Shameful Silence

ABC, CBS and NBC Have Ignored Christian Genocide

The choreographed beheading of Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach in February 2015 was just the highest profile anti-Christian crime taking place in Africa.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Islamist movements, many sworn to ISIS or al Qaeda, routinely attack Christian villages, churches and schools. The Religion of Peace keeps a database of Islamic terror attacks, including a category of attacks specifically on Christians. Many of them occurred in Iraq and Syria, but many more took place in Africa. A few examples:

  • Feb. 24, 2016, Agatu, Nigeria: “Radical Islamic mercenaries sweep through a series of Christian villages and slaughter over three hundred, including pregnant women and children.” They left 300 dead.
  • July 26, 2015, Tchebe-Tchebe, Cameroon: “Boko Haram behead [sic] three villagers and set fire to their church.”
  • Nov. 22, 2014, Mandera, Kenya: Muslims “stop a bus, single out and slaughter twenty- eight non-Muslims (including nine women) after identifying them as Christians.”
  • Sept. 9, 2014, Ngakobo, Central African Republic: “A priest and three members of his congregation are among thirteen massacred by Muslim ‘rebels.’”

There are hundreds more such examples, with victims numbering between one and hundreds. Only the most spectacular have made the network news, like the April 2015 slaughter at a university in Garissa, Kenya.

Again, the networks reported the sectarian nature of the attack by the Islamist group al Shabaab that killed 148 Christians and wounded nearly 100 more. On April 2, ABC chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz recounted how “the gunmen were methodical, reportedly demanding to know who was Muslim and who was Christian. Anyone who said they were Christian was killed on the spot.”

On April 3, CBS correspondent Deborah Patta spoke with a survivor who “repeatedly heard the attackers single out Christians.”

“They were being asked some few questions from the Koran,” Daisy Achieng told Patta. “If you get it correct, you’re spared. If you get it wrong, you’re shot on the spot.”

In 2014, the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls caught the attention of the world. That included First Lady Michelle Obama, whose photograph holding a card bearing the slogan made the Twitter rounds. The networks dutifully introduced viewers to Boko Haram, the Islamist terror group that had kidnapped hundreds of Christian girls in Nigeria. There were occasional updates on the story. On May 12, 2014, NBC`s Stephanie Gosk reported on a video from Boko Haram in which terrorist leader Abubakar Shekau claimed that “The girls have been converted to Islam.”

The next day, CBS’s Patta noted “The mass kidnapping has attracted global concern, but every week dozens of refugees arrive in the capital as Boko Haram continues its wave of violence against Christian families.”

That “global concern” soon evaporated, and with it, the networks’ reporting.

At least ABC’s Terry Moran wasn’t afraid to speak about genocide in Africa – when the victims were Muslim.

Reporting for World News on April 9, 2014, from the civil war-torn Central African Republic, Moran described “Muslims attacking Christians, Christians responding with unspeakable ferocity.” But help was on the way: “Today, a visit by Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, trying to mobilize the world to stop a genocide.”