As Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea write in Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians, “Christians are the single most widely persecuted religious group in the world today. This is confirmed in studies by sources as diverse as the Vatican, Open Doors, the Pew Research Center, Commentary, Newsweek and the Economist. According to one estimate, by the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, 75 percent of acts of religious intolerance are directed against Christians.”
How well does the media tell that story? And how did they cover this weekend’s events? As Anglicans and other Christians worldwide grieved the brutal attack in Pakistan, the media… did not. The worst attack on Pakistani Christians in history didn’t make the front page of the New York Times. The Washington Post buried the story on page A7 of Monday’s paper. On the front page of the BBC web site, a small headline “Pakistan church blast kills dozens” was below stories on Angela Merkel and the Emmys. By the next day, the story was nowhere to be found.
British blogger Archbishop Cranmer noted, “Without media coverage we in the West cannot smell the fear of those Christians who are persecuted by Muslims all over the world.”
The Christian Science Monitor asked the promising question, “Why did militants attack Pakistani Christians?” and discovered that, well, it was really just a case of militants of unspecified religion looking for a “controversial” target and “more spectacular, attention-grabbing attacks.” Why the church? Certainly not because of any particular animosity towards Christians—it was just that the Christians were “vulnerable.”