Are you familiar with what is happening in the Ivory Coast? That is the African country with the contentious presidential election last fall, which most Westerners would not have noted at all if it weren’t for the fact that the Ivory Coast happens to be the largest producer of cocoa beans. So those of us chocoholics may have read the headlines a few months ago that our chocolate may be rationed. But as to the details of what is happening in the Ivory Coast, who really knows and who cares and anyway, the reporting on it has been woefully superficial, so you know, who cares?
Well actually, I care…and not only because of the impact on cocoa bean production. And I think you should care too. Because if you are reading this weblog, the situation in the Ivory Coast probably affects you, too.
To bring you up to speed, in case you are one of the 98% of Americans who have no idea what is happening there: the election last fall resulted in a Northerner winning, and the incumbent Southerner refusing to leave office, and civil violence ensued and continues. The “international community”, whoever that is, has found the election to be valid and support the Northerner’s cause. The U.N. has “troops” there to uh, protect something, maybe civilians and of course the usual aid groups like the International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders are also there. But the largest charitable organization on the ground in the Ivory Coast is the Roman Catholic church. That is because the Ivory Coast has been an increasingly Catholic Christian nation in the last decades. In the 1980s, the estimate of Christians was 1/8th of the population. However, recent estimates are that nearly 1/3 of the population are Christians, largely Catholic Christians.
The other large faith tradition in the Ivory Coast is Islam. Perhaps 1/4th of the population are Muslims.
Demographically, the northern areas of the country have more Muslims, receiving a large influx of immigrants from Muslim neighbors to the north. The southern parts of the country are where the Christian populations have remained and thrived.
Today, I read the sad news that an estimated 1,000 civilians from the southern village of Duekoue have been found massacred. The machete-hacked bodies were found by aid workers in the places in which they fell. The UK Telegraph report says that these civilians were killed by supporters of the Northern winner after his forces gained control over the village in the ongoing civil conflict.
An estimated 40,000 civilians fled to to the local Catholic mission, which is sheltering them as best they can, but the priests report that they are desperately low on food.
The Telegraph report has the usual quote from a U.N. official in charge who says they had no idea the killings were occuring. (I would think it is hard not to notice 40,000 people running to the church, and the sounds of 1,000 souls being slaughtered likewise would seem hard to miss.)
Anyway, I’m blogging about this not because of what the newspaper reported, but what it failed to report. The paper tells us that the supporters of the Northern winner slaughtered thousands of Southern villagers. What it didn’t tell us was that the folks who died were predominantly Christians, living in a predominantly Christian town and those who murdered them were predominantly Muslim, coming in from Muslim territories. That is the underlying reality to the political situation and civil violence. To continue to ignore the importance of this obvious religious violence is proof again of the brazen bias of the major media.
For instance, despite the liberal BBC erroneously reporting 3 days ago that it was the forces of the incumbent president (a Catholic) who was doing the butchering in Duekoue, I note that they have not printed a retraction in light of the today’s revealed atrocities of the (Muslim) rebels. In fact, reviewing the BBC reporting of the past days infuriated me for its bias, carefully edited reporting and slanted headlines. The primary method taught in journalism schools must be how to report only the facts that support the opinion the media puppet-masters decide you should form, and the shameful BBC reporting is proof that they are nothing if not leaders in the sleight-of-hand shenanigans of the liberal press.
I have said it before, but the most persecuted faith people in our world today are we Christians. The mainstream media will not tell us that. But it’s true.
As for me, I’ll be praying for the incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, a Roman Catholic and a man who very possibly may be killed by rebel forces in the coming days. When his government falls, I believe we will be looking at the next Ethiopia, the next Somalia, the next Nigeria or the next Sudan. I’ll be looking forward to how the liberal press will gussy up that tragic development.
***Please pray for our Christian brethren in the Ivory Coast, and persecuted Christians throughout the world. May God bring the martyred to eternal rest in Him and extend mercy and justice to the living and the dead.***
Note: I just stumbled upon this blog under the Telegraph’s banner which also derides the biased press coverage. Check out Why does media coverage of conflicts such as Ivory Coast ignore history, religion and demographics? by Ed West.
See update as of May 12, 2011
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