Today Vice President Pence gave a speech at the “World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians” in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC
The following are opinions on various parts of the speech.
He says that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. While I can believe this, I am somewhat skeptical of where he got this information and think it would have been better that he made this clearer. I would believe Christians are the most persecuted because they are the largest religious group, so there are more of them to persecute than any of the others. The CIA World Factbook says that 31.4% of the people in the world are Christians, followed by Muslims with 23.2%, Hindus 15%, and Buddhists with 7.1%.
He says that “ISIS” is committing genocide against Christians. I can agree with this, although he did not mention any other groups until later on. They seem to pretty much be against everyone who is not themselves.
Pence said “I often say when people have asked me over the years what my philosophy is, I tell them I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” He said this in his campaign for vice president as well, and I have heard it criticized because he does not even list “American.”
He mentions some countries in which Christians are persecuted, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, and Eritrea. While I am not an expert, I believe that all religions in North Korea are illegal. Fortunately he went on to note that many other religions were also persecuted around the world and that they needed to work together. Likely he referred to Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Some of his speech appeared extremely political, such as his repeatedly making a point of he and Trump saying the words “radical Islamic terrorism,” something many politicians demanded that Obama said and said themselves in order to contrast themselves with Obama.
He had an anecdote about a meeting he had with Christian and Muslim religious officials in al-Basrah, a city in Iraq where he appeared surprised to find there had been a Christian church for 1,500 years. Interestingly, although he did not mention it, a 1,500 year old church would predate Islam itself. I did think the anecdote was good though as it promoted cooperation and peace rather than fear.
Vice President Pence’s Speech, from the White House Website: