JUNE 2, 1997

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Christian persecution ignored

Christian persecution Did you know that an estimated 160,000 Christians were murdered worldwide in 1996? This doesn't include the countless others who were tortured, imprisoned, or sold into slavery.
   Who is leading the effort to do something about it? A Jew, Michael Horowitz! He remembers how the world turned its face during the Holocaust. Here is a quote from Mr. Horowitz:
   "There is a man who lives with us who is the embodiment of Christian faith, and I'm in awe of it. He is from the Ethiopian Evangelical Church where he is senior pastor. He is trying to get asylum into the United States and is meeting every possible roadblock you can imagine.
   "Here is a man who has been jailed over 25 times for his faith. He's been tortured. On one occasion, he was hanged upside down with hot oil poured on his feet. This is a man of abiding faith who will be tortured again and murdered if he is sent back to Ethiopia ... But do you know what happened when he petitioned for asylum? The State Department sent a letter to the Immigration Service and said, 'There's no persecution of Christians in Ethiopia.'"
   Despite overwhelming evidence of atrocities, this has been the attitude of the U.S. government. Senator Don Nickles of Oklahoma said, "...Christians are being sold into slavery. Some are being thrown into prison. Some are tortured. Many are killed. We must do everything we can in our dealings with other countries to end these practices."
   Some of the offending nations include the Sudan, China, Pakistan, Armenia, and Saudi Arabia. Do we desire "good relations" with other nations to the extent that murder is O.K.? And are we so concerned with the business interests of multi-national corporations that their profits are more important than these horrendous crimes against human rights?
   We own stocks in some multinational corporations. But we'd forego some dividends or growth rather than see profits and business pursuits take precedence over murder and mayhem. And I'd bet most investors would agree.
   Who cannot believe that these atrocities will not ease if the chairmen of Boeing, General Motors, Microsoft, Chase Manhattan, and the president and legislators say "Enough is enough?"

Roy H. Bleikamp, Woodinville