Why has the persecution of Christians at the hands of Muslims been largely ignored by western churches, governments and media? Testifying for a US Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on religious persecution in the Middle East on May 1, academic and author Bat Ye'or gave the following answer:
"The 19th century--and even after World War I--was a traumatising period of genocidal slaughter of Christians, spreading from the Balkans (Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria) to Armenia and to the Middle East. In this context of death, the doctrine of an Islamic-Christian symbiosis was conceived toward the end of the 19th century by Eastern Christians as a desperate shield against terror and slavery. This doctrine--which also included anti-Zionism--had many facets, both political and religious. In the long term, its results were mostly negative.
"It is this doctrine, still professed today, that is responsible for the general silence about the ongoing tragedy of Eastern Christians. Any mention of jihad and of the persecutions of Christians by Muslims was a taboo subject, because one could not denounce persecution and simultaneously proclaim that an Islamic-Christian symbiosis has always existed in the past and the present. It is in this cocoon of lies and of a deliberately imposed silence, solidly supported by the churches, governments and the media--each for its own reasons--that persecution of Christians could develop freely, during this century, even until now, with little hindrance."