Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer has written a column highlighting both Christian persecution and Christian righteousness. He also elaborated on his personal connection to Lord George Weidenfeld.
In a column published by Asbury Park Press, Krauthammer highlighted that persecution in the Middle East is threatening to wipe out Christianity's presence there. He noted that while Coptic Christians in Egypt have some protection under leader Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, other Christians in the region have suffered worse fates.
"Twenty-one Copts were beheaded by the Islamic State affiliate in Libya for the crime of being Christian," Krauthammer wrote. "In those large swaths of Syria and Iraq where the Islamic State rules, the consequences for Christians are terrible - enslavement, exile, torture, massacre, crucifixion."
According to Krauthammer, many Middle Eastern Christians have left the region over decades thanks to the "rise of political Islam and the intensification of savage sectarian wars."
"Lebanon's Christians, once more than half the population, are now estimated at about a third," Krauthammer wrote. "The number of Christians under Palestinian Authority rule in the West Bank has dwindled - in Bethlehem, for example, dropping by half."
Krauthammer pointed out that Israel is the lone country in the Middle East where both Arab and non-Arab Christians enjoy both protection and civil rights. However, the place where Christians are most in danger was Syria.
"Four years ago they numbered about 1.1 million," Krauthammer wrote of Christians in Syria. "By now 700,000 have fled. Many of those remaining in country are caught either under radical Islamist rule or in the crossfire between factions."
However, Krauthammer contended that something can be done to help Middle East Christians on "a more limited scale." He cited the work of his distant cousin, 95-year-old Weidenfeld.
"Three weeks ago, for example, 150 Syrian Christians were airlifted to refuge and safety in Poland," Krauthammer wrote. "That's the work of the Weidenfeld Safe Havens Fund. It provided the flight and will support the refugees for as long as 18 months as they try to remake their lives."
According to Krauthammer, Weidenfeld's objective was to rescue 2,000 families. However, the United States government has refused to participate in those operations because Yazidis, Druze and Shiites were left out of rescues.
"It's a rather odd view that because he cannot do everything, he should be admonished for trying to do something," Krauthammer wrote. "If Weidenfeld were a man of infinite means, the criticism might be valid. As it is, he says rather sensibly, 'I can't save the world.'"
Krauthammer hoped that "the Arab states, particularly the Gulf monarchies," would step in and help the other displaced minority groups. For Weidenfeld, however, his rescue efforts for Christians were a personal mission.
"In 1938, still a teenager, he was brought from Vienna to London where the Plymouth Brethren took him in and provided for him. He never forgot," Krauthammer wrote of Weidenfeld.
Weidenfeld told Krauthammer that he was "trying to return the kindness" and "repay the good that Christians did for him 77 years ago."
"In doing so, he is not just giving hope and a new life to 150 souls, soon to be thousands," Krauthammer wrote. "He has struck a blow for something exceedingly rare: simple, willful righteousness."