In an article in The Atlantic yesterday, Kori Schake opens a discussion about how the "religious bias" of Christian leaders in America could be harming peace efforts in the Middle East.
Schake points out the problem using Pence's upcoming visit to the region as an example.
"Christian leaders—including the Coptic Pope—are refusing to meet with Pence," she begins. "What those leaders understand, which the Trump administration seems not to, is that Christians in the Middle East have lived and will continue to live in societies where Muslim majorities determine political and social outcomes, and those outcomes become less tolerant when religious minorities are perceived to be the exclusive beneficiaries of U.S. policy."
She affirmed outreach efforts that the Trump administration supports, saying, "Faith-based organizations are some of the best and most active means by which Americans reach out into the world."
"The problem is that the Trump administration—and Republicans in Congress like Ted Cruz—seem when it comes to Muslim countries to want to help only Christians and minority groups," Schake states.
"Christian communities are receiving financial assistance from the global faithful and therefore able to rebuild their houses of worship and their communities faster and more opulently than their Muslim neighbors." Schake puts it plainly, "It is breeding resentment."
"[Christians, Jews, and other minorities living in the Middle East] live amid Muslims who are also suffering persecution and violence. Muslims are, in fact, the main targets and victims of terrorism in the Middle East," she points out.
"The administration is acting on that bias by holding up funds pledged to the UN by USAID. Which is a shame, because the UN is doing work the government of Iraq badly needs done, and on which U.S. policy depends." Schake concludes with, "The UN provides assistance to refugees on the basis of need and vulnerability, and that assistance is urgently needed by the victims of ISIS."