This Christmas our thoughts need to be with our fellow Christians who are being threatened in the Bible lands. No ifs or buts about it, they are being told either to join the Sunni-led opposition to Assad and renounce Christianity or die. After decades of protection by a secular-leaning dictatorship, Christians are being given ultimatums by the Saudi-financed jihadists and face a very dark future.  There has already been Christian cleansing in Syria, especially in Homs, where 90 per cent of the Christians have fled the city for Assad-controlled areas near the Lebanese border.

In Iraq things are not much better. Cities such as Mosul and Tikrit, Saddam’s home town, were once vital centres of Christianity. No longer. Iraq’s Christian population, estimated to have been two million, has fallen by more than half. Thank you, George W. Bush, a great Christian thinker, at least in Texas. In Egypt, there are at least ten million Christian Copts, now treated as third-class citizens and mostly confined to squalid quarters. Things have improved in Egypt since the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood gang, but rest assured that if the Salafists have their say, and they still do with the military in power, the Christians are doomed in the long run.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia, fuggeraboutit where Christians are concerned. What I don’t understand is how we — Americans and Europeans — can sit comfortably in our ivory towers and dispense wealth to these crappy countries while their religious fanatics persecute people who believe in our Lord Jesus. Once upon a time, Saudi Arabia’s Mecca and Medina had a thriving Christian and Jewish population. They were finished off centuries ago, when a single gunboat could have forced the camel-drivers to lick our boots and keep licking them until the last Jew or Christian was safe. In Lebanon, the hypocrisy of the West is even more blatant. A Christian majority is so threatened by Sunni (read Saudi) fanatics, some Christians are reaching out to Shia Hezbollah in a desperate hunt for allies. The Spectator has been unsparing in pointing out these horrors, and articles by Ed West and Douglas Davis have pinpointed the grotesque fact that Christians are being targeted by the Sunnis. But I have yet to hear Obama or Cameron stand up and announce that the next time a Christian is slaughtered for his beliefs, no Saudis will be given visas to visit their whores and palaces in the US or Britain. And while I’m at it, why don’t the EU fat cats demand that the Qataris and the Saudis (who are financing the jihadists) pay for the millions Europe will have to spend feeding and housing the hordes of Syrian and Libyan refugees escaping to our shores.

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Is it any wonder that no one in their right mind believes a word our politicians tell us when they see how weak and powerless our leaders are when facing religious fanatics? In the Big Bagel, people went bananas because the wife of some head of Qatar purchased Francis Bacon’s picture of one of the world’s biggest turds, Lucian Freud, for 142 million big ones. Sepp Blatter, head of Fifa, and almost as big a turd as Freud, claims that Qatar will improve its labour laws, which ensnare hundreds of thousands of foreign workers in conditions of abuse that are close to slavery. (If any victim complains, they go straight to jail charged with defamation.) So why does Qatar still have the right to stage the football world cup in 2022?

For the same reason apartheid South Africa was expelled from international competitions: western hypocrisy. How is it that a woman, Mayassa bint Hamad al-Thani, whose hubby owns the hellhole real estate called Qatar, can be praised to the heavens by professional bootlickers posing as art experts for paying 142 million big ones for a picture I wouldn’t keep in the smallest room of my house? Well, the answer is obvious. We will accept any humiliation and swallow any insult as long as the offenders are rich, and we will sell down the river any poor Christian whose only sin is to believe in Jesus.

One of the messages George W. gave us, one that remains indelibly on my mind, was the one about Islam that followed the twin towers outrage. ‘Islam is a compassionate religion…’ said one of the greatest thinkers of our or any other time. He got that as right as he did when he blamed Saddam for 9/11. Tolerance in Islam is unthinkable. Just count the Christian churches in Saudi Arabia. Jihad is Islam, nothing more nothing less. The Saudis fund terrorism in order to be allowed to keep drinking whisky behind the walls of their palaces.

Just think of Jesus. He descended among men to show them what their true nature was. He wanted to be a model for man, to show what we should strive for. His father made men free in order for them to be willing followers. Not slaves and in fear of him. Now think of Allah, or better not. Consider his followers: intolerant and fanatical. A proselytising Muslim preacher cannot teach why one must obey Allah since any claim to understand him is a sacrilege. He can only demand blind obedience. And Muslims have been killing and enslaving Christians since the days of Muhammad. Syria and Palestine in 630, Egypt by 642, Greece and Serbia in the 1300s, Constantinople in 1453. And now more than ever in the land of the Bible. This is the 37th Christmas in a row where I wish you the happiest of holidays; don’t forget our fellow Christians under attack.

This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated

Tags: Christians, Francis Bacon, Islam, Lucian Freud, Mayassa bint Hamad al-Thani, Middle East, persecution, Qatar, Saudi Arabia