Reports of innocent people being specifically targeted and abused just because of their faith have escalated since the terrorist attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001.

Iraq is one stark example. At the time of the first Gulf War in 1991, Iraq had a Christian population of at least 1.5 million. Today, many believe that number could be as low as 150,000. Most of these Iraqi Christians have gone into exile, but a large number have been killed.

The attacks by Islamic terrorists have nothing to do with war, combat or insurgency which makes children, Christian civilians and church workers open targets.

Just within the last month, 61 people were killed and 119 injured when two Shahid suicide bombers attacked worshippers at a church service in Pakistan; eight died and 27 were injured in Syria when Islamists stormed a Christian village and shelled a church; and in Nigeria, nine Christian villagers, including two children, were machine-gunned in their own homes by Muslim terrorists.

Those were just the recorded attacks. Since much of the violence goes unreported, it's impossible to know the complete count of Christians being slaughtered.

The International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, states that 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians, making this group the most persecuted religious body on earth. The Pew Forum reported that between 2006 and 2010 Christians faced some form of discrimination in a total of 139 nations, which is almost three-quarters of all the countries on the planet.

While the mainstream media and the Obama administration have largely ignored this global horror story, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul did address it last week at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. The Kentucky senator has been a strong opponent of too much foreign intervention, but he does understand foreign policy, an area in which this administration has failed in miserably.

In his speech, Paul praised the Muslim world's historic achievements but said that radical Islam will end only when Islam begins to police itself. He was critical of the president and media for ignoring the butchery and also faulted U.S. policy, which providing aid to the Syrian rebels with links to Al Qaeda.

"Elsewhere in Syria, Islamic rebels have filmed beheadings of their captives," Paul said. "They've filmed themselves eating the heart of their enemy. Two Christian bishops have been kidnapped, and one priest was recently killed.

"These rebels are allies of the Islamic rebels that President Obama is now arming. We are now arming Islamic rebels who are allied with Al Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11. Does that make any sense at all?"

Paul said that American tax dollars should never be spent to prop up a war on Christianity, which is happening throughout the world.

Finally, Paul said he's a proponent of President Ronald Reagan's strategy of peace through strength, stating that Christians should actively prepare for war and "actively defend ourselves," but seek peace.

According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, an average of 100,000 Christians have been killed each year for the past decade. That computes to 11 Christians being killed somewhere in the world every hour, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

The U.S. has lost its credibility and prestige in the world over the last five years. If Obama wants to appear tough on the world stage, he could start by at least showing some anger and contempt for the slaughter of Christians.

By Jim Zbick

editor@tnonline.com