinton is seen as a potentially better standard-bearer than Obama," and opinion writer Jennifer Rubin fires back that Clinton will have a hard time becoming a viable candidate again because of her poor record as secretary of State.
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