Verden må forstå at forfølgelsen som rammer kristne i muslimske land er av historiske proporsjoner, og den truer også landene selv. Verden må mobiliseres til en kampanje på samme måte som kampen mot apartheid.

Det er sier baronesse Warsi, selv muslim og statsråd for religiøse saker i Camerons regjering, under en tale ved Georgetown-universitetet fredag.

Hun er den første seniorpolitiker på regjeringshold som løfter forfølgelsen av kristne øverst på agendaen.

“There are parts of the world today where to be a Christian is to put your life in danger,” she writes. “From continent to continent, Christians are facing discrimination, ostracism, torture, even murder, simply for the faith they follow.

“Christian populations are plummeting and the religion is being driven out of some of its historic heartlands. In Iraq, the Christian community has fallen from 1.2m in 1990 to 200,000 today. In Syria, the horrific bloodshed has masked the haemorrhaging of its Christian population,” she says.

Terrorists are subjecting Christians in the Middle East to “collective punishment” for American foreign policy. Worshippers are now regarded as newcomers and agents of the West, despite having lived there for centuries.

Warsi trekker frem to eksempler som burder rystet verden: bombingen av allehelgen-kirken i Pakistan, der 85 mennesker ble drept, og bombingen av et koptisk bryllup i Egypt.

“A mass exodus is taking place, on a Biblical scale. In some places, there is a real danger that Christianity will become extinct,” she will say at a speech at Georgetown University in Washington.


“A bomb going off in a Pakistani church shouldn’t just reverberate through Christian communities; it should stir the world,” she says.

The response must be a co-ordinated international effort similar to the campaign against Apartheid and for Civil Rights in the United States, Lady Warsi will argue. Extremists must be prevented from “twisting history” by claiming co-existence is not possible. She will hold up the example of her daughter, a Muslim who attends a convent school.