[I]f all you knew about the attack was based on American news sources, you wouldn’t know that Christians were being specifically targeted. As columnist and media critic Terry Mattingly noted, news reports, at least initially, didn’t even identify what kind of Christian church had been attacked.
Even when they named the church, they missed the part about Christians being in the crosshairs. They used words like "standoff" and "hostage crisis" as if they were describing a bank robbery gone sour.
To get a more complete picture of what was going on, my colleagues had to turn to outlets like Germany's Die Welt and the BBC.
Oh really? Well that's strange, because I knew that "Christians were being specifically targeted," and I got my news from American sources. If you do a Google search, you'll find that, unlike Colson claims, American media outlets were indeed reporting that the attackers had targeted Christians. For example:
- ABC: "Christians who cowered for hours inside the stone building that used to be their peaceful sanctuary wondered why they were yet again the target of violence."
- NBC: "The attack, claimed by an al-Qaida-linked organization, was the deadliest recorded against Iraq's Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion unleashed a wave of violence against them."
- CBS: "A cryptically worded statement posted late Sunday on a militant website allegedly by the Islamic State of Iraq appeared to claim responsibility for the attack. The group, which is linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, said it would 'exterminate Iraqi Christians' if Muslim women in Iraq were not freed."
- NY Times: "It was the worst massacre of Iraqi Christians since the war began here in 2003...Iraq’s Christians have dwindled; once numbering anywhere between 800,000 and 1.4 million, at least half are thought to have emigrated since 2003, their leaders say."
- Time: "The Halloween murders at Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad's middle class, mixed Karada neighborhood were followed by an announcement by the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaeda proxy, promising "'We will open upon [the Christians] the doors of destruction and rivers of blood.'"
- LA Times: "The attack was widely denounced, with Prime Minister Nouri Maliki condemning it as an attempt to drive Iraq's small Christian community out of the country."
- Washington Times: "The attack, claimed by an al Qaeda-linked group, was the deadliest recorded against Iraq's Christians, whose numbers have plummeted since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion as the community has fled to other countries."
So, in other words, Colson's claim is entirely false.
He goes on to lament how "Iraq's Christians are largely invisible to our media." "From an American perspective," he states, "you might call it 'out of sight, out of mind,' but, then, we never really saw them in the first place."
One thing he fails to mention is that Iraqi Christians are only suffering so badly now because of people like him. Christians never faced this kind of persecution under Saddam Hussein. It was only after the 2003 American invasion, which Colson's support arguably helped enable, that Iraqi Christians began facing such hell. Since March 2003, over 2,000 Iraqi Christians have been murdered and over half a million have fled the country.
Yet, as far as I know, Colson has never admitted any culpability for their plight. And given that he's an influential Evangelical leader who did his best to marshal his followers behind George W. Bush, I think he is undoubtedly, to some degree, culpable for the plight of Iraqi Christians. But I doubt he'll ever admit wrongdoing. He'll just go on blaming others.